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Monday, November 12, 2018

Managing Stress Like Jesus: Know Your Calling

In review of Epesians 4:1 it says, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (NIV).

Today’s verse comes from Ephesians 4:1-2, where Paul who became a prisoner for serving the Lord, urges me as well to lead a life worthy of my calling as well. For I have been chosen and called by God. In doing so I should always be humble and gentle. Be patient with others, and make allowances for other's faults because of how I choose to live my life.

Paul tells me that God has chosen me to be Christ's representative on earth. In light of this truth, he challenges me to live a life worthy of that calling that I have received. It is the awesome privilege of being called Christ's very own. This includes me being humble, gentle, patient, understanding, and peaceful. Others are watching my life. Can they see Christ in me? How well am I doing as his representative?

I have a calling. God doesn’t just call pastors and missionaries. The overwhelming message of Scripture is that God calls each of us to a specific purpose and mission.

However when I don’t know what God is calling me to do, it causes stress.

In the last few days, I’ve been looking at principles of stress-free living from the life of Jesus. So far I’ve looked at: Identification: Know who you are and Motivation: Know whose approval you are living for. A third principle of stress-free living from the life of Jesus is this: the Principle of Vocation. I have to know my calling.

Vocation comes from the Latin word for voice and means what God has called me to do. I must settle my vocation if I want to cut down on my stress.

Jesus knew his calling. He said in John 8:14, “I know where I came from and where I am going” (NIV). And Jesus understood his unique purpose, and he lived for it.

My life is driven by something. Sometimes it's driven by regret or anger. Sometimes it’s driven by shame. Sometimes it’s driven by money or sex.

God wants my calling to drive my life. How do I know what I’ve been called to do? I’m encouraged to think and pray through my specific SHAPE. That means I consider my:

Spiritual gifts (For me teaching and shepherding)
Heart (what I love to do)
Abilities (I have some technical skills, I can listen, organize and present, give guidance)
Personality (light hearted, easy-going)
Experiences (experiences in a wide variety of things; leading, finances, purpose)

God won’t give me a calling that I’ll find miserable. He’ll call me to do something I enjoy and something I’m good at.

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (NIV).

I should learn to continually ask myself: Am I doing what I’m called to do?

Bottom Line:
As a prisoner for the Lord, we are urged to live a life worthy of the calling we have received.

What this means to me:
As a prisoner for what He was doing for the Lord, Paul urges me as one of God's chosen, to also live a life worthy of the calling I have received.

In summary, I should leave a life worthy of my calling. I have been chosen and called by God himself. My life should characterized by being humble, gentle and patient with others. I am to be an example for others to watch and see. Am I reflecting Christ in what I do?  When I don't know what God is calling me to, or I get off track from it, it will cause me stress. Therefore I must know my calling. God wants my calling to drive my life. To do this, it is helpful to review my SHAPE. My Spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personalities and my experiences. God won't give me a calling that is miserable. Rather he'll call me to something I enjoy and something I'm good at. Am I doing what I'm called to do?

Today Father I ask you to help me think through my true calling. Help me to make this part of my life. Give me relief from the stress of the constant pressure and drain I’m under at my current work assignment. Give me your wisdom and guidance as I plan for some future tasks. Help me to lead and interact with those around me in a loving manner. In you Son Jesus name I pray, amen!

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