In today’s society, we often hear people talk about their calling, or people will say “he/she is walking in their calling”. So what does it really mean to be called? There are many definitions, but a couple that stood out to me are:
1. To ask or invite to come
2. To summon by or as if by divine command
The first definition reminds me of the casting call for plays, musicals or television shows. An announcement is made inviting those interested to “try out” to be a part of the production. For example, the American Idol show goes to various cities and states, and people line up for a chance to audition to be the next American Idol. People come and sing their hearts out and there is a process of elimination until finally, someone is chosen to be the next American Idol. The second definition implies there is an internal prompting or nudging towards something. This divine command is most often thought of as it pertains to ministry. You will often hear those in ministry say “I knew I was called to the ministry at an early age”. What’s interesting about both of these definitions is that it doesn’t stop at being called. There is a process for going from being called to being chosen.
To be chosen is defined as:
1. Selected from several or preferred
2. Theologically-The Elect
a. A person or the persons chosen or worthy to be chosen
b. A person or persons chosen by God especially for favor or salvation
If we go back to our example of the American Idol, the winner is ultimately the person who is selected and preferred from several other participants, however, this does not necessarily mean they have a divine calling to sing. As it pertains to ministry, most churches have a selection process when searching for a pastor and the candidate that is chosen is found worthy of fulfilling the role based on meeting various requirements. However, in everyday life, there are those chosen to fulfill specific roles or jobs simply because of the favor of God upon their life. Their resume doesn’t show they’re qualified, but God’s favor opens the door.
So what does all of this have to do with being a vessel of grace? I’m so glad you asked. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are a chosen generation. As believers, we have been chosen by God and we were chosen before the foundations of the world (Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4). Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”. We have been chosen to receive the kingdom of God and it is God’s grace that allows us to serve Him with reverence and godly fear. Even in the midst of our sin, God will choose us to be his mouthpiece, his vessel for the kingdom. This example is found in Acts 9, with the conversion of Saul to Paul. God tells Ananias that Saul is a “chosen vessel” (Acts 9:15).
Like Saul, we are chosen vessels. Matthew 22:14 reminds us that many are called but few are chosen. We have been chosen to be carriers of God’s grace, his enabling power. This power is not only for us, but for us to share with others. Our ultimate assignment is to share the gospel with those that don’t know God. This is what is meant by “seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). Like Saul, we will share in the sufferings of Christ. This is the process that we go through while becoming the vessels of God. However, we must not be moved by situations or circumstances. We must be satisfied with God’s grace, for it is sufficient or enough to get us through. Our obedience to God is our works mixed with faith that will profit us (James 2:14) and cause us to be vessels of honor. Remember, like Esther, you were chosen for such a time as this (Esther 4;14), so go forth in boldness and with the grace of God to fulfill what he has called you to do. Until next week….
Be blessed but first comes obedience!