Discover Your Calling

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading



Many Christians wonder what God’s “calling” is for their life. 

But first it is necessary to define calling. I believe it can be defined as “a God-given conviction about your life’s direction.” As we will see through these readings, a person’s calling can take many forms. It is similar to purpose and often related to our passions and gifts. But at its core, calling comes from God; it involves a deep inner assurance; and it has the potential to change the course of your life. 

Calling is powerful stuff!

The New Testament speaks of a dual sense of calling: 

first of a call to follow Christ, and then of a call to personally join His work in the world. The first or “primary” call is Jesus’s invitation, “Follow me,” and involves a fundamental shift in identity. As Paul writes in Romans, by answering this call we become legally adopted, fully vested sons and daughters of God. The most important calling is Jesus’s invitation to follow him. 

If you have not accepted this invitation, no other calling matters.

Once we have responded to the invitation to follow Christ, God might reveal a “secondary” calling, an invitation to join him in his work in the world. 

Sometimes God gives the details of a secondary calling up front, as when he told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Other times, the initial instruction is more general, and he gives us the details as we go, as when God instructed Abraham, “Leave your family and go to the land I will show you.” 

A secondary calling might require patience as it unfolds over time, or it might be more urgent or time-limited. 

In Acts, God gave a very specific, immediate calling to a disciple named Ananias: 

“Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

Ananias’s obedience to this calling brought sight to Saul, who then took the gospel to the Gentiles as the missionary and Apostle Paul. 

No matter what God’s secondary calling is on your life, it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all calling. 

We should remain open to whatever God has for us, in His perfect timing. And we should be ready to obey when called upon. 


  • How did you experience God’s general (or primary) call to follow Him? How did you respond?

  • To whom are you most tempted to compare your calling?