There is a common misconception that there is only a single calling for Christians. In fact, there are actually three callings: the General Call, the Effectual Call, and the Technical Call.
The General Call is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. The effective call is to become an effective witness for Him in this world. And the technical call is to do what He has called us to do with our lives.
This article will explain these three callings and how they relate to each other.
What Is A Calling?
A calling is God’s plan for your life. It is His purpose for you. It is not something you choose or decide on your own. You may have heard people say things like “God picked me for a particular job. ”
This is incorrect thinking because it implies that God decides who he wants to use for his purposes. Rather, a calling is something God has planned out for you from before time began. It is part of His eternal purpose for you.
If we were to ask God what his plans are for us, He would tell us that he has selected us to accomplish certain tasks. We can see this clearly throughout the Bible where God tells Moses that he was picked by him to lead Israel. Or when Peter says that God had called him to be an apostle.
These passages show that God calls us to fulfill specific roles in his kingdom.
When we understand that God has a plan for our lives, then we can begin to understand why God uses different methods to get our attention. Some ways include:
- Preaching to us through the Word of God
- Teaching us through the Holy Spirit
- Motivating us through trials and suffering
- Inviting us to follow Him through prayer
- Guiding us through counseling
- Using others as instruments to help us
- Giving us opportunities to serve
The General Calling
The general calling is simply being a Christian. Being a Christian means following Jesus Christ. It does not mean that you must go into ministry or preach the gospel.
It just means turning away from sin and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and following all of His teachings.
It also does not mean that you should live a perfect life. If you are living a life pleasing to God, you are fulfilling the general calling. But if you are sinning against God, you are not fulfilling the general calling.
In Corinthians, Paul talks about the gifts of the spirit. He mentions tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, etc.
All of those gifts are used to help spread the message of salvation. However, none of them are required to be a Christian. They are all used to help build up the church.
Paul goes on to talk about the spiritual gifts that are given to every believer. He says that we are all gifted with various abilities.
Some people are gifted with speaking languages, some with teaching, some with writing, etc. None of these gifts require anything more than belief in Jesus Christ.
So, the general calling is simply to believe in Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter whether you are using your gift or not. As long as you are a true believer, you are fulfilling the calling.
The Effectual Calling
The effective calling is the call to be effective in spreading the gospel. The Bible says that there are two kinds of preachers. Some speak but do not obey, and those who obey but do not speak.
In other words, they only preach the gospel without doing anything else. The effectual calling, also known as the spiritual calling is guided by actions of the Holy Spirit.
This is seen most clearly in Acts 1. When the apostles first met together, they did nothing except pray and fast. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit came upon them and gave them power to perform miracles. Afterward, they went everywhere preaching the good news.
This is how it works. God wants to use us to change the world. So, he gives us the ability to do so. Then, he guides us to use our gifts effectively. Once we start obeying God, he will guide us to use our gifts to further his kingdom.
When we receive this call from God, we need to listen to him and obey him. We cannot say “I don’t want to do that. I have my own ideas.” That is why we need to ask for guidance from God.
We can see this in the book of Matthew. At one point, Peter was walking along the road when he saw an angel coming towards him.
The angel told Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water. Peter said no. He had never done such things before. He asked the angel what kind of man he was.
The angel replied that he was a prophet. Peter still refused to get out of the ship. Finally, the angel told Peter to get down out of the boat. Peter obeyed.
We can learn from Peter’s example to trust in God and his plan for us.
The Technical Calling
The technical calling is the call to serve God in any way possible through action. This includes serving in the church, helping others, being a teacher, etc. It is the call to serve the needs of the body of believers.
In the New Testament, we find many examples of this type of service. John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus. He baptized people, preached, healed, etc. He was called a prophet because he fulfilled the role of a prophet.
The difference between an effective/ special calling and a technical is that the technical requires obedience. If you are going to help someone, you must be done out of duty and responsibility.
How To Recognize Your Calling
To recognize your calling, you need to ask yourself if you are living up to it. You should look at your life and ask yourself if you are following God’s lead. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you using your gifts?
- Do you follow God’s word?
- Is your life dedicated to God?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you know you are called by God. But, if you answered no to some or none of these questions, then it means that you are not yet ready to fulfill your calling.
If you feel like you are not fulfilling your calling, then you need to seek God’s guidance. Ask him to show you where you are failing. Ask him to give you strength to continue.
Remember, God does not force anyone to do anything. He only calls those who are willing to listen.
In conclusion, there are three types of calls:
Believing in Jesus Christ
Obedience to God
Helping the Body of believers
When it comes to identifying your calling in life, remember that none of these calls requires anything more than faith in Jesus Christ. If you truly believe in Him, then you are already following the path of obedience.
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