Quotes about Calling-General
The Lord bids each one of us in all life’s actions to look to his calling. For He knows with what great restlessness human nature flames, with what fickleness it is borne hither and thither, how its ambition longs to embrace various things at once. Therefore, lest through our stupidity and rashness everything be turned topsy-turvy, He has appointed duties for every man in his particular way of life. And that no one may thoughtlessly transgress his limits, He has named these various kinds of living “callings.” Therefore each individual has his own kind of living assigned to him by the Lord as a sort of sentry post so that he may not heedlessly wander throughout life.
Monastic vows rest on the false assumption that there is a special calling, a vocation, to which superior Christians are invited to observe the counsels of perfection while ordinary Christians fulfill only the commands; but there simply is no special religious vocation since the call of God comes to each at the common tasks.
Am I in a calling in which I can abide with God? If you cannot ask God’s blessing upon your occupation, or if you would be ashamed to be found in it when the Lord Jesus returns, or if it hinders your spiritual progress, then you must give it up and be engaged in something else.
Why do I carry on this business, or why am I engaged in this trade or profession? In most instances the answer would be, “I am engaged in my earthly calling so that I may support myself and my family.” Here is the chief error that causes almost all the other errors by children of God concerning their calling. To be engaged in a business merely to obtain the necessities of life for ourselves and family is not scriptural. We should work because it is the Lord’s will concerning us” (Eph. 4:28).
The theological roots of this concept of “vocation” are found in the biblical doctrine of creation and divine sovereignty. We are by God’s creative decree shaped in His image and thus designed to reflect in all our endeavors the purposeful activity of God Himself. All Christians, therefore, should ideally embrace their “work”, however secular and uneventful it may appear, as a calling of God, a responsibility for which they have been uniquely endowed that is designed in its own way to glorify God. One’s “job” or “career” or “occupation” thus has a meaning beyond mere personal fulfillment. “Ministry” is therefore not what the majority of Christians perform as “a discretionary time activity – something done with the few hours that can be squeezed out of the week’s schedule after working, sleeping, homemaking, neighbouring, washing and doing the chores” (Stevens, The Other Six Days, 132). It is, rather, all of life when discharged in faith.
There is a primary sense in which all Christians are “called”, for Jesus Christ is Lord over all of life, over every task, over every endeavor. But there is another sense in which only some are “called” to fulfill those special responsibilities and ministries set forth in Scripture on which the life and order of the church directly depend.