“So when are you going into training?” “Have you listened to the call yet?” I lost count years ago how many times I have been asked these questions. As the child of Salvation Army officers, these kinds of questions come up a lot. I tend to always have the same answer: “I don’t quite know God’s calling on my life, but I am open to wherever He leads me.”
I speak from experience when I say that sometimes there tends to be pressure on figuring out the calling for our lives as Christians. Growing up in The Salvation Army, this often revolves around the idea of officership. When trying to discern God’s call on my life, I often felt like becoming a Salvation Army officer was the “only true calling.” This caused me to feel like I was doing something wrong because I never felt being a Salvation Army officer was my calling.
Many divisional or territorial events like Youth Councils have a time set apart for “answering the call.” However, “answering the call” doesn’t just mean deciding to be an officer. Not being called to officership is completely okay. Officership is definitely a very special and honorable calling, but so are the other things that God could be calling you to do. Answering the call could mean that God wants you to become a counselor, or a teacher, or join the military (the possibilities are endless, really). God has a plan for each one of us, and it is our job to be obedient and listen to what He wants us to do.
God may not audibly whisper an occupation in your ear, but as we seek God’s calling, He uses opportunities to help lead us there. For example, I felt as though I had no idea of God’s calling for my life. I went to college planning to study teaching, simply because it sounded like something I would enjoy. I soon started working with elementary aged students, and I had a few encounters that really confirmed the call for me. I worked with students who came from rough homes with very little support. Realizing that I could love those children was how God revealed His calling on my life. I am filled with immeasurable joy every time I help a student feel loved and appreciated. I get to show Christ’s love to the students I work with every day. I am called to be a teacher.
How can you figure out God’s call for you? Pray. Ask God to reveal His calling on your life. Don’t feel pressured to have a certain call. Be open and available with God and let Him lead. Obeying God’s call on your life will be more fulfilling than anything else you could ever decide to do.
Sarah George | SWONEKY Division | Eastern Territory