Lesson 2 - God Comes Calling

Calling in the Bible

A Summoned People

In the previous video, Dan outlined some of the various ways in which God summons individuals to a response. Jesus chose his disciples for a definitive task (Mark 3:13–15). God appointed certain individuals—from Moses and Jacob to Esther and Paul—to fulfill an instrumental role in the history of salvation.

However, Dan also argues that the corporate dimensions of vocation have been eclipsed by this individualistic understanding. More often than not, God calls his people into existence and he establishes their communal identity.

When it comes to calling . . . God calls his people to be a certain sort of people.”

Dan Steiner

We live in an individualistic culture, so it’s not a surprise that we often think of our vocations in individualistic terms. God is not only interested in what each of us is called to do, but what we are called to do together.

  • Think of the communities in which you’re situated, whether it’s your family, your workplace, your church, or some other body. Where do you see opportunities for collaboration? What sort of people might God be calling your community to be?

Vocation and the Authority of God

Dan has been suggesting that, although we almost always use the word “vocation” in connection with a job, the concept is actually much broader than that. Within the paradigm Dan is building, “vocation” is what happens anytime we respond to the authority of God.

But discerning just how to respond to God’s call is easier said than done. We may be envious of Moses—God literally appeared to him in a burning bush and told him exactly what to do. Many of us have never had one of these “burning bush moments” (although maybe some of us have).

But as Dan explains, God’s people don’t always get a burning bush, but they always have a calling. When we don’t seem to get a clear sign, we may spend time agonizing over what we’re supposed to be doing. Should I take that job? Should I get involved in that ministry? Should I marry this person?

These questions have their place, but it’s worth remembering that God has already given us our calling, because calling is most fundamentally about being a people who reflect God’s character, no matter what we’re doing. Listen to how the prophet Micah advised God’s people:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

In other words, God’s already told us what kind of people we’re supposed to be. Before you continue, take a moment to reflect:

  • Have you ever had what a “burning bush moment” where you were certain of your calling? If you haven’t, how did you decide on a life course?

  • What are some concrete ways that you can practice justice, kindness, and humility wherever you find yourself in this season of your life? In other words, what does God require of you right now?

Have you ever felt a sense of angst and restlessness regarding your work? Have you ever wondered if you were doing what God has called you to do?
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