Monday, June 13, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: How to claim your God-given calling

Claim Your Calling
A devotional by Cyndi Staudt

“Let everyone be devoted to fulfill the work God has given them to do with excellence, and their joy will be in doing what’s right and being themselves, and not in being affirmed by others.” 
–Galatians 6:4 (TPT)

In my early days as a Christian, I recall experiencing gift envy.

I knew God’s Word (The Holy Bible) assured us we were each given gifts to be used for the furthering of God’s Kingdom. But I had no idea what my God-given gifts were. Instead of seeking God, the Giver of our gifts, in my quest to discover what my gifting might be, I chose to turn my focus to what others were doing around me.

I saw a young mom serving faithfully in the MOPS ministry, as she had been doing for over 10 years, and wondered how she knew that was where God wanted her to serve. I watched enviously as my friend stepped confidently and boldly into children’s ministry even though hers were grown. I sat on the sidelines in women’s ministry when a dear sister-in-Christ dove in headfirst, while admitting she didn’t know what she was doing, but saying she felt God was calling her to get out of the boat. Each time I saw them bearing fruit for the Kingdom from their faithful service, I would find myself longingly wishing I was serving in that ministry, in that capacity. I wanted to discover where my place was in God’s Kingdom work and feel like I was accomplishing something worthwhile for His glory.

I remember my pastor at the time asking me to lead a Bible study. I reasoned, “He hears from God and must know what I’m supposed to do." So of course I said yes. And so began a several year journey of saying yes to every offer that I received to serve at church. I grew to feel like a distracted Martha, scurrying around the church trying to get everything done, yet accomplishing nothing and grumbling under my breath as I was doing it. Leading to complete burnout and total dissatisfaction, I began to question whether God could or would use me to do anything meaningful for the Kingdom.

I think I was waiting for my burning bush moment when God would miraculously appear to me and call me to His mission and purpose for my life. But I began to realize that event might not ever happen. Then again, I’ve never spent years on the backside of a mountain tending sheep like Moses in the Bible did (Exodus 3:1-14), nor did I want to. So, I knew I had to find another way to figure out what God had in store for me. Surrendering myself fully to the process, I began seeking the Lord and asking Him specifically what gifts He had given me, what He had created me for, and what purpose He had plans for me to fulfill.

Knowing I wanted to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” when I enter His glory, I committed to be obedient to His call, even before knowing His answer, whatever it might be. I said with the most sincerity in my heart possible, “Here I am, send me!” I prayed, I fasted, and I prayed some more. I took spiritual gifts assessments, sought Godly counsel, and persisted in prayer. Eventually I felt my heart and mind begin to acquiesce into a state of waiting upon the Lord, with a spirit of expectation, but contentment in His ways and timing. And that's precisely where I discovered that was where God wanted me, sitting at His feet in hopeful anticipation of hearing Him speak. I began to realize that what the call was wasn't nearly as important as seeking the One who was bestowing the call.

It reminded me of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus while her sister scurried around making practical preparations for His visit. Jesus confirmed there was only one thing worth being concerned about and Mary had chosen what is better, sitting at the feet of her Savior and hanging on His every word. In the quiet moments as I sat tenderly seeking the guidance of God, I discovered the desires He had placed in my heart. I began pursing those desires, devoted to fulfilling His call with excellence, reaping a heart full of joy and contentment. How sweet it is to leave behind the impossible need to please everyone else and sit securely in the space God purposed me for and the call He created me for.

Let’s Pray:
Gracious Father, thank you for your endless patience towards me and your persistent pursuit of my wayward heart. When I chase after misguided intentions, use the power of your Holy Spirit to gently guide me back onto the path You created me for. Help me keep my eyes focused on You and my heart turned towards the distinct calling You have placed on my life. Show me the unique qualities You placed in my innermost being that make me perfectly poised to fulfill the work You have given me to do with excellence. Grant me great joy in simply doing what's right, being myself, and seeking only Your approval. May I never grow weary in carrying out everything You call me to, knowing that Your work is never in vain and You will carry on to completion every last detail. Thank you for the incredible privilege and honor of serving Your people and being included in Your Kingdom work. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Cyndi’s devotional message today reminds me of the song “I Will Go” by Steve Green. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Cyndi Staudt is a Jesus-loving, adrenaline junkie who is devoted to living her life for Jesus Christ until the day she is living with Him. 

With a passion for cultivating a craving for God’s Word, her devotions and Bible studies are saturated with faith and hope to stir your soul to connect with God in deeper, more intimate ways.

Through her writing she hopes to ignite your desire to read God’s Word, invite your heart to experience God’s love, and inspire you to live your live life “souled out” to the One whose love has no limits.

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