Becoming What We Are Not Yet

This teaching is a continuation of an ongoing theme that seeks to set a foundation for discovering your purpose. It may sound repetitive, but it is meant to reinforce a very elusive concept that followers of Jesus tend to forget constantly.

“Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet… our seeking [for our calling] will always fall short unless God’s grace initiates the search and unless God’s call draws us to him and completes the search.” Os Guinness, The Call

Faith working through love

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

In this statement, Paul is writing to the new believers who were being deceived into thinking they still had to keep all the Jewish laws in order to be saved. “The yoke of slavery” is the law, namely circumcision, which gave the Israelites a unique identity as God’s righteous, set apart, people. Not unlike our tendency to try to impress God or others with our religious behaviour.

“Through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” Galatians 5:5-6

The principle in this passage is that our identity as free and righteous people comes not from our works of obedience to the law. It comes from our faith in Jesus which is worked out through love.

Understand who you are in Christ

This requires a commitment to learning. Spend time listening to good teaching, reading gospel-centred books and articles, and learning together with others.

You can start here [https://williamknelsen.com/series/who-is-jesus/]

Don’t limit your idea of learning to just reading books. Learning is most effectively done by doing. So, more important than reading is to be working out your faith through love within the context of a group of other followers of Jesus.

Work out your faith through love

If you agree that Jesus is who he says he is, and trust in him to set you free from the bondage of sin and death, the next step is for that faith to be worked out through love.

Love is summed up nicely in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

It is all but impossible to do this alone, which is why the local church is so vital. Whether it be a large church or a small house church, your faith will be strengthened by a community of followers of Jesus.

Watch as your life begins to bear fruit

If you are living in this way, your life will produce good fruit, evidence that you are living in faith. This is summed up in Galatians 5:22-23, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Ask yourself, are these fruits being produced in my life? Am I loving, kind, patient, gentle, etc.? Ask those within your close circle of other followers of Jesus if you are bearing these fruits. Honesty can sometimes hurt, but it’s worth it.

What does this all have to do with calling?

The way you will be most satisfied in life, and have the clearest and most confident sense of purpose and vision is to live free from the bondage that comes with earning your identity. Calling comes as a gift from God, not through merit, credentials, experience, or impressing others.

The gift of being called by God is to become what we are not yet. This happens when you are more interested in living out your faith in Jesus than you are in impressing God or others with how important or successful you are.

As you turn your eyes toward Jesus, his identity for you, God’s calling will become clearer and you will take each step with increased confidence.

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