Thursday, November 11, 2010

It’s Your Call: What Are You Doing Here? by Gary Barkalow

Few spiritual concepts have fascinated and confused people more than understanding God’s calling. Is it a job or a role? Is it only reserved for those who work in professional ministry? The truth is amazingly profound: what we are supposed to do is what we most want to do.
 
In this guide for discovering God’s design and destiny for your life, Gary Barkalow shares how you can:
 
·         Live alert and oriented to the voice and choreography of God.
·         Discover and interpret the voice of your own story.
·         Discern the strategic assault against your calling.
·         Recognize God’s intentional training in your life’s journey.
 
Most of all, you’ll be inspired to let the glory of your life touch the world around you.
 
 
Everybody’s Question
 
©2010 Cook Communications Ministries. It’s Your Call by Gary Barkalow. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.
 
551 Barkalow bk cover hi resSeveral years ago I ran across an article in USA Today in which adults were surveyed as to what they “would ask a god or supreme being if they could get a direct and immediate answer.” The largest percentage (34 percent) of adults said they would ask, “What is my purpose in life?” Second (19 percent) and third (16 percent) to that question were, “Will I have life after death?” and “Why do bad things happen?”4
 
That most commonly asked question is very telling. It demonstrates that we were created for a specific purpose. As C. S. Lewis said, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe, and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know that it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.”5 So the question we are all asking—“Is there a specific purpose or calling for my life?”—is self-answering: YES!
 
The Barna Research Group concluded a nationwide survey with these words: “One of the most stunning outcomes was that born again Christians and non-Christians were equally likely to be seeking meaning and purpose in life.”6 Barna was also amazed that so many born-again Christians were puzzled as to their purpose in life: “One of the primary values of the Christian faith is to settle the issue of meaning and purpose in life. The Bible endorses people’s individual uniqueness but also provides a clear understanding of the meaning of life—that being to know, love and serve God with all of your heart, mind and strength.”7
 
The question of purpose, meaning, and place is universal to every human heart. The answer that your life does have purpose or meaning is not enough. Instead the answer begs another question, “What specific, irreplaceable purpose does my life play?” Coming to faith does not settle the issue of meaning and purpose in life. As Pulitzer Prize winner Russell Baker said,
 
There is a hunger in us…for assurance that our lives have not been merely successful, but valuable—that
we have accomplished something grander than just another well-heeled [well-off], loudly publicized
journey from the diaper to the shroud. In short, that our lives have been consequential.8
 
The truth is that we are here to do something, a contribution that only each one of us can make. There is an outcome that hinges on us and therefore a fear that we might miss it—our moment, our part, our potential, our purpose, and our life. This is not some peculiar fear experienced only by a certain generation or culture or religion. I believe it is a fear born out of a desire written on every human heart, a desire for meaning, to know that my existence matters to someone and something. In short, that I’m good for something.
 
The hunger or desire to find and live the life that we have been given, to live a life that is consequential, is good and noble. Scripture says, “[God] will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality  that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness” (Rom. 2:7–8 NLT). There is a life of glory, honor, and immortality that God offers and that we are meant to seek. But it will take God’s help for us to find and live the life we were created to live.

Doesn't this sound like a book you would want to read?  :):)
 
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