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In the Bible, there are many examples of God calling specific people to do specific things. One of my favorite examples is Jonah. Jonah wanted nothing—and I mean NOTHING—to do with his calling from God. God called him to go give Israel’s enemies an opportunity to find forgiveness, but Jonah wanted them to get the wrath they deserved. He wanted God to send down hail, fire and maybe a hydrogen bomb or two. So he told God, “no.” Jonah said “no” to his calling. Not only did he say, “No.” Jonah decided to get on a ship and sail to other side of the known world. So what does God do? God has Jonah eaten—but not eaten—by a fish, and the fish swims Jonah to the shore near Ninevah. Ya. So if you think you want a specific calling from God, buckle up—if it comes, and you don’t like it—there’s a chance you’ll be doing it anyway. God will even use the fish, and I don’t think you want to smell like fish.

Take a few moments and look through the book to see some other examples of people who were specifically called in the Bible to do specific things. There are quite a few where the person wanted nothing to do with what God was calling them to do. More than that, in nearly all of the calling stories, God called the person to a specific task, but it was outside of their specific job. It seems cliché now, but even Paul was a tent-maker who did mission work. It’s important for us to not combine our search for a dream job with our understanding of what it means to be specifically called by God to a specific task. I’m not saying that God doesn’t call people to specific jobs, but from a biblical standpoint, those specific callings would seem to be the exception not the rule.

Big Question: Can we assume that God calls people today, in the same way that he called people in Bible times? 

Want to read more about what specific calling in the Bible? Click here to order your copy of Intentional Christian here.


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