(Editor's Note: Originally posted in May 2018, this is reposted now in hopes of touching today's graduates with holiness and wisdom.)
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29)
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5)
Every year during the month of May, we have the opportunity to attend one or more graduations where everything from high school diplomas to post-graduate degrees are conferred. Commencement addresses can be very interesting, sometimes amusing, but too often, very disappointing. Commencement speakers are usually gifted orators who use the occasion to display their knowledge, praise the graduates for their accomplishments, hold up high expectations for them, and assure them of a bright future. But too often, the speaker fails to include God or the will of God in the equation of the graduates’ lives and futures. How tragic. If God is mentioned at all it is often only as an obligatory afterthought.
Graduates are challenged to pursue their dreams, fulfill their desires, and make their own way. They are usually told to clearly identify their calling and go after it with all their might. Again, how tragic.
The reality is that God chooses your calling, not you (Jeremiah 1:5). We are not to decide what we want to do in life, and then ask God to bless it. We are to pray and seek God for His call on our lives. Like the Apostle Paul, we are wise to pray "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (Acts 9:6).
It’s been said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." Before you get upset that God decides your calling rather than you, consider this first. He made you, designed you, molded and shaped you to excel and shine for His glory as you live out the calling that He gave you. God knows you better than you know yourself. You were made specifically to carry out the call He has given you and no one in the universe is designed to carry out the specific call on your life but you. So be mindful of this truth. You were created to succeed at what God has called you to do. Your God-designed calling empowers you to live out your purpose in this world.
The most exciting, fulfilling, and satisfying life you can possibly live is the life you live as you walk out God’s calling in your life. The wisest and best life you can possibly live is the life of embracing and running after the call of God.
But His calling on your life must be accepted and then lived out faithfully. God is not going to change His mind (Romans 11:29). You can accept His calling and live it out by the power of the Holy Spirit becoming a great blessing to the world.
Or you can run from your calling. However, doing so will only lead to a very frustrated, unfulfilled life, much like getting swallowed by a big fish (Jonah 1-4). It will result in the waste of a lot of money, energy, and time. And be aware of this – wasted time is wasted life. Then maybe, after years of frustration, if you live long enough, you can say "Ok God. I will now do what you told me to do years ago.”
My recommendation is to say “Yes” to the Lord and His will right now stepping into a more blessed life today. God and His will for your life is the best thing that can happen to you and all the rest of us.
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