Every Believer’s CallingBy Laura White
February 2, 2021
Called. It’s a term typically assigned to my husband because he is the one “called to be a pastor.” When Brian first went into ministry, I decided that my calling meant I was to walk beside him. He served the church, so I did also. He led our Sunday school class, so I organized refreshments and sent out prayer requests. But this came with a disconnect of who I was personally. I was more than the associate pastor’s wife. I was also just Laura: a Christ follower with my own gifting and calling.
During that first year in church ministry, we walked through a season of deep personal loss that God allowed in our home. In his fatherly kindness, God drew my heart into a focused study of his Word. No workbook. No devotional. No teacher to help me. No one else. Just me, with God and His Word. I fell deeply in love with an intentional study of the Bible. If you were to look at the pages I poured over in that season, you would see tear stains and more markings than you could decipher. God’s Word became personal, and my passion for the study of it tilled the hurting, hard soil of my heart to allow for growth and a true understanding of my personal calling.
God led me to the study a verse that would change the way I saw my life. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” In those short twenty-six words, I found something that was beyond a life verse. I found God’s guidance that defined my calling to prioritize His Word. And in its simplicity there are steps that every believer is called to follow as well.
Spare No Effort
First, just as Paul said to Timothy, I am called to do my best. This wording shows the highest degree of priority. We are encouraged to “spare no effort.” So I can’t let my own personal walk with the Lord take a back seat to my husband’s job or to the needs around me. It is meant to be decisively acted upon in my own life. Notice also that there is a direction for this effort. It’s not for those friends on social media who look inside the fishbowl of our home. My work is directed toward my precious Heavenly Father. He is the vital focus of a deep and enduring ministry. This presses me past an average, self-centered effort that stops when others pat me on the back. I am called to give my best effort so that the Creator of the universe approves of my heart as well as what I prepare.
Be A Worker
The text brings me to my next calling. I should be a worker. I love this word. It takes such weight and pressure off of my shoulders. I am not meant to fix it all. I won’t ever be enough for the women I love and disciple. I wasn’t created to be. I was made to be a humble worker who daily does what God has both called and enabled me to do. It simplifies the daunting tasks before me if I see my work as daily worship. My role as a worker brings freedom that has no shame because the results are His and are not dependent on me. Rightly focused work breathes biblical confidence into my life because I know I am merely an instrument in the hand of the Almighty.
Rightly Handle the Word
This brings me at the final calling this beautiful verse has given my life and yours. We are called to rightly handle the word of truth. This means that my day must include the careful study of the Bible. The reality is that even those in ministry have dry seasons and times when personal study is set aside because of the demands around them. Now more than ever, I am convinced that we must fight for this pursuit. I will never love my husband unconditionally, disciple my children unselfishly, counsel a woman biblically or measure my priorities within the church correctly if I am not personally committed to God’s Word and its correct use. This will keep me from substituting contextually accurate truth with my own opinion. The world does not need more of me. It needs to see how dependent I am on my Savior and that only His Word gives what I say and do any value.
Just as my husband is called into ministry, I am also. I certainly am called to walk beside him and love the church well. I am continually thankful God allowed that blessing in my life! But more importantly, regardless of the role we are privileged to have at church, I know that I am called personally and you are too! Wherever God has you, let’s join together to be people of the Word simply doing our best as workers who rightly handle the word of truth.