Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Today's Inspirational - Your Highest Calling Isn't What You Think

July 2, 2019

AMY CARROLL



"Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' So they called to the blind man,
'Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you.'" Mark 10:49 (NIV)

"Action Amy," a nickname I earned on a mission trip for my constant
drive for activity, didn't begin as a compliment, but I've certainly
lived up to it. It describes me exactly —

I'm always planning what to do next.

Because of my "doer" wiring, I've often mistaken my highest calling as
something I'm supposed to do rather than some place I'm supposed to be.

The very word "calling" is fraught, isn't it? It feels like a word saved
only for special people and those paid to do ministry.

One dictionary definition of calling is "a profession or occupation,"
but the one we most commonly think of is "a strong urge toward a
particular way of life or career." Christians

identify God as the source of that strong urge, so the word calling
sometimes seems too big for us.

But in today's story, found in Mark 10:46b-50, Jesus calls a very
ordinary man.

"As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving
the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means 'son of Timaeus'), was
sitting by the roadside begging. When

he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, 'Jesus, Son
of David, have mercy on me!'

"Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more,
'Son of David, have mercy on me!'

"Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.'

"So they called to the blind man, 'Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling
you.' Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus"
(NIV).

Bartimaeus wasn't anyone special. In fact, he would have been considered
sub-ordinary by a culture who mistakenly prejudged his blindness as
sinful. That could have been a

barrier, yet when Jesus called, Bartimaeus rushed to Jesus' side.
Bartimaeus didn't let anything deter him from Jesus' calling.

What barriers or obstacles have kept you from God's calling on your life?

Sometimes doubt keeps us stuck, wondering if we really heard God or just
imagined it. We can even doubt God would want to use us. Another
stumbling block to calling is self-

doubt, feeling certain that someone else is better or more equipped.
Comparison kills calling.

Some of us have let our callings die because of hard circumstances, the
voices of naysayers or the diversion of busyness in our day-to-day
lives. The dreams we once held dear

have faded until they're fuzzy and distant.

The biggest obstacle to fulfilling our calling is that we often
misidentify what our first calling really is. Our highest calling isn't
what we usually think. It's not a job we do, a title we

earn, or even a check we write.

Our first calling is to respond to Jesus and go to Him, just like
Bartimaeus did. We're called to come close.

When we do, Jesus draws us near and calls us His brothers and sisters
(Matthew 12:50). He erases the divide between our humanity and His
divinity by calling us friends (John

15:15).

While our faith leads us to accomplish good works, our first and highest
calling is simply to be near Jesus. When we are, everything else — all
the doing — begins to fall in place.

Lord, I've often confused Your calling for my doing. Although faith
includes action, my first and highest calling is to be near You. Today,
I hear and accept Your calling. In Jesus'

Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 84:3-4, "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest
for herself, where she may have her young — a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and

my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever
praising you." (NIV)

Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all those who call upon Him, to all
who call upon Him in truth." (MEV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Today's devotion includes an excerpt from Amy Carroll's new book,
Exhale. If you've been running on empty, Amy and her co-author, Cheri
Gregory, will take you through a

process to lose who you're not, love who you are, and live your one life
well. Pick up a copy today!

Who doesn't love a good sale?! Well, friend, we've got a SALE on SALE
for you! From encouraging books to beautiful decor to inspiring
T-shirts, we've got something you'll love

— for you or for a friend. For five days, we've knocked down prices as
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CONNECT:
If you want to be released from the overwhelming pressure of trying to
be all things to all people, all the time, visit Amy's blog today. She's
sharing how you can experience a life-

shift with a group of friends, and there's a fun giveaway of Exhale
resources to help you get started.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What have you considered your highest calling? How does it change your
perspective to think of your highest calling as being close to Jesus?

What other actions in your life might you take if you were to step into
your highest calling first? Join the conversation, and share your
thoughts in our comments section!

© 2019 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved

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