In Ephesians 4:1, Paul says, “Therefore I, a prisoner serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” God is doing amazing things with young Christians all over America, and all over the world.
Here are five important questions every young Christian should ask themself:
1. Do you know what God has called you to, and are you confident in your calling?
If you know your calling but you’re not confident in it, you don’t fully understand calling.
Calling doesn’t mean you’re necessarily special. It means God intends to do something special in you and through you, when you walk in your calling. Not for your purposes, but His.
So, to lack confidence in your calling is to lack confidence in God’s wisdom.
However, one of the most frequent questions we ask God is, “What is your will for my life?” I know many are still wrestling with God’s calling so I have listed questions that may help.
- What makes you feel alive?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What problems in this world break your heart?
- What topics brings out your creative/entrepreneur side?
- What job would you take a drastic pay cut for?
- What abilities have people complimented you on?
- What frustrates you when you see it done poorly?
- What would you do if money and connections weren’t a problem?
- What can you talk about for hours?
- What work doesn’t exhaust you, but rather exhilarates you?
All these questions over time can narrow our calling, but the greatest question in the end is this: What can you do in this life that will better help you love God and love people?
2. Are you doing something about your calling now?
This goes for both girls and guys; stop worrying so much about your next relationship. If you put as much thought, prayer, and effort into your First Love as you do in your next love, you would be a totally different person. We waste so much time looking for “the one” that we miss the one time in our life that Jesus is all we have. If you’re a young single, you’re no longer under your parent’s faith and you’re not yet devoted to a spouse and kids.
This is the only time when responsibilities are low and risks can be high. You have a ton of margin to fail, but for some reason we play it safe until we graduate, get a job, and/or get married. Unfortunately by then, you’re pretty tied down and your decision making changes from, “What has God called me to do?” to “What has God called us to do?” Those are two entirely different questions and directions.
Stop waiting for permission to walk in your calling. You need to understand that before the foundations of the earth, God created you for good works, so walk in them. There’s your permission. Make the best use of your time, because this is the only season you can live with an “undistracted devotion to God.” (1 Corinthians 7:35)
3. Who are your closest friends?
If you have Christian friends who say they love God, and they know God has called you to something for His purpose, but they don’t challenge you to walk in that calling, then you have people in your life that don’t fully understand the depths of friendship.
Basically, if all your friends tell you what you want to hear but not what you need to hear, you may not have "friends."
There are Christians that are a great distraction to your calling, not because they draw you into sin, but because they draw you into complacency. They’re not clubbing and getting drunk every night. They’re just not doing anything with the gospel they have been entrusted with.
Here’s the question. If you went a full year without making one step forward in your calling, would your friends even notice or care?
You need friends who inspire you and drive you. As the famous quote says, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
4. Are you being discipled?
There’s an epidemic of young adults paying thousands for college, yet they have no clue what they want to do with their life. I personally believe this is due to a lack of discipleship in the Church.
I’ve noticed in most major cities, all the young adults dominate a handful of churches. And while a young community is good, as young adults we "shoot ourselves in the foot" when we don’t have older generations deeply invested in our lives. I think it’s no coincidence that just one verse down from the classic young adult verse, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young” is “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the elders laid their hands on you.”
Have you invited any elders into your life to identify and affirm your gifting? If not, you’re just like a 7th grader asking another 7th grader for dating advice. You need people in totally different life stages to speak into your life. It’s difficult to grow up without grown-ups.
5. Do you have a diversity of friends and mentors?
Young people who have a diversity of friends and mentors tend to have a greater heart for the Kingdom. They have breached their camp, church, denomination, and race so they can experience the beauty of The Church rather than just a church. They seek first the Kingdom of God, not just their castle.
When we only stick around Christians we know, we all start to sound the same, act the same, dislike the same things, and value the same things. Worse, our hearts start to feel superior to other brothers and sisters in the faith who do not sound like us and act like us. But the main problem is that Jesus starts looking a lot like our group instead of our group being challenged to look a lot more like Jesus. Suddenly, Jesus despises the things we despise. Jesus is cool with the things we’re cool with. Jesus loves what we love. And He would only do ministry the way we do ministry.
When we engage with Christians that are a bit different than us, we see that the same Jesus is also working in them and through them. We realize Jesus might be bigger than we thought. Maybe none of us fully have it right, but we’re all on the same journey to live like Him, look like Him, and love like Him.