For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
Throughout Scripture, God reveals three primary pointers on the road to discerning our calling: our passions, our giftings, and our opportunities to use the combination of those two to glorify God and serve others.
Have you ever wondered why God created the earth and humankind? He certainly didn’t need to. So in one sense, it appears that God created for the pure joy of creating. It’s impossible to read the creation account in Genesis 1 without imagining the thrill God must have had bringing the earth into being, flinging the stars into the sky, and turning the oceans loose. This truth points us to the first question on the road to discerning our calling: What are you passionate about? In other words, what work brings you unspeakable joy?
Isaiah 64:8 says that “We are the clay, and [God] our potter.” Through Scripture and human experience, we innately understand that God uses our passions to mold and shape who we are as individuals. One of the ways in which He molds us and helps us to discern our vocational calling is by designing us with unique passions, the things in life that bring us pure joy. Are you passionate about entrepreneurship, photography, music, arts, law, coffee, sales, or medicine? Those passions are from the Lord! As Psalm 139:13-14 reminds us, God is the one who knitted us together, passions and all.
But while discerning our calling requires that we first identify our passions, passion alone is not enough to make our chosen work a calling. If we stop with the passion question, we will have identified the work we are most eager to do, but we will not have found our calling. Why? Because our work can only be a calling if God calls us to it and we work for His glory and the service of others, rather than the service of self. How do we glorify God and serve others through our work? By choosing work that aligns our passions with the gifts God has given us, allowing us to do exceptional work. That’s the subject we will turn to next week.