by Rayola Kelley
Q: You talk about the difference between a Christian’s calling and their commission. Can you explain the difference? I’ve never heard that in any church I’ve attended. Thanks.
A: I can understand why many Christians are confused about this matter. As Christians, we all have the same commission which is two-fold. Commission has to do with our mission to go forth and preach the Gospel and teach others to be disciples of Jesus.
However, our personal calling will determine how we are to carry out the commission. Jesus stated that many are called but few are chosen. The reason for this is because there are three types of calls that go out among mankind. For example, the first call is what I call thegeneral call that goes out to everyone. It comes in the form of an invitation for those who will hear to come to the well of salvation and partake of the Waters that possess eternal life. People must be saved unto the life God is calling them to before they will ever realize what their true calling is in regard to His kingdom.
Next is what I refer to as the initial call that goes out to all who are saved. This call is for believers to follow Jesus into the life they can have in Him. It is a call to discipleship. Believers must learn who God is before they understand who they can be in His kingdom.
This brings us to our personal calling as Christians. This calling points to the position from which each of us as believers will execute or fulfill our two-fold commission. Positions can include being a missionary, teacher, pastor, minister, or servant of God, but such positions clearly point to our form or means of service in His kingdom. Needless to say, such positions will often identify, reveal, and refine the gifts or abilities that will enable us to carry out our calling. As you can see, your position will give you the boundaries or consensus as to your responsibilities in relationship to your calling or service to others on behalf of God.
Position is also associated with authority. If you do not have the authority, you cannot effectively carry out your commission. There will be no real credence or power in which to be effective in your calling.
The problem is that many people put the cart before the horse. They get caught up with the idea of personal calling without being prepared to carry it out. They are often impressed with the title of a calling, while failing to understand the responsibilities that it carries to maintain the integrity of it.
As you study the concept of calling, you can see why many are called, but few are chosen. Each call will bring a separation between those who are sincere, consecrated, and devoted to the high calling they have in Christ. Eventually the “pretender” and “wannabe” will be separated from those who are willing to pay the necessary price for the fullness of their calling to be realized in their life for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God.
I hope this answers your question.