Question 1 – How can a believer know his/her calling?
There are many different types of indicators of calling. I believe that calling happens when passion meets need and is confirmed by the Holy Spirit. To break down that idea, God created each person with certain passions and giftings because He knew what He would later call that person to do for His kingdom. Of course we can always choose to use our passion or gifting for evil rather than for good (or simply for nothing rather than something), but I believe that our greatest passions were placed there by God. Perhaps they have been twisted by the flesh or the world, but if God is allowed to bring them back to their original intent, it will lead into calling.
Passion must meet need because any calling occurs in response to a need. If there is no need, there will be no calling. The purpose of a Christian is to live in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus. Once they are living in this fellowship, God chooses to use them to meet needs here on earth. The purpose of salvation is not to meet needs; however it is its natural outflowing. Once a believer encounters a need that is in line with their passion, they are very close to finding their calling.
The final thing that must occur is confirmation by the Holy Spirit. This can occur in an infinite number of ways including a still, small voice, writing on the wall, prophecy from another believer, or a certain verse in the Bible coming alive suddenly. The only commonality between these is that the believer knows that the Holy Spirit has confirmed something to them that they already felt was coming. This is probably the final step to the believer recognizing his or her true calling for that season.
This occurred in my life when I was in Alabama driving back to Birmingham from a soccer tournament in another city. I had been a soccer player my whole life and I love the game. But even though I loved it, I knew there was more to life than sport. Driving home that day I was praying about the Christian club I was working for and where my life was headed and in a moment, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said that I was called to sports ministry. It made perfect sense to me all at once: my passion for the game met my passion for missions and the need for Christians to use sport as an evangelistic and discipleship tool. Passion met need and the Holy Spirit confirmed it to my heart while I was driving in the car.
Question 2 – How can a believer walk/live in confidence of that calling?
The absolute most critical part of continuing to live in the particular calling God has placed on the believer’s life for a particular season is to stay connected to Christ. This involves constant and persistent communication with God through prayer, fasting, reading, and fellowship with other believers. Without a daily, consistent relationship, the believer will never be able to hear God clearly enough to follow Him. Although they have been called, every day of walking in that calling is a day that requires hearing from God as clearly as the day He confirmed the calling.
Another essential component is humble submission to the Lord while walking in the calling. The believer can become puffed up in pride unless he or she stays in submission to the Lord. Perspective is so important. God doesn’t need us to do what He desires to accomplish; He chooses to use us when we are in relationship with Him and make us part of what He wants to do on earth. It is only when we have this attitude towards God that He will be able to use us to the fullest in our calling.
Question 3 – How can a believer fight attacks on his or her calling?
I believe the two most important things are to realize that any believer walking in their calling will face attacks and to recognize who is attacking you. Most often such attacks come in the form of a person, a believer or a unbeliever, but it is not that person who is attacking you. The believer is able to respond in love because it is not the person but the sin/flesh of that person who is attacking them. In marriage difficulties, it is not the spouse who is attacking you but it is the flesh or the devil who is creating that spirit of strife. Recognizing that the struggle of the believer isn’t with flesh and blood is the first step to being able to conquer in the battle.
In addition to having those two realizations, it is essential for any believer to put on the armor of God daily. Without being prepared in the Word and putting on righteousness, truth, salvation, and faith daily, the believer will be ill-equipped to handle the attacks that they are faced with. By preparing in the Word, the believer is able to stand against attacks and go on the offensive by walking in God’s authority (which can only be used if they are in relationship daily with Christ). Preparation in the Word also gives the believer the opportunity to hear from God about areas where they are weaker and need to be on their guard against the schemes of the devil.