By Dr. Ken Matto

(Phil 3:14 KJV) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Recently I have had some contact with Christians who are not too cognizant of their calling. The Apostle Paul understood his calling as we see in the above verse. He calls it "the high calling of God in Christ." Paul was an evangelist of the highest quality as he not only went around preaching the gospel but he became personally involved with the lives of many Christians. I am fearful that the Christian of the 21st century has lost sight of the high calling of God and/or has mistakenly blended it with earthly things. For example, how many Christians hold to the high calling of God while maintaining a mundane existence on earth? Many believe that unless we see some type of change or radical events happening in our lives that we are merely just existing till the Lord returns or takes us home. This type of mindset really places a damper on the life which the Lord wants us to live in abundance.
(John 10:10 KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The Christian life is just that, life, and is not just a mere existence till we go to glory. It seems that we have relegated our Christian walk to religion. How do I know this? Religion teaches us that we are nothing but slimy sinners and dirt and that if we enjoy life, we are somehow disobeying God. Yet, God speaks about His children as Kings, Priests, and Saints and that we are free from the eternal penalty of the law. Should we not be the most joyous people on earth? Yet how many times do we hear the exhilarating message of our freedom from hell? Instead all we hear is we are nothing but dirty sinners who deserve Hell. HELLO!!!! God saved us and we are no longer the deserved recipients of Hell because of Christ, so then why do we live and act as if we still have the judgment of God hanging over our head? I will tell you why. It is because we have our eye on the world and we listen to half-baked preachers who have been in the ministry for 40 years and still don’t know the difference between the redeemed children of God and the hell-bound sinner.
In this article I desire to bring to light the high calling of God which is on every believer. Every Christian has the same calling as the Apostle Paul along with the other Prophets and Apostles. Please do not make the error that many do in comparing yourself to Bible characters and then believing your life does not mean as much as theirs did. They were regular people as you and I are. Look at the following verse:
(1 Cor 1:26 KJV) For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
We see that God does not call only the upper social class but He has called millions who are of lower social status. Let me list some Bible characters who were called out of day-to-day vocations.
Amos - A Herdsman
(Amos 1:1 KJV) The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
It doesn’t say that Amos had a Ph. D. from the University of Jerusalem. In fact, my belief is that he was a simple shepherd who lived a very rugged life in his day-to-day existence, yet, God chose him to bring some of the most intense Scripture in the Bible. Isn’t it interesting that here was a simple herdsman who wrote on the equivalence of Moses who was well educated or Apostle Paul who was also well educated and respected.
Jeremiah - A Youth
(Jer 1:6 KJV) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
Here is Jeremiah who may have been a teenager when he was called to deliver a message which would frighten a grown man. The word in Hebrew is "na’ar" which may be translated child or young man. It is the same word used to describe the age of Isaac when Abraham was going to sacrifice him on the orders of God. There we see it translated "lad." No matter how we look at the word, we can safely conclude that Jeremiah was young when he was called. The Bible is silent as to what vocation he was involved in or preparing for.
Nehemiah - A Cup Bearer
(Neh 1:11 KJV) O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
Here was a man whose call in life was to taste wine for the King to ensure that it was not poisoned. Although this was a very dangerous job, according to Heredotus, this was a high position of honor. Yet, it was a slave position since the King could snap his finger and have the person’s head cut off.
Peter - A Fisherman
(Mat 4:18 KJV) And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Here we see our beloved Peter who may have been an uneducated man except for any teachings he received as a youngster from the synagogue. He was a poor man who made his living day to day on the sea. God did not wait until he had high social status before he was called into his life of service.
Earthly Vocation Vs. Heavenly Vocation
These four people from the Bible are sufficient to give us an understanding that God does not call from one social status or age group. If there is a young man or woman in your home or church who is showing a desire to serve the Lord as their life’s vocation, do not quench that spirit. Too many times Christian parents put their parental desires ahead of their Christian desires when it come to their children. How do they do that? It seems that many parents try to urge their children to go to college and come out and get a good job but how many advise their children to go to Christian college and then go to the mission field or some other area of Christian commitment? I mean in comparison by worldly standards who would not want a bragging right by means of their child being a Vice President in a company rather than a missionary in some other country?
Our earthly vocation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is still part of God’s plan for us. Our earthly vocation has absolutely no effect upon our heavenly calling. Our divine calling along with its requirements remains the same. The President of a company and a fork lift driver still have the same biblical requirements laid upon them. Both are called to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. Just because one holds a high position in a company, does not mean he has more favor from the Lord. It means God has him there for a purpose.
(1 Cor 7:20-24 KJV) Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. {21} Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. {22} For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. {23} Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. {24} Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
These verses are telling us that we are to continue in the calling that we have from the Lord and it is to be done in the earthly arena which God has made us part of. These verses state, using the slave relationship, that if one becomes free, then use that also in your heavenly calling. This shows us that God is the one who changes the earthly status of His children. In verse 24, we are told that no matter what our position is, that we are to abide with God.
Now I want to bring up the area in which we make our greatest mistake. That area is that we equate our earthly vocation with our heavenly vocation. Here is where we mix the water and oil. Our earthly vocation is never representative of our heavenly calling. The two are totally different in nature. Let me make a small analogy:
Let’s stay with a person who is a fork lift driver. I drove one many years ago so I am familiar with them. If we look at a person who loads and unloads trucks all day, we would think that this person has a very mundane or boring job, requiring little or no thinking. We can also place this in the insignificant category because the driver may only make $9 or 10 per hour. Yet if one sits down to ponder that maybe a million trucks every day, which keep America running, must be loaded and unloaded, we then see that the fork lift driver is not so insignificant. Let us say this fork lift driver is the only born again Christian who works in a factory of 1,000 people. Now, guess who God’s ambassador is to those 1,000 people?
Suddenly he is no longer just a fork lift driver, now he has an eternal ministry to the souls of those people. He now has the responsibility of bringing the gospel to that place so God may save any elect which are in it. Look at the challenge he has:
He must face ridicule.
He must face false gospels like Catholicism or Islam.
He must walk circumspectly.
He must be a good employee.
He must be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in him.
He must also face the prospect of getting fired or not being promoted because of his faith in Christ.
He must perform his duties at work without murmuring or gossiping.
He must show a difference between himself and the rest.
He must walk away from temptation.
We thought he was only a fork lift driver. Do you see the calling of God in contrast to your vocation? Your job is not only your support to live in this world but it is God’s means of reaching your co-workers for Christ. This is why it is important for Christians to realize that not everyone can go into a full time ministry because if God pulled his ambassador force out of the work place, how would this vast field be evangelized? In my estimation, there are more Christians reaching unbelievers each day by word of mouth, than there is by radio, Internet, and TV. Personally, I would have loved to have a full time ministry position but God had closed every door. Yet, when you think about it, you are reading this off my site on the Internet which is up and running 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, so in essence I am in full time ministry. Some time ago I was a dispatcher for Avis but I started as a driver. When I transported the vehicles, I placed Bible tracts in the glove compartments of the cars I delivered to the stations. I had a very minuscule job according to worldly standards, yet, I chose to use it for the furtherance of the gospel. This is how you turn a mundane, boring job into something exciting by bringing the gospel to where you work and leaving the results to God. God will place you in a job, even a small paying job, if He has a plan for you to reach someone. Never tell God where you are going to work, let Him direct you because rebellion cannot exhibit the fruit of the spirit. You can speak with the Lord about your vocational desires and He may grant them if it is according to His will but always keep in mind that God has empowered you with certain spiritual gifts and He has the right to send you wherever He wants to according to his plans.
Never look at your job and say it is beneath you or that you can do better elsewhere. Maybe you can, but for right now this is where God has placed you. Let me share some verses which reveals to us what God thinks of the world system in comparison to being one of His children as we read in Faith’s Hall of Fame. Notice in verse 38 we see that the world is not worthy of God’s children. This is why we must never look at our vocation and equate it with our Godly calling.
(Heb 11:35-38 KJV) Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: {36} And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: {37} They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; {38} (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
I wish to share eight tenets of the high calling of the believer. There are many others and if you do a word study on "Call" and see what type of situation the word is attached to, you will be able to expand your knowledge on this all important subject.
A Holy Calling
(2 Tim 1:9 KJV) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
One of the chief tenets of our high calling is that it is a holy calling. This is not a religious or a church calling but the calling is holy from God. It means the calling is a dedication or a setting apart unto God. The calling is above our present situation in this world. As one who is set apart unto the Kingdom of God it brings with it the requirements of sending forth the eternal gospel which is the highest calling any human being on earth can have. A flower blooms where it is planted and so must we. Our primary concern in this life must be the dissemination of the true gospel.
A Heavenly Calling
(Heb 3:1 KJV) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
This verse tells us that the calling is not one of earthly origin. The calling comes from God Himself who gives us to His Son the Lord Jesus Christ as He builds and completes the body of Christ. As God calls each of His elect into the Kingdom, He also plans their evangelistic life according to His will.
A Possessive Calling
(Rom 1:6 KJV) Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
Here we see that each and every true believer has been called to be the possession of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why when we are on the job or in any situation in the world and we are called on to "situationally" sin against the Lord we must refuse since we are not our own. There is no such thing as "justified sinning." (1 Cor 6:19 KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Every true believer belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ eternally and this is why we must never make our primary focus the things of this world. Do you know how you can tell you are making this life a secondary calling? When you hear others talking about the things of this world such as sports, taxes, bills, etc., or they are complaining about something and in your mind you just give it all over to God and go on. When you begin to hand situations over to the able hands of God, you have learned the secret of abundant living.
A Purposeful Calling
(Rom 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Every believer who has been called and saved by God will have a specific purpose for their existence. God never saves anyone and then puts them out to pasture to fend for themselves. In fact, every believer has their life already pre-planned by God and has been given certain spiritual gifts and talents to fulfill their spiritual destiny. Wait a minute! Driving a forklift is a life’s purpose? No! Bringing the gospel is the life’s purpose. Driving a forklift is the way you make a living so you may be a witness to those folks and to be able to purchase gospel materials to give out.
A Saintly Calling
(1 Cor 1:2 KJV) Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
The calling is also saintly. The root word of "saint" is the same root word for "holy." It means a setting apart unto something and in this case it is a setting apart unto God. Christians are to be referred to as saints and not sinners. This is because God has redeemed them and God did not redeem us through the blood of Christ to make us sinners, instead He made us saints, fit for the kingdom of God.
A Fellowship Calling
(1 Cor 1:9 KJV) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
When the sinner was redeemed to become a saint by the Lamb of God, this saint now has true fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. The fellowship of the true believer is not with a church, or with the world but is with other true believers and the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. What calling in this world can equal that?
A Calling of Suffering
(1 Pet 2:21 KJV) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
If there is one tenet of our calling, it is the reality of suffering. Christians have been targeted for persecution by false religions all over the world. Christians are also targeted for persecution on the home front. Many Christians are not promoted on the job or are fired so their message does not invade the lifestyles of the sinners at work. Modern persecution of Christians is rising all over the world. God warns us that we are to expect to suffer in some manner for the faith. (1 Pet 4:1 KJV) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
An Eternal Calling
(1 Pet 5:10 KJV) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
The calling of the believer is not one of temporal status. God has given His children eternal life and long after our earthly tabernacle is dust, we shall be more alive in heaven than we are at this moment. This is why we must never make our primary focus this fleeting world with all its snares and entrapments. We are to live faithful to the Lord right up to the moment He comes for us or He takes us out of this world.
Final Thoughts
We have seen eight biblical reasons why the calling of God is "The Summa Citatio" and far above all earthly callings or vocations. If you have a seemingly mundane or rote job, never let it bring you down, there are other people on that job who will be counting on you to bring hope to them. The hope of God is far more needed in this world than a higher paying job which ends at a certain time. The hope of God extends into eternity and that should be the focus of the true believer. God will take care of the here and now, you just be faithful.
(Mat 6:24-34 KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. {25} Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? {26} Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? {27} Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? {28} And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: {29} And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. {30} Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? {31} Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? {32} (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. {33} But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. {34} Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.