Have you ever heard a fellow believer say they were ‘called’ to do something? How do you know you have a spiritual calling? Do you wonder what a spiritual calling is? Have you asked yourself, ‘what is my spiritual calling?’
If you want to discover the signs of spiritual calling, this article is for you! We’ll talk about 15 clear ways that you can find out what your spiritual calling is! You will walk away feeling encouraged and having a better understanding of your purpose in life.
We will explain how your spiritual purpose and your spiritual calling intersect. Your spiritual purpose is the “why” you do something, whereas your spiritual calling is the “what” you do.
Fulfilling your spiritual calling will provide your life with meaning. You will become more focused and spiritually fulfilled when you live out what God has called you to do!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
What is a Spiritual Calling?
If your talents and desires have met a world need, you have found your spiritual calling. God has created each of us special. We all have things we are good at. As we discover what to do with the gifts God has given us, we begin to fulfill our spiritual calling.
There are three spiritual calling definitions in the Bible. It is important to know them and understand the difference between them.
#1. A Vocational Calling
A spiritual calling can, at times, be a job. While many public callings, such as a pastor or a missionary, can be appealing, almost any job can be a vocational calling. God may call you to be a mom, a veterinarian, a businessman, a gardener, a volunteer, or something else!
A vocational calling might be any call that provides or does good works for others and the body of Christ.
#2. The Christian Calling
This spiritual calling is one that is asked of all believers. There are a few examples of a Christian calling throughout the Bible.
Look at Ephesians 4 for a more in-depth understanding of what Paul explains.
In the first verse, he encourages us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” He then elaborates on this calling, explaining one should be humble and gentle. We are to keep the unity of the Spirit and love God in our spiritual calling.
In Matthew 28, Jesus Christ called us to “make disciples of the nations.”
The Christian calling is to believe in God and seek His kingdom.
#3. A Spiritual Calling
A spiritual calling is what our Heavenly Father has asked you to do that will build His Kingdom. This could be a number of things. You might have one specific calling for a lifetime or have many callings throughout your life based on your experiences.
Your spiritual calling will typically be about other people, but it will be what you can do! You will be equipped to fulfill your spiritual calling through your talents or with the help of the right training.
Other words used in the Bible that mention a spiritual calling are gifts and ministry. Look for these words when studying the Bible!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
What Is the Importance of a Spiritual Calling?
God has called us to bring believers to His Kingdom. We need to use the very talents He has graced us with when doing this. We will be much more effective if we do something we both love and are good at!
A spiritual calling is what God needs you to do on Earth. God has called all believers to “seek first the Kingdom of God.”
Your spiritual calling is how you fulfill the calling you receive from God.
God has made it abundantly clear that He wishes for all of His children to spend eternity with Him. He has asked us to help make that happen! Use your spiritual calling to determine how you will bring people to know God!
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
What are the Benefits of Knowing Your Spiritual Calling?
God does not want us to live a life of drama, pain, or misery. Instead, He wants us to live in joy, peace, and love!
God makes many promises throughout the Bible, and you can be sure that He NEVER breaks His promises. When fulfilling your spiritual calling, know that God has promised blessings as well!
As you grow spiritually, you will desire to fulfill the Lord’s specific calling for your life. As you get to know God better, you will naturally progress into the plans He has for you!
So, how do we as believers benefit from knowing our calling?
#1. You Will Grow Closer to God.
Knowing that God created you with a purpose will deepen your understanding of who God is. This will draw you closer to Him!
Plus, by knowing your spiritual calling, you will understand more of the very person God created you to be!
#2. You Will Have Hope and Prosper.
God promises you in Jeremiah 29 that He knows His plans, and they are good ones!
Your calling may not always be your career, but God will find ways to bless you.
Years ago, my husband followed God’s call to quit drinking. He was called to lead a ministry with Celebrate Recovery through his personal experience.
Since doing this, my husband has been abundantly blessed in his career. He found a new job shortly after following God’s calling. He has grown exponentially with this company at an unprecedented rate.
God has blessed his career and finances, although it is not connected to his ministry. God knows His plans! He will give you hope and a future, and you will prosper in one way or another!
#3. Your Faith Will Grow.
When you know your calling, your faith will grow.
Looking deeper into Matthew 6:25-34, we can see how God promises to care for us. This scripture discusses reasons we should not worry. It reflects on how the birds eat and the flowers grow.
Scripture tells us that if God cares for them, He will do the same for us – and more! There is a clause in this scripture if you read closely. Matthew 6:33 tells us that we must first seek His Kingdom and righteousness.
As you come to know your calling, your faith will grow because you trust God to provide!
Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” – John 6:28-29 (NIV)
Ways to Discover Your Spiritual Calling
Now that you understand what a spiritual calling is and why it is important, you are ready to discover yours!
#1. Know Who God Is.
Knowing who God is will help you better understand what is and is not a spiritual calling. God will not go against His very nature. A spiritual calling will NEVER contradict or go against Biblical principles.
God, Himself: A Journey Through His Attributes is a perfect resource for learning more about the nature of God, His sovereignty, grace, and glory!
You can also get to know more about God and grow closer to Him with the How to Build a Relationship with God series.
#2. Know Who You Are In Christ.
You are wonderfully made! God knows every hair on your head and knew your life before you were conceived. You are special to Him and a child of His.
Knowing who you are in Christ will not only assure you of your gifts and talents but will also help you become more confident!
Who God Says I Am: 21 Truths About Your Identity In Christ is a great way to find answers to this burning question. Gain insight into who God says you are and how that can change your life!
As with anything, you should pray! Come before God and ask Him to show you what He wants from you. Ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Pray that God shows you all of your strengths and weaknesses.
You can pray for clarity, creativity, and motivation! If you don’t know how to pray, read more about praying for beginners!
#4. Grow In Faith.
The best way to know more about what God wants from you is to grow closer to God. By growing in faith, you will learn to trust God to guide you to the right choices. Study the Bible, memorize scripture, and spend time in the presence of God.
#5. Redeem Your Past.
You cannot follow God and live out your spiritual calling if you still intentionally live in sin.
If you want to discover your spiritual calling, you must confess your sins and redeem yourself before our Holy God. Obedience would be the next step!
Take time to truly evaluate your life and recognize anything not in line with God’s Word. Pray and ask the Spirit to reveal areas of sin that you are not seeing. Pray with conviction.
Consider joining Celebrate Recovery to further explore your hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
#6. Walk In The Will of God.
You must walk in the will of God. If you want to live out your calling, you must lay your life down before the Lord.
Because you have already confessed your sins and asked for forgiveness, you can now hand your life over to God. Allow God to take the reins and lead you.
#7. Notice Dreams and Life Experiences.
Take stock of any life experiences that have greatly or profoundly impacted you. These experiences can give you a unique insight into certain ministries.
Dreams can also give you an idea of what God is asking of you. God has spoken to many believers through dreams over the years. Keep track of any reoccurring dreams in a journal and seek counsel to understand them.
#8. Study Others.
Take the time to study other believers – both current and past. The Bible is full of characters that lived out their spiritual calling.
You can also talk to believers in your church or family that have realized their spiritual calling. Their journey can guide you and motivate you.
#9. List Your Talents.
Make a list of anything you are particularly good at. Perhaps it is sports, writing, or sewing.
Knowing more about yourself and your talents can help guide you to your spiritual calling. This will also help give you an idea of what you enjoy and do not enjoy doing!
#10. Identify Your Spiritual Gifts.
Your spiritual gifts are specific talents that God has graced you with. These talents pertain to attributes within the Bible.
There are 18 spiritual gifts listed in the Bible. The miraculous gifts are apostles, tongues, interpretation, miracles, and healing.
The enabling gifts are faith, discernment, wisdom, and knowledge. The gift of teaching, evangelism, prophecy, administration, serving, shepherding, showing mercy, giving, and exhortation are all team gifts.
Knowing your spiritual gifts can give you a clear picture of what your calling could and could not be. You can learn more about spiritual gifts by studying 1 Corinthians 12.
As you go through this process, keep a journal. Write down the different ways you feel God speaking to or nudging you. Make a note of things you enjoy or don’t enjoy doing. Keep track of sermons or podcasts that resonate with you.
A journal can provide insight into things that you may have forgotten when looking back over time.
#12. Map It.
Once you reach this point, put it all together into one place. By using a Spiritual Calling Map, you can see where your talents, spiritual gifts, life experiences, and God’s encouragement overlap!
A Spiritual Calling Map can give you a clearer picture of where your calling may be. Enjoy this FREE Spiritual Calling Map.
#13. Understand It Might Be Hard.
I have never heard a pastor say that their job was easy. Understand that your spiritual calling may not always be a walk in the park.
If you are prepared for emotional strain, mental strain, and possibly even physical strain, you will be stronger during the difficult moments! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger – as the saying goes!
#14. Seek Trusted Opinion.
Talk to people close to you whom you trust. They may give insight into your talents and spiritual gifts.
A church friend or family member’s outside opinion may clarify what you are unsure of.
It is also beneficial to have others praying for you during this journey!
#15. Pray Some More.
Once you reach a point where you feel confident in your spiritual calling, pray some more! Firstly, praise God for guiding you and showing you your calling. Then, ask God to reassure your heart and give you peace as you take the next step in this journey.
Ask God to remove any obstacles you have during this time. Seek clarity, understanding, and joy!
I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds. – Psalm 9:1 (NIV)
How to Pursue Your Spiritual Calling
#1. Write Your Spiritual Calling Down.
Writing down your spiritual calling will make it seem more real and tangible. Write it on a post-it note or put it at the top of your journal.
Make yourself an affirmation that you can repeat each day!
#2. Research Your Spiritual Calling.
Take time to research your spiritual calling! You wouldn’t jump into a new job without training first, and your calling is no different.
Find out exactly what you will do, how you will do it, with whom you will do it, and why you are doing it!
#3. Connect With Others.
Get in touch with others living out a calling similar to yours! God’s call for your life will never be identical to anyone else. However, there will be other people walking a similar path!
If you are called to ministry, spend some time with a few pastors. You can always become pen pals with a missionary if you feel called to the mission field.
You can spend a few weeks in Sunday School before taking on a class of your own as a teacher or have coffee with volunteers before signing up to be a volunteer!
#4. Create Your Spiritual Goals.
Create and write down your spiritual goals. Where do you see yourself by the end of the year or in five years?
Spiritual goals will not only grow your own faith but will also boost your ministry! Ask the Spirit to guide you through this process and create goals that are both personal and Biblical!
#5. Take the First Step.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment or situation. Take the first step! Get moving! Make a phone call, buy a book, write your story, or join a group!
You are ready! Take that first step! If you fall, it is okay! Get back up, brush yourself off, and go again!
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. – Acts 20:24 (NIV)
Other Spiritual Calling Resources
What Is My Spiritual Calling Quiz
If you have followed the steps in this article but are still unsure of your spiritual calling, consider a “what is my spiritual calling” quiz. The S.H.A.P.E. Test is a great resource to discover your gifts, purpose, and calling!
Further Questions to Know Your Spiritual Calling
After taking a spiritual calling test, you can ask yourself some personal questions to dig deeper into your spiritual calling.
- Why do you want to follow your spiritual calling?
- How does your spiritual purpose impact your spiritual calling?
- Do you believe your spiritual calling has a purpose?
- What talents do you feel can have the largest impact on society?
- How can your faith impact your calling?
- What do you believe your spiritual calling is?
- How can you use your spiritual calling to connect with others?
- What is the best way to live out your spiritual calling?
Keep a journal close by and pray to God for clarity on the answers. As you work through this, your spiritual calling should become more obvious. You can also reach out to those closest to you that can give insight into your gifts and talents.
What Is My Calling Video
If you are still thinking, “I’m confused about my calling,” then Pastor Steven Furtick will answer your questions and leave you feeling ready!
What Is My Calling?: A Biblical and Theological Exploration of Christian Identity will not only empower and encourage you but will also provide you with an entirely new whole-life vision!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will. – Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Have A Spiritual Calling?
Yes! Everyone has a spiritual calling. Not all of us are called to full-time ministry. You may be called to volunteer, be a full-time parent, sing in a worship team, or teach Sunday School. Whether it is considered minor or major, we all have a calling.
Can You Have More Than One Spiritual Calling?
Yes! Some people are called to be Christian music artists, missionaries, or even pastors. These callings are considered full-time. You might be called in your twenties to teach Sunday School but in your thirties to volunteer! You can have more than one calling!
How Do You Know If You Are Spiritually Gifted?
We are all spiritually gifted! There are 28 gifts outlined throughout the Bible, from intercessory to teaching to healing. Some gifts are loud and vocal, while others are subtle and private. Consider doing a spiritual gifts course to learn your gift!
How Do You Know If God Is Calling You To Ministry?
Prayer. The only sure way to know if God is calling you is through prayer. You might know that ministry is a good fit if you have a strong knowledge of the Bible, enjoy speaking in front of others, and have leadership qualities.
How Do You Know What Your Calling From God Is?
Prayer! Your spiritual calling will fulfill you. It will exercise your talents and gifts while helping to build God’s Kingdom. It will also line up with Biblical principles and the character of God. If you feel called to something not in line with these attributes, it probably is NOT your spiritual calling.
Are you ready to live out your spiritual calling? Have you asked yourself, what is my spiritual calling? You should now have the proper resources to know what is a spiritual calling and how to discover yours.
God has equipped us with the gifts, knowledge, and authority to do great works! Why wait?
As you work through discovering your spiritual calling, remember that learning your spiritual purpose is just as important. Your spiritual purpose will motivate you in the times your calling stretches you.
In all times, give thanks to our Lord and Father. Praise Him for the ability to push through and make a difference.
Have you discovered your spiritual calling? Share with us your experience! We love hearing from you!
What are your favorite spiritual calling Bible verses? Leave them in the comments to encourage others.