In order to have the heart of a champion, there are several qualities that you must display. The first and foremost is that you must be clear about God’s calling and direction for your life.
Paul had the heart of a champion. Over the next few weeks, we will look at several of the characteristics that he displayed, but the first and most important one is that he was clear about God’s involvement and call in his life, as well as God’s direction. There was no question about it.
In 2 Corinthians 1:1, Paul states the authority of God’s calling in his life unequivocally as he opens this second letter to the church in Corinth:
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus… (NLT)
Paul understood the difference between calling and direction. Paul had both of them in his life, but they are not the same thing. You could say that Paul had a double dose of passion for God in his life and ministry.
First of all, Paul was called. His letter says that he was “chosen by the will of God.” But then he adds that he is also directed by God, “to be an apostle,” or messenger, of Christ. God called Paul to what he wanted him to be. And God directed Paul where he wanted him to go.
The same is true in your life and mine. God has called us to be. He has called us to abide. He has called us to be a part of his family. This is the “being” aspect of our faith. But he has also directed us to do. His direction is where he is leading us, what he is equipping us for. It is the “doing” portion of our faith.
A call never changes. But direction may change very often.
For example, I experienced the calling of God upon my life to be a minister as a freshman in high school. It was very clear to me that God was calling me into ministry. And even earlier, he called me to faith, and I followed. But how that calling has worked out in my life has changed. For a very long time, his direction for my calling was youth ministry. I spent more than two decades as a minister to youth and teens. And it seemed as if that, in itself, was my calling.
But what it took me a long time to realize is that was only my direction. After more than twenty years, God changed the direction of my calling from teen ministry, to the lead minister role in a church. Now, I work with people of all ages, and not just teens, children, and their families.
My calling is still the same. I am a servant, a minister. I am his. But the direction has changed from one focus to another.
As I have learned more and more about God’s character and leading over the years, I have seen this to be proven true over and over again. God’s call remains the same, but his direction can, and very often will, change. And the more I can recognize this in my life, the more solid my faith will be. It will allow me to stay strong and endure as I strive to follow him as closely and as strongly as I can.
Here is the amazing things about this. All too often, we seek direction before we seek to understand the call. But when you are clear on your calling, the direction will take care of itself. When you know who you are to be, the doing will come naturally.
In order to have the heart of a champion, be clear about the calling that God has placed on your life.
Question: Do you understand God’s call upon your life? Has that helped to clarify your direction in serving him? You can leave a comment by clicking here.