When God Turned Everything I Knew Inside Out
God’s calling is more important than capacity and passions.
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. —Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
This four-word phrase (which God prepared beforehand) took everything I knew about my profession of recruiting the right people for positions and turned it inside out. My whole process of career planning reversed. Just imagine this opening line: “I am looking for the person and work that God has already selected and prepared.”
Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
I tried ignoring this truth—for years. Then on a trip to East Asia, the Lord absolutely ripped the floorboards out of my foundational principles of career planning and recruiting.
As I listened to factory workers, managing directors, orphanage helpers and missionaries, I heard testimony after testimony about God speaking first and them following—even though they felt neither equipped nor impassioned.
Here are just two sound bites from what I heard:
1. “I was a computer consultant in London visiting in Dallas, believing God wanted me to network for a job in East Asia. I met business owners who wanted to start a factory there, and they believed that I was the person God had selected. I knew nothing about their product line, nothing about manufacturing and nothing about management. I did not speak the language very well. That was three years ago.”
When I heard his story, we were touring his very successful, growing factory with 70 employees, low turnover and high productivity.
2. I was a factory worker, and through my church, a friend invited me to volunteer working with children in an orphanage. I did not want to go and did not like working there. Yet, afterward, I felt God wanted me to go back and apply for a job. I said to Him, “Please God, if you want me to work there, would you please give me a heart for the children?”
I can still see her in my mind’s eye in the orphanage with her arms around her adopted son, talking with great joy and peace about God’s faithfulness to give her “skills and a heart for the children.”
I realized God’s calling is more important than capacity and passions. These are crucial for being a good steward of God’s calling, but they are not the determinants of His calling. His calling was placed on our lives beforehand.
When He made us in our mother’s womb, He knitted us together for a specific purpose. As seen in the testimonies above, by being sensitive to how you’re made and to God’s calling on your life, you might find works He has planned since the beginning of time for you to experience and enjoy. Your role is to be ready and willing to do them when He calls.
God doesn’t always call the equipped, but He always equips the called.