All Posts /

Called to Who (Before Do)

Called to Who (Before Do)

Do you ever feel called to more?

We live in a culture of more — more promotions, money, square feet, clothes, vacations, followers. But have you noticed how even when you get more, you just want more?


Because that brand of more comes from our sin. While one of the many downsides of our fallen nature is to never be satisfied for long with what we have, God made us for a far more significant kind of more.

  • If you have ever felt called to more, it’s because you are called to more.

But the right kind of more. God uniquely created you, gave you gifts, set you apart, and called you:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. — Ephesians 4:1 NLT

When most Christians hear that they are called, they tend to think about do, not who. They wonder what task, ministry, or job God might be calling them to. Or if God has a specific place for them to live. Some worry they might even miss their calling.

  • A calling is one way to discover our do. But we learn in the Bible that, as with our attempts to change, a calling focuses on who before do.

In Genesis 12:1, God tells Abram,

Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

Verse 4 states, “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” There was no do yet, only who!

In the Ephesians 4 verse, Paul says you have been called to what? A life. “You have been called,” so you should “lead a life worthy of your calling.” And check out 2 Timothy 1:9:

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. — NLT

You are called not just to a life but to a holy life.

Yes, you are also called to a ministry, to a do, but that is secondary. Who comes before do. God has called you to a holy life, to be faithful to Him, to realize nothing else compares to “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8) and so to live, first and foremost, for Jesus.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. — Colossians 3:17

What God would have us do and where God would have us go is secondary. Whatever God has you do, you do that for Jesus. Wherever God puts you, you serve Jesus. That’s your calling.

Your calling is more about who you are becoming than what you are doing. Let me repeat — your calling is more about who you are becoming than what you are doing. You are called not only to serve Jesus but also to become more and more like Him. The more is discovered in the becoming.

Another way to say this is you are called first to salvation, then to sanctification, then to serving. Sanctification and serving will then run parallel until Heaven. The two work hand in hand.

Here’s what that looked like for me: In college, I was an absolute mess and as far from God as you can imagine. Then my fraternity got in a lot of trouble. Mostly as a public relations move at first, I decided to start a Bible study.

I began to read the Bible, specifically the Gospels. As I read, I felt drawn to Jesus, so I kept reading. Finally getting to Paul’s letters, I came to a verse in Ephesians that says you are saved by grace, not by works. That spoke to me because I knew I could never be good enough for God. I felt Him inviting me to put my faith in Jesus, and I did. God called me to salvation. I responded.

I was now a Christian, but I had no idea what that really meant. True story: I had a fraternity brother in my fraternity who, unrelated to me, also became a Christian. We decided to celebrate by going out and getting drunk. We just didn’t know any better yet.

I was a Christian, but I was nothing like Christ. Gradually, I came to know Jesus more and what it meant for me to live like Him. With God’s help, I started to not only identify sin but also say no to it.

As I grew in maturity, I would take several steps forward and then a couple back. That ongoing process, which is still happening today, of letting God’s Word, empowered by God’s Spirit, conform me to the image of Christ was God’s calling to sanctification. I was responding.

Before long, I realized I was also called to serve. In fact, after experiencing salvation and beginning to be transformed through God’s sanctification process, I felt compelled to serve. I felt Him calling me to become a pastor. It made no sense to me or to anyone else — as confusing as John Wick becoming a monk or a mongrel becoming a poodle — but His call was undeniable. I knew I had to answer.

Your call to serve will look different from mine. You might volunteer with teenagers, start a ministry, sing in a worship band, edit videos, or teach kids, but the process will be the same. God will call you to salvation, then sanctification, then service. Why? Because who comes before do.

Excerpted with permission from The Power to Change by Craig Groeschel, copyright Craig Groeschel.

* * *

Your Turn

Do you feel called to more? What do you hear the Lord saying to you (even if it seems impossible or truly unlikely for you)? Remember, no matter what, who comes before do! ~ Devotionals Daily