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The Importance of Calling

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2021 8:00 am

The Importance of Calling

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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May 17, 2021 8:00 am

Self-help books are full of strategies that claim they’ll bring you success. But in this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans explains that real success only comes from following your custom- made calling from God. Learn more about the only way to find the satisfaction we all long for.


Everybody has a plan for your life. But Dr. Tony Evans explains why only God's plan will bring you the satisfaction you long for. You are successful when you have done what you are supposed to do, not what somebody else did or what everybody else thinks you ought to be doing. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Self-help books are full of strategies that claim to bring you success, but today Dr. Evans explains why real success only comes from following your custom-made calling from God.

Let's join him as he explains. One of the most noted catches of all time for those of you who go back in baseball was Yogi Berra, catcher from the New York Yankees. Yogi was taunting a batter one day.

In fact, it was a very well-known batter. His name was Hank Aaron, who was hitting for the Milwaukee Braves at the time, and Hank came up the bat. Yogi started messing with him and said, now Hank, before you swing, I noticed that you're holding the bat wrong. You're supposed to hold the bat so you are looking at the trademark. So if you expect to hit the ball, you need to watch the bat properly, hoping to get him distracted on the bat and not on the ball. The very next pitch, Hank Aaron hit the ball into the left-field bleachers. He rounded the plate, stepped on home plate, looked at Yogi and said, I didn't come here to read. You got to know why you're here, because if you don't know why you're here, then folk can throw you off.

If you don't know why you're here, then any old jostle will cause you to miss the ball and you be off cue. God is a God of purpose. He says in Psalm 33 verse 11 that He has plans. He says in Jeremiah 29, I have a plan for you.

Not a plan of evil, but a purposeful plan. You are here for a reason. The tragedy is that most folk never get around to the reason why they're here.

So they exist. A very empty, frustrated, irritating kind of life. I want to give you six reasons why discovering your calling is critical. Now I know many of you are saying, but yeah, but that's all nice, but I want you to tell me how I can find it.

Well, I can't tell you how you can find it until you're convinced you need it. And so we want to set the stage as we unfold this series to why your calling and discovering it is critical. First of all, knowing your calling addresses your fulfillment issues. Now all of us have issues, but one of the dominating issues today is lack of fulfillment. Jesus says in John 10 10, I have come to give you life and to give it to you more abundantly. I have come to give you a fulfilling life, a life that's not void, that's not empty.

I have come to fill you up with life as it was meant to be lived. Some, maybe most, get divorced because of lack of fulfillment. I'm not fulfilled in this relationship. I'm not fulfilling your needs.

You're not fulfilling my needs. Therefore, why should we continue to live together when living together is such a unfulfilling reality? This inner emptiness that dominates so many of us, even Christians, so that there is this lack of fulfillment. Well, lack of fulfillment is tied to lack of purpose, and lack of purpose is tied to lack of calling. If you don't know your calling, you cannot be fulfilled except artificially fulfilled. And artificial fulfillment is just that, artificial. It's not the real thing.

It's a cheap substitute. Nothing can replace finding and fulfilling your niche in life. Men find fulfillment in climbing the ladder. Men find fulfillment in the success. Men find fulfillment in getting to the top, in being number one.

But what a tragedy to climb the ladder to the top, and when you get there, discover it was leaning against the wrong wall. Because you were not elevating toward your purpose, you were just fulfilling some man-made scheme of who you ought to be. So far too many people are living unfulfilled lives, and there's one simple reason. They have no purpose. They have no God-ordained purpose, that is.

They have no supernatural reason for being. They cannot say, this is why you have me here. And until you can answer that question, your calling is fuzzy. It is unclear.

It needs to be clarified. Success is not what you have done compared to what others have done. Success is what you have done compared to what you were supposed to do.

You are successful when you have done what you are supposed to do, not what somebody else did or what everybody else thinks you ought to be doing. Because trust me, everybody has a plan for your life. Well, since you're gonna be listening to other folks' plans anyway, it might as well be God's. I have come to give you life, and I have come to give it to you more abundantly. Why are so many Christians not living an abundant life?

Because so many Christians are living a life without divinely-ordained purpose. There's a bumper sticker that I saw that you've seen, and it simply says, he who dies with the most toys wins. Okay?

That's dumb and wrong. Let me tell you how it ought to read. He who dies with the most toys dies.

Because no matter how many toys you leave behind, dead is still dead. So you really got to know why you're here. You've got to know why you've been put here, because that will answer the question of fulfillment. It's more important than any other discovery you will make in your life, bar none. Secondly, it will answer the issue of direction in life.

Paul says in 1st Corinthians chapter 9 verse 26, he says, Therefore I run in such a way as not without aim, I box in such a way as not beating the air. In other words, I'm not just out here aimlessly going around in circles. I have a direction for my life. I know where I'm going.

My direction is clear. If you don't know where you're going, then you don't know what route to take to get there. If you're going to build a building, the architect wants to know, what's it for?

Because if you don't tell him what it's for, you may want a hospital and he give you a bank. When I get on a plane, when you get on a plane, the stewardess or the pilot comes over the speaker and they make it clear, we're going to St. Louis. If you're not going to St. Louis, you do need to disembark and leave this plane.

And the reason is simple. The pilot is going to St. Louis whether you're going to St. Louis or not, so you have to adjust the way he's taking you or you're on the wrong flight. And his flight plan is tied to his destination.

Well, now that explains a lot. If you don't know your calling, if you're not even seeking your calling, then like a pinball machine, you try this and you try that, and you try this and that and this and that, and you could be 70 years old still trying stuff, because it wasn't tied to a destination. It wasn't tied to a calling that is a divinely ordained reason for being. You are simply meandering. The point is simple. Most companies have mission statements, goals. Our church is the cycling the church to impact the world.

Everything that we do in our program is fitting that broader goal. The problem of directionless living is that many of us are not moving toward our purpose, so therefore we're not moving in a clear direction. There's ambiguity, lack of clarity, and so we don't know, should I move here? Should I move there? Should I take this job? Should I not take this job? Because we're not clear on which way we ought to be going, so then we just say, oh, this pays more, it must be God's will. Many a mistake has been made going to a job just because it paid more. There's nothing wrong with it paying more.

It's everything wrong if it's paying more away from your calling, because I am sure in a crowd this size there are plenty of folks who've taken an increase in pay and a higher job who are more miserable, because it's not merely about money. Money is important, but your calling is bigger than that. When you find your calling, when your calling finds you, and we'll explain that as we go along, it will answer another question, and that is the question of stability.

In other words, circumstances will no longer control your decisions. See, a lot of us are blown about by every wind of situation. Something come up, we want to quit, run, you know, drown, anything we can come up with, because stuff is always coming up.

Look, stuff is always gonna come up. The question is, are you in your calling? Because if you're in your calling, God, because it's your calling, gives you the ability to handle the stuff that shows up in your calling. Paul says—and Paul was one of the most, you know, abused guys. I mean, he had language, boy, that I wouldn't—you know, he says in 2nd Corinthians 4, he says we had hardships and shipwrecks and, you know, he goes down this litany of stuff, and then he comes after all this mess. I mean, just one bad thing after another, and he comes in and says, yeah, but I'm fine, because he was in his calling. See, when you're in your calling, bad days are still bad, but they don't override the call. You see?

Don't override the call. He says in Romans chapter 8, verse 35, who shall separate us from the love of Christ, or tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or neckedness, or pearl, or sword? I'd call that a pretty bad day. He says, for it is written, for thy sake we're being put to death all day long.

That's another bad day. We are counted as sheep for the slaughter, and then he comes to verse 37 and says, but in all these things we are overwhelming conquerors through Him who loved us. Now that sounds like a contradiction. You tell me I'm in peril, I'm in sword, you tell me it's a bad day, I wake up bad, noonday bad, dinner time bad, go to bed bad, and when I lay down my head I say, oh, what a conquering day.

You know why? Because he says our position in Christ overrules our circumstances. What is true of that is true of your calling. One of the ways you know you're in your calling is on your worst day of your calling, you still know you called. On the worst day you still know you're right smack dab in the center of what God wants you to do, and therefore you can keep on going, because you've been called.

Dr. Evans will remind us of a familiar biblical example of remaining calm in the midst of a storm when he continues our message in just a moment. Stay with us. Kingdom Men, what's holding you back? Have you let the pain of the past break you? Are you broken down? Are you on the ground?

Or are you better than what's behind you? Tony Evans' brand-new and long-awaited sequel to Kingdom Man, Kingdom Men Rising, gives you the power to break what's broken you, to lift you from the ashes of life's flames. Our world needs you. Your community needs you.

Your family needs you. And with Kingdom Men Rising, you can gain access to the tools you need to rise up and overcome the opposition ahead. No more losers limp.

No more regret. Rise up and fight for what is yours, for what is ours. Kingdom Men, we rise together. Find out more at Also makes a great gift for a brother, husband, son, uncle, pastor, and more. is also the place where you can find out how to get a copy of the complete message series we've been hearing from today entitled, Called for a Purpose.

It explores the fact that God has handcrafted a specific purpose just for you, and that your life will be richer and more fulfilling once you understand that truth. Discover your destiny and your calling through the help of these messages, available both on CD and as digital downloads. And for a limited time, when you make a donation to support the work of The Urban Alternative, we'll say thanks by sending you all 12 messages in this two-volume collection, along with a bonus copy of Tony's popular companion book, Discover Your Destiny, Let God Use You Like He Made You. Just reach out today at to make your contribution and request. This is a limited time offer, so make your request right away. Again, that's, or call us at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by to help with your resource requests around the clock.

That's 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information for you later on, but right now, here's Dr. Evans with more of today's lesson. Jesus says in Matthew 4, he tells his disciples, let us go to the other side. But you remember what happened in the middle of the Sea of Galilee? A storm came, right? Trouble, trauma, a bad day. Things are rockin' and sockin' and the boat is about to turn over, and the disciples woke him up.

How can you be sleeping at a time like this? Get up, Jesus! The Bible says Jesus got up, said, peace be still, looked at his disciples, and said, oh yeah, of little faith. Now, how could Jesus be so cold? Sometimes God can be so cold. How come Jesus is being so cold? Simple, he knew where he was going.

He says, I'm going to the other side, so I'm going to sleep. I am not gonna panic like you gonna panic, cuz I know where I'm going. When you are cold and know where you are going, you don't panic when storms show up, because you know where you're going, because you're smack dab in the center of where he wants you to be, and God puts up a no-fly zone around you. If God says, let us go to the other side, that means he plans on getting there. Storm notwithstanding. In fact, he may allow the storm to see whether you believe the calling.

It's called the trial, in case you didn't remember. Paul said, because he was in his calling, he says, I know how to be abased, have nothing. I know how to be abound, have extra. In other words, my financial situation fluctuates. The Dow is up, the Dow is down, the NASDAQ is up, the NASDAQ is down. He says, but whether my day is up or down, whether it's a good year or a bad year, it really doesn't matter, because I have learned to be content. And whatever state I find myself, cuz I find myself where he wants me to be.

I'm right smack dab where he wants me to be whether the finances are up or down. Here's a big clue. It answers the question of significance. Too many of us feel insignificant.

Guess what? Your calling is your calling, and only you can be called to your calling. In other words, you matter. Psalm 139 says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. If you ever feel insignificant, read Psalm 139. God says, He stitched you in your mama's womb. He made you exactly like He wanted you to be. He put you in the race He wanted you to be a part of. He made you the gender that He wanted you to be. If I was a man, you're beautiful as a woman, because that's what He wanted you to be. He has made you exactly what He wanted you to be. He's given you the features unique to you, because you matter in your significance. God has so arranged it to allow the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences to occur in your life so that they would help facilitate you for your calling. See, you got to think about that, because that's deep. That stuff that you went through as a child or as a teenager, that experience that you can't shake off of your mind and you wonder, why did God let me go through that? When you get your calling and God the Holy Ghost plays back the tape, you're going to see how He took all that mess and plugged it into the miraculous purpose for which He called you.

It was all part of the plan. God doesn't create sin, God doesn't cause sin, but God uses sin for His greater glory. He doesn't cause it, He doesn't create it, but He makes full use of it. All of us have warranties. Those warranties are given by the company who stand behind the product. Your calling is a warranted product. It has God's warranty on it. He'll always stand behind your calling, because it's His product, because remember, nobody ever calls themselves.

You have to be called by the producer of the product. So the calling has to come from God, but God warranties everything He calls. And that's why, if you read it too fast, you'll miss it. Look here in Romans chapter 8, verse 26, and in the same way the Spirit also helps weaknesses. For we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He searches the heart, knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes with the saints, now notice this, according to the will of God. In other words, the Holy Spirit only talks to God on your behalf if what you're talking to God about is what God is interested in talking about, which is His calling.

You say, how do you know it's His calling? Because verse 26 and 27 are, shall we say, connected to verse 28? And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and to those who are what? Those who are what? Those who are what? To His what? To His what? There you go.

So watch this now. If you are, watch this, called according to His purpose, now you can pray because the Holy Ghost got something to talk to God about when you talk. Most of us talking a lot about nothing, because it's not related to our calling, our purpose. That's where the Holy Spirit's presence resides.

That's where His power resides. God always provides. That's why you want to be in your calling. We are all creatures of time. Ecclesiastes 1 says there's a time, chapter 3 verse 1 and verse 11, there is a time for everything. God has a clock. But God is not obligated to the clock because God is eternal. So God sits outside of the clock. We're obligated to the clock because we are not eternal.

We sit inside of time. That's why Ephesians chapter 5 verses 15 and 16 says, redeem the time. Buy it back. Don't lose it. Don't waste it.

Make the most out of it. Because the days are evil, He says. Time is given for one reason. Let me tell you what time is given. Time is given to accomplish your purpose.

If God has ordained you to live to be 75, that is because God ordained that at age 75 you should have completed your purpose. Time is related to purpose. We set our clocks to get up at 8.30 because we have to get up at 8.30 or 6.30 or 5.30, whatever time it is, because we have a purpose.

We have to go to work. Time is tied to purpose. Therefore, if you don't have purpose, you will not use time wisely. You will waste it, abuse it, misuse it, not learn from it. Now that creates a problem because many of us have wasted a lot of time. What your calling does is it gives you God's perspective on your use of your time you have left, okay? But I know what you're saying. You're saying, what if I lost my time? I got saved at 20, I fooled around till I was 45. Now I want to find my calling.

What do I do? Because that doesn't change my time. In fact, I have now less time. Well, thank God for grace because the Bible says He can give you back the years the locusts have taken away.

Don't throw in the towel yet just because you're starting later, but neither should you use that as an excuse for waiting because nobody here knows how much time they had. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about the satisfaction of fulfilling your mission in life from a message entitled, The Importance of Calling. If you'd like to hear it again or pass it along to a friend, you can receive a copy on CD or digital download. Better yet, this lesson also comes as a part of Tony's current two-volume series, Called for a Purpose, 12 full-length messages designed to help you find and fulfill your unique mission from God. And right now, when you make a donation to the Urban Alternative and request this complete series, we'll be happy to send you a bonus, a copy of Tony's popular book, Discover Your Destiny, Let God Use You Like He Made You. As I mentioned earlier, we're offering this entire package as our thank you when you support the ministry of Dr. Evans here on this station and around the world. This is a limited-time offer, so be sure to visit today, where you can also sign up for Tony's free weekly email devotional. Again, that's, or call our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our friendly team members assist.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Nobody succeeds without commitment. But commitment to what? Dr. Evans will answer that very important question for us tomorrow. I hope you'll join us. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-18 06:35:40 / 2023-11-18 06:44:51 / 9

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