Encouragement for Today - Oct. 17, 2007



October 17, 2007


What You’re Called

By MaryBeth Whalen


“To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:5 (NIV)



Recently, my fifteen-year-old son posted this quote on our refrigerator message board:


It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you’re called to do.


After I read what he wrote, I thought about the message contained in that short thought. I thought about how that is exactly the way God sees us. There are many examples of this in the Bible, but I thought specifically of two.


When Gideon is hiding out threshing wheat in a winepress, the angel of the Lord comes to him and says, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12) Later, Gideon reveals that he is far from a mighty warrior. Instead he sees himself as a least of these. He says, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15). The angel of the Lord looked past what Gideon was called or how he saw himself. Instead he focused on what Gideon was called to do. He didn’t see a least of these, he saw a mighty warrior. He knew that Gideon had that potential within him if he would only trust God and take a step of faith. Gideon did, and a nation was saved.


Peter was the other example that came to my mind. Peter’s name was Simon, which meant “shifty.” But that is not what Jesus saw. He saw the potential within Peter. He immediately changed Peter’s name from Simon to Cephas (or, Peter), which means “rock” (John 1:42). Jesus looked past what Peter was called, to what He knew Peter would be called to do. Indeed, after Jesus’ ascension, Peter led the early church, preaching at Pentecost and rising to the calling on his life as the rock on which Jesus would build His church.


These stories bring me comfort as I think of the things I have been called in my life—the things I have believed about myself. I think of my shortcomings and my past, and I know that apart from God, I can do no good thing. My only hope is in the transformation God can and will work within me, day by day. In my own strength, I will always be a least of these, shifty and of no account. But in God’s hands, I can be a mighty warrior, a rock.


God doesn’t see me as I am, He sees me as I can be. He doesn’t leave us as we are, but renews us with each new day. It isn’t what I am called, it’s what I am called to do. I must remember that so I can become what God has already determined I can be.


Dear Lord, help me to see myself as You see me, not as what I have believed about myself in the past. Help me to hear Your voice speaking my real name. Help me to fulfill my calling so I can bring glory and honor to Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George


Do You Know Him?


Shaped With Purpose by Renee Swope


Marybeth Whalen’s blog


Application Steps: 

What names do you call yourself? Write them down. What names do you believe God wants you to be called? Cross out the old names and write down the new ones! Under that, write, “It isn’t what I am called, it’s what I am called to do.”



Is there something you have believed about yourself that is not true?


What obstacles stand between the Truth about your calling and your past perceptions? Pray and ask God to remove those obstacles so you can see the potential He sees.


Power Verses:

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV) 


Ephesians 3:22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (NIV)



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 17 October 2007.