Purpose, Calling, and Spurgeon

On May 3, 1850, one hundred and sixty one years ago today, Charles Spurgeon publicly professed his faith in Jesus Christ in a humble Methodist chapel in Colchester England. He was 16 years old. The following year, 17-year-old Charles would preach his first sermon, signaling the beginning of a pastoral vocation that would span the next 41 years until his death in 1892.

Four years after his conversion, at the ripe old age of 20, Spurgeon became the pastor of the famed New Park Street Church. By 1861 the church had outgrown three different buildings and Sunday attendance regularly topped 10,000 people. He was 27.

“12Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” -1 Timothy 4:12

I will be turning 27 this year. In many ways I still struggle with trying to discern what the Lord’s calling on my life is. I often feel like I am too young, or too inexperienced, or that I lack the knowledge needed to walk in His callings.

There are two things that I believe to be inherently wrong with my aforementioned thought process. The first is an indirect reliance on self instead of on God, and the second is an incorrect emphasis on calling instead of purpose.

“13for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” –Philippians 2:13

I would never consciously choose self-reliance over a reliance on God, but that is exactly what I inadvertently do when I worry about my lack of age, knowledge, or experience. The focus has become my lack instead of God’s abundance. The truth is that it is God who is at work in me and He is sufficient to provide for all my insufficiencies.

“31Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31

The second error in my thought process is focusing on my calling instead of on my purpose. We were created for God. Plain and simple. It is only in Him that our purpose is found. Our purpose is to glorify God through our worship of Him (John 4:23), reliance on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), satisfaction in Him (Psalm 17:15), and general exultation of Him (Psalm 99), originating from a place of genuine love and adoration of Him as our treasure. Our calling is simply the long-term mode through which we enact our purpose. Focusing on our calling is like putting the cart before the horse. Our purpose should be the driving force behind all that we do. If we walk in our purpose, we are sure to find ourselves smack dab in the middle of our calling.

Charles Spurgeon grabbed hold of his purpose. He glorified God in the way that seemed most obvious to him, exalting Him through the proclamation of His Word. He did this regardless of his age, period of salvation, or training. He didn’t seek after his calling but instead embraced his purpose and in so doing, found himself caught up in his calling.

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About Brandon Cantello

Husband to Nicole, Lover of God, Dependent on the Spirit, Passion for His Church. My name is Brandon. I love Jesus. For more visit My Blog

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  1. We are the curators of Christ | Brandon Cantello - June 22, 2011

    […] not just containers; we’re curators of the glorious power of Jesus! Brandon once shared the ease in which we focus on ourselves when we consider the failure or success rate of our calling. He befittingly rephrases the […]

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