Devotions / Apr 11, 2017
God’s Call: The True Vine Keeps Growing
By: Connor Kenaston
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything.” - John 15:5, CEB
When I turned twenty, I remember being frustrated at all those who’d ever asked me who I was going to be. As I entered my third decade, I realized that, with a life expectancy of eighty, I’d already lived a quarter of my life! By constantly asking future-focused questions, do we diminish life as it exists in the present?
Young adults in particular can be susceptible to this future-obsessed line of thinking, and this can put an enormous amount of pressure on the present. Freshmen stress over selecting courses because (in their minds) the courses they choose will determine their major, which will determine their internships, which will determine their graduate programs, which will determine their future jobs, which will determine their possibilities for self-actualization. With this logic, the course you choose as a freshman in college determines your life’s potential for happiness and fulfillment.
I think the realization that God is continuously calling us is... liberating
But how do you know for sure where God is calling you many decades down the road? Though some may hear God calling them at age five to be an astronaut and that call remains consistent for the rest of their life, that is not the case for most of us. This can be frustrating because we want to know whether or not we’re heeding God’s call—we want to believe there’s a plan and we simply have to follow the plan.
But ultimately, I think the realization that God is continuously calling us is really more liberating, even if it is a little scary. When we embrace that God remains with us and in us no matter where life leads, we shift our concerns from choosing the right path to how we are loving God and other people.
God is an in-game God, not an end-game God.
By reorienting our lives from an inward-focused attempt to follow a master plan to an outward-focused expression of love, we create space for God to fill. God may have indeed called Simon and Andrew to be fishermen, but that call was not static. Later, Jesus encouraged them to drop their nets, follow him, and learn how to “fish for people” (Matthew 4:22, CEB). The disciples’ flexibility allowed Jesus to sprout new life in their hearts as their call shifted from self to others.
I don’t have to know “what I want to be when I grow up” because God is an in-game God, not an end-game God. And because God will continue to live in me and call me throughout my life, I know I don’t have to stress about whether or not a decision I make is part of an overall plan. For God will continue to produce fruit in my life and with my life, all the days of my life.
Discussion Question: How has God’s call changed throughout your life?