What is a heavenly calling? Is it common to all believers or is it unique and specific to each one? Clearly, God has set each of us on a unique path that we must travel on for His purposes. But common to all of us is our one united purpose: to give God the praise and glory in everything we become and do. (1 Cor. 10:31). Hebrews 3:1 talks of a heavenly calling that all believers are partakers of. ‘Calling’ in this verse means a “summon” and this particular passage points to a calling that all believers have been summoned to. Scriptures give various insight on our heavenly calling or what we are called to.
Called out of Darkness into Light
In 1 Peter 2:9 we find that the redeemed “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Cor. 1:9 says, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” Acts 1:8 tells us that with the Holy Spirt inside us, empowering and guiding us, God’s children will bear witnesses of Him across the globe.
God has called His elect for redemption and that doesn’t stop there. We are called out of darkness into His wonderful light. This means there is a change of destination, a change of direction, and a change of situation. We now are destined for heaven, walking in pursuit of His plans for our lives, and walking in the light of His Word. We also know that in all pursuits, bearing witness of the God who saved us is the utmost goal. A life lived in the light will demonstrate to the lost a very big difference in how we are faring compared to how they are faring. There is spiritual clarity and in the midst of doubts and changes, we stay solidly strong because we trust in a loving and an unfailing God.
Called to a Holy Life
God, the Holy One, desires holiness in our lives. In Leviticus 11:44 He says, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” He repeats immediately in the following verse: “Be holy, for I am holy.” Paul in 2 Tim. 1:9 gives insight by saying, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.”
To live holy is to live separate and unique. It is to be different in mind and heart from those who live worldly or unspiritual. It is not a call to sinless perfection in rituals, but there is a call for growth and change, for betterment. It is a call for a heart and life that imitates the heart and life of God. It is a call to take on the mind of Christ, to be imitators of Him in every way possible. (Philippians 2).
Christians are not called to cut themselves off from the world nor to distance themselves from the lost. We are Christ bearers. We are to be among the people so that they have easy access to finding God through us. But as ambassadors for Christ, we are not to take on their identity nor their priorities and methodologies which go against the delight and honor of God. Let us be careful to fulfill our heavenly calling and never sacrifice it just so we can blend in with the crowd and be accepted of them. Let’s be bold about being different as God desires us to be so that they will know their need and seek the God they see at work in our lives.