How to Know What God Called You to Do - Gifts

3 May 2020
Series: Calling

Speaker: Austin Rammell

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Bible Passage: Colossians 1:16–17

God uses our gifting to help us know and faithfully live out our calling. Join us as we learn how! #Calling #DareToVenture

How to Know What God Called You to Do – Gifts


Last week we looked at the very rare but very obvious way that God calls people … that is, when He places a special calling on someone by announcing it in an obvious and sometimes spectacular way so that the person He is calling and even sometimes others, can without a doubt know that it was God who called them to do it! However, 99% of us will never experience audibly hearing God’s voice calling us or a spectacular event or demonstration of God’s calling.

In speaking of a different context Paul cited a universal principle that applies to what I’m saying. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Paul says, “we walk by faith and not by sight” … so in this context that means 99.9% of us will have to find and live out our calling by a faith that has no self-evident obvious tangible direction from God!!! Our Calling is NOT going to be by an audible announcement of God or a spectacular demonstration of His will, but rather in an act of faith.

So that then leads to another conversation … the one we will have this week and next. How do we act on faith … that is … how do we know “what” to by faith believe that God has called us to do if we have no self-evident obvious tangible direction from God? Essentially the answer to that question breaks down into 2 general concepts:

God uses our gifts and desires to point us to what He has called us to do.

  1. Gifting … what we are going to explore today and …
  2. Desire or passion … What we’re going to explore next week.

To begin we need to remember that faith is at the core an action based on truth. Faith is proceeding forward in life and practice, not on the whim of whatever we want to do and wherever we want to go, but rather, proceeding forward with our life based on what God has made clear about Himself, His Gospel, His will that is universal to all who are His children, His purpose is in the world, and with a keen eye to the glory that His purpose is are taking us too!!!

So if we’re going to figure out our calling by faith then we need To know the truth we’re supposed to base that faith on. What then are the truths we need to know? Therefore….


There are 3 Biblical truths that are essential for us to remember as we use our gifting to point us to what we believe God is calling us to do.

God made everything for His purposes and glory! (Colossians 1:16–17)

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16–17)

This rids the idea that anything in creation is accidental or made without the purpose of glorifying Him!!

Now that is a tremendously huge topic that can take us into centuries of conversations that have never been resolved because it is ultimately a conversation about the mind and will of God. The Bible gives us the title of the book on the mind and will of God and even some of the chapter headings but it is also very clear that we will never understand the details because we do not have in our ability to see the universe as God sees it … much less the mental capacity and power to operate as God operates! Therefore, I strongly challenge you to embrace the encouragement of God’s sovereignty and avoid the egotistical foolish arrogance of trying to explain it! …

And in doing so here is what we need to know … ALL THINGS and EVERYBODY in every way have been made for His glory!!! … now I’ll build on this more as we go … but we have to start there …

ok … that leads us to the 2nd Biblical truth that is essential for us to remember as we use our gifting to point us to what God has called us to do …

God custom makes everyone to productively participate in society. For believers, this includes how we serve the church and advance the Gospel.

As we said last week, God’s sovereignty does not stop at salvation! He is sovereign over everything which includes creating me as a unique and special person. I am custom made by God! The Scriptures are clear and blunt about God’s sovereignty over every detail of my creation …

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 60:48)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

This does not apply to some people and not other people … or some gifts and not other gifts in that it doesn’t just apply to gifts and their use in the church … but all gifts and application of them to providing for ourselves, our family and our society … it applies to ALL! …

One of the prime Examples of this is a story in the book of exodus chapter 31 verses one through 11

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Beza-lel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, 8the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, 9and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10 and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”(Exodus 31:1-11)

When the Jews came out of Egypt they had been using these gifts to benefit their families and each other as they labored for Pharaoh. This use of their gifts did not stop when they left Egypt but they continued to have to make and produce all the things society needed and consequently that they could trade with one another and the other societies they interacted with and traded with in order to provide for their families and their society. …

It was later that God, who had already filled Bezalel with the Spirit (first use of that phrase in the Bible) to have the “ability, intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship,” that He clearly announced a use for those gifts to be used in the building of the Tabernacle, All of the gifting did not suddenly come upon all the people of Israel when God needed to build a Tabernacle but rather they had been using their gifts “secularly” … that is in LIFE … to simply provide for their families and society … this was no less a calling than when God called them to use it for the Tabernacle … think about it …

… At this point in the history of Israel God is establishing them as a nation. At the center of this nation then is the worship of Him because it is His nation and therefore the building of the Tabernacle was an important part to keep God’s glory at the center. The Tabernacle was however built fairly rapidly meaning if their talents was only meant for the sacred they then had nothing to do … however God had given them their talents before the Tabernacle and thus those talents were still needed after the Tabernacle for that which brought him glory – the provision of their families and the benefit of society …

This leads us to the 3rd Biblical truth that is essential for us to remember as we use our gifting to point us to what God has called us to do …

God will hold us accountable to maximize the use of our gifts.

There’s Scripture everywhere that point us to this truth but let me share three with you … the first two are just plain as day that God intends for us to use our gifts in a way that glorifies him … and thus implying He will hold us accountable to that!!! … Jesus said,

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

I read to you the first part of Colossians where Paul made it clear everything is made by God and made for His glory … therefore to no surprise as Paul begins to transition into the conclusion of his letter he writes this …

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23)

But perhaps one the most telling stories in the Bible that highlights this Biblical truth is a parable of Jesus …

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30)

In the parable of the talents the primary context is money but the general context is gifts whether that gift be money or abilities. In the parable clearly the master expects them to do the best job they can and rewards them for faithfully using their talents to the best of their ability … however … the one who doesn’t use his talent is punished!! …

Therefore, matching the theme of this parable with other passages makes it easy for us to deduce that it is a Biblical truth that God will judge everyone for how they used their gifts and talents because He is the one who gave them those talents. …

We certainly know that God will judge us on how we ethically and morally used those talents both in our effort, in our honesty, integrity, methodology and in our purpose … but we also see a tremendous freedom on how to use those talents. Notice that Jesus did not judge them on if they went and doubled that money the way he wanted them to but rather what he wanted them to do was double the money!!! …

Therefore I’m not suggesting that God does not call us to a place and a particular method, but I am suggesting that in faith, as we apply our gifts ethically, morally and in the law of love, as we do that with the best of our ability and wisdom, we must by faith trust that He is going to place us in the context He wants us to be!!!! …

Therefore if I am by faith using my gifts at their fullest and using them in the place that I feel they are attaining their fullest potential then I need to proceed forward in the confidence of faith … Laboring for His glory without worry!!!

Oz Guinness tells the story of a man grappling with His abilities and feeling as if the only way he could honor God was to be on staff in a church. When he finally realized that was ridiculous he put his gifts to work in his passion for finance and investment on Wall Street and as such made millions that he in turn used to fund missions all over the world!!!

SO … putting this all together …


Gifting normally points to calling therefore what I have realistic a potential of doing with excellence is likely what God is calling me to do.

Now sometimes God doesn’t gift until after there is faith … but that again is the very rare case even in the Bible … God has made us to be good at certain things … and most of the time that is what He has called us to do to provide for ourselves, our family, constructively participate in society and if you are a believer to in some way even to support the church and advance the Gospel … even if it’s just the arena to live out the Gospel and financially support the church.

i.e. I can sing but I’m not great at it … so I sing to the Lord in worship but its clearly not what God has called me to do in leading the church or trying to make a living!


Pride. Don’t view yourself through the lens of your “gifts.”

Your gifts are not your value … notice the three people in the parable of the talents were all equally servants of the Master but all had different levels of abilities…and were given different quantities of money to invest based on the different level of abilities they had … but they were all SERVANTS of the master … likewise …

We have to remember our ultimate CALLING … our EXTRAORDINARY calling is not our gifts and careers but our identity and purpose … we are CHILDREN of God who are called to love God, love each other and engage the world far from God with the gospel Jesus Christ and no one follow him!!!!

Self-serving. Never forget your gifts are for His glory!

No matter how we use our gifts however we can become self serving when the intention of our gifts is our own glory. The heart is wicked and deceitful above all things and we have to realize this is not a one and done fight but an ongoing battle. We will always find ways to use our gifting to serve ourselves rather than the glory of God and we’re creative enough that we can find ways to serve ourselves and slap just enough glory of God on there to convince ourselves that it was actually for him when it was really all about us.

This is why we as Christians are so reliant on the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and why the Bible instructs us to live in community with other believers who know us enough to recognize the sinful motives of our heart when they began to dominate our life.

Jealousy. God intentionally made and gifted you to be you!

I see the success of the use of my gift against the success of others and get jealous of those that are more successful than me …

OR … I see others gifts as more awesome or more valuable to society or more apt to be praised And I find myself wanting to be somebody that the eternally loving creator of the universe in his all powerful all knowing sovereign loving will decided to not make me!!!

Story of when Peter began to express jealousy about how things were going to go for him as opposed to John.

This Week’s Music

Never Gonna Stop Singing
Jesus Culture/Kim Walker-Smith
© 2015 Jesus Culture Music, Capitol CMG Genesis, Brand Vaughan Music, Songsmiff Publishing (Admin Capitol CMG Publishing) Richmond Park (Admin by Essential Music Publishing). CCLI Song No. 7054533. Words and music by Ran Jackson/Matt Vaughan/Tom Smith

Yes I Will
Vertical Worship
© 2018 All Essential Music, HBC Worship Music, Jingram Music Publishing, Be Essential Songs, Upside Down Under, Hickory Bill Doc, So Essential Tunes (Admin by Essential Music Publishing). CCLI Song No. 7105442. Words and music by Eddie Hoagland/Mia Fieldes/Jonathan Smith.

Canvas and Clay
Pat Barrett
© 2019 S.D.G. Publishing, Vamos Publishing, Housefires Sounds, Capitol CMG Genesis, Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin by Capitol CMG Publishing) Bread and Wine Sounds (Admin by Watershed Music Publishing). CCLI Song No. 7133880. Words and music by Chris Tomlin/Ben Smith/Pat Barrett

Study Notes