Recently I was asked, “What is a calling?” There has been a lot written on this, but my answer was simply, It first and foremost is an invitation to be with Jesus and secondly to follow Him into an assignment He is giving you.

Jesus’ first invitation set the standard for all when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Jerry, my mentor, reminds me frequently, “Being with Him, staying close, listening to Him is the first and most important ingredient of any calling. The minute the ministry (the task) overshadows intimacy with Jesus, the supernatural flow of His life diminishes.” In fact, Jesus warned us of this very thing when He told us, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Two workers we are close to told my wife and I this week that, “The Father seems distant.”  Remember, B4T will never succeed in and of our own strength.  The secret Jesus modeled for us is to be constantly watching the Father. He modeled this for us in John 5:19 when He said, “I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.  When He gives us an assignment it includes our living in the same way — abide in Him (John 14:10; 15:1-8).

Know yourself; know your own relationship with Jesus.  What draws you close to Jesus?  What nourishes the Holy Spirit within you?  Journaling, fasting, meditation, memorization, worship, praying thru Scripture, intercession, silence, isolation?  Whatever helps you abide in Him, be sure you invest adequate time being with Jesus.  Remember you did not volunteer, He called you.  It’s His calling/assignment, so allow Him do His B4T work through you.

Carving out private time with God at the beginning of each day has always been my source of what Peter calls “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). For me the work of God starts here, is fed here, and refreshes my closeness, setting the tone for the entire day. Our calling flows from relationship – abide in Him.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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