Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

Romans 1: 1

This is the opening thought that Paul sets forth in Romans, and he states two really big ideas in this short sentence. First, Paul was called by God; the Lord had something in mind for Paul to be doing, and He communicated that something to Paul. Second, in responding to God, Paul was set apart; he was removed from the place in the world that he had previously occupied, and through the miracle of inclusion into God’s household, he was granted a new identity and a new purpose in life; thus, Paul became a distinct individual whose greatest mission was to do the will of God.

This is also true for everyone else who decides to follow Jesus. You and I are also called by God; He has a plan for our lives and He has given each of us specific skills and granted us certain favors that He will use in us to answer that calling. Also, God takes everyone who responds to Him, and He takes us out of the world that we were living in before and provides us with a new perspective and a new mission within that life. It is not like we are living in some form of fairy tale, however, where the changes happen to us, and we are not really participants in them. God effects the essential change within us by giving us His Spirit; yet, He continues to dialogue with us over the remainder of our lives, and He continues to reveal His calling to us, and we continue to surrender ourselves to being separated from our old lives.

The daily challenge that I face is in listening to God’s call and in humbly giving up control of aspects of my life to Him so that I can respond to it more fully. The Lord is speaking every day, and He has a mission in mind for each of us to respond to every day. Am I willing to follow Paul’s leading and set aside my own desires and anticipations in order to answer?