In Paul’s message to the many Christian converts in the churches he founded across the Greco-Roman world in the first- century, nowhere does Paul instruct these Christians to “pull-up stakes,” gather up their belongings, and to “hit the road” as missionary evangelists in imitation of his own unique calling of God.
Except for those very few who were called-out to join Paul for some portion of his missionary travels, and those in the future who might be called to the mission field, it was expected that these Christians in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica would carry on in their professions and trades in the commendable “occupy til I come” mode (Lk. 19:13).
The fruits of the Spirit as enumerated by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23…such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance…have no connection to some special once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to a sacred mountain or some holy shrine.
They are obtained by Christians through daily walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).
This we can do right where we find ourselves, through prayer, Bible study, listening to God, and stepping-out in obedience to His voice…none of which necessarily requires going anywhere special or doing anything grandiose through self-energized good works.
Becoming a transformed new person “in Christ” ready to share our testimony (1 Peter 3:15) and following Jesus by faith (Jn. 6:29) is the foundation for a life pleasing to God.
In other words, we do not have to have a spectacular calling and a renowned ministry to please God.
All of the things that are typically considered commendable and admirable…financially supporting our families, performing our best at work, investing time in our marriages, raising our children with wisdom, love, and patience, being a good friend, and setting an example to the world of what a Christian man or woman of God ought to be, amongst several other similar things, are all endeavors which without question or controversy please God and make Him proud of us.
I believe that some of the larger realities of life…building a good marriage, raising children, and pursuing excellence in our chosen careers…already have built-in journeys of faith pre-written into them.
These are pre-scripted, ready to use, out-of-the-box vehicles the Holy Spirit can use to lead people into the “all truth” of John 16:13….challenging, complex, and needing the participation of God in our lives…just as much as a calling to become Christian missionaries in parts of Africa, New Guinea, or Nepal.