To belong and to be called. I would say that these are two of the most sought-after things over the course of life. We all want to feel like we belong to something important, and that we’re an integral piece of that group. We also want to be individually strong, being called to a certain path by God that only we can fulfill through His strength and mercy.
However, the only way to do both of these things isn’t through ourselves at all, but through a deep, intimate connection with God. In a world that promotes inner strength coming solely from ourselves, I think it’s time to put things in a different perspective. When we believe our strength comes only from us, then it is harshly limited. However, when we accept the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can have infinite strength through a deep reliance on God. It seems to completely counter what this world tells us, but God creates a strength in us that we could never achieve on our own. Paul reveals this in Philippians:
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
-Philippians 4:12-13 NLT
Once we accept this newfound strength in Christ, we can then clearly see where our path is directed by God, which is where we find purpose within our lives. In essence, we discover our calling in the strength that comes from a deep dependence, and full trust in God. He is Almighty, and He will propel us through our mission for His Kingdom. See Romans 8:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
-Romans 8:28 NLT
In Christ, we become part of the church, which instantly creates belonging. We all belong in Christ because we are all loved by Him and lead by Him. We are all sinners who He redeemed from death, and in Him we have a community with an inexplicable bond. There is never a limit to the amount of souls that can be a part of the church; it is open to everyone. We see this continued in Romans 8:
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.“
-Romans 8:29-30 NLT
All in all, because we have Christ, we belong and we are called. We have community and purpose, but the complete sense of the two cannot be achieved without handing our lives over to Christ and allowing Him to direct each step.