Do you ever feel like you’ve been set apart or singled out by God for a special purpose or calling? If so, you may have been marked by God. Being marked by God is a biblical concept that refers to being chosen, appointed, or destined by God for divine service and blessing. In this post, let’s explore what it really means to be marked by God and how you can discover your unique calling.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible says that you have been marked with a seal – the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). This spiritual seal signifies that you belong to God and serves as a deposit guaranteeing your future redemption. So in one sense, every Christian has been marked by God.
But there are examples in Scripture of certain people being specially marked out or set apart by God for specific purposes. When this happens, God makes it clear through supernatural encounters, prophetic words, providential circumstances, and the witness of the Spirit. Those who are uniquely marked by God then carry a distinct calling and anointing from the Lord.
Here are three key things to understand about being marked by God:
- It involves a clear calling from God on your life
- It results in God-given gifts and abilities to fulfill that calling
- It requires faithfully stewarding your marking for God’s kingdom purposes
The rest of this post will unpack each of these aspects of being marked by God. Our goal is to help you discern if God has distinctly marked you and how to live out that special call. Keep reading to learn more!
A Clear Calling from God
The first characteristic of those who are markedly chosen by God is that they have received a clear calling from the Lord. In Scripture, we see examples of the Lord directly selecting and commissioning certain people. The Lord spoke to Moses through the burning bush and called him to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3). God appeared to the prophet Samuel as a boy and called him into prophetic ministry (1 Samuel 3). The apostle Paul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, and was appointed as “a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15).
In each case, God initiated the call and made His purposes plainly known. Those who are marked by God have had a definite, unmistakable encounter with the Lord where He asks them to carry out a specific mission. It is not something they choose for themselves – it is a summons from above. God through His Spirit makes it clear by saying: “This is who I created you to be. This is the assignment I am entrusting to you.”
There are several common ways God calls and marks out His people:
- Through Scripture – Certain passages jump off the page, with the Holy Spirit quickening them as a rhema word and calling.
- Prophetic words – God will often confirm a call through other believers who prophesy over your life.
- Providential circumstances – Doors open, resources come through, obstacles are removed as you step into your calling.
- Inner witness of the Spirit – There is an inner knowing and joyful confidence that this is God’s will for you.
- Supernatural encounters – Some experience dreams, visions, prophetic impressions, even angelic visitations related to their call.
If you have received a definite summons from God through one or more of these means, rejoice! You have the privilege of being marked by God for special service in advancing His kingdom. The Lord has handpicked you to carry divine purposes in the earth. While this is sobering, it is also thrilling to know that the Lord wants to use you in a unique way.
God-Given Gifts and Abilities
When God marks you out, He also equips you. Those who are set apart by God for specific callings will discover new gifts, talents, and spiritual empowerment. If Moses had to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel out by his own strength alone, he would have failed. But Moses experienced the supernatural power of God, including miraculous signs and wonders. Samuel was just a boy, but as he grew into his prophetic ministry, the word of the Lord proved reliable through him (1 Samuel 3:19-21). From his first missionary journey onward, the Spirit worked mightily through Paul, with healings, tongues, and many conversions confirming his calling.
God doesn’t just hand you a task without also giving you the anointing and capacity to fulfill it. He will develop certain gifts within you for the assignment:
- Teaching ability – for those called as pastor-teachers
- Evangelism – for those appointed as evangelists
- Prophecy – for those marked as prophets
- Faith – for those establishing new ministries
- Healing – for those called to healing ministry
- Helps, Administration – for those serving behind the scenes
Along with spiritual giftings, God may also strengthen certain natural talents needed for your ministry or mission. Your personality, passions, temperament – the way God shaped you – all work together for His purposes as you walk in your calling.
So if you feel marked by God but wonder, “What do I have to offer?” know that He wants to develop and use the unique way He gifted you! Being marked by God is not primarily about duty or striving. As you cooperate with His Spirit, He will pour out empowering and equipping so you can thrive in the good works He prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10). You have the joy of being His chosen vessel.
Faithful Stewardship of Your Marking
Once it becomes clear that God has uniquely marked you and begun equipping you for a special assignment, you have the privilege and responsibility of stewarding this call. Your role is to remain surrendered and dependent on the Lord so His purposes can be accomplished through your life. Here are several ways to faithfully steward your marking:
- Stay in close fellowship with God through Word, worship, prayer, and obedience. You need to hear the Shepherd’s voice and follow His leading (John 10:27).
- Remain humble and teachable – Pride over gifts or callings cuts you off from the Source. Stay usable in God’s hands.
- Deal decisively with sin issues – Sin gives the enemy a foothold from which to attack you. Walk in holiness.
- Find a community of believers who can encourage and mentor you as you walk out your purpose. We need faithful friends to keep us sharp (Proverbs 27:17).
- Keep pursuing growth – God has much He wants to develop in you. So stay hungry and teachable.
- Use wisdom in life decisions – Consider how choices about career, relationships, finances, lifestyle can best align with your calling.
- Persevere through difficulties and delays – The walk of faith rarely goes just as we hoped. But stand firm (Galatians 6:9).
- Stay focused on eternal rewards – Knowing these outweigh any earthly cost (Matthew 6:19-21).
The Lord has appointed you for a unique kingdom purpose. Cooperate with Him fully by being a faithful steward. If you stumble, repent and get back up again. As long as you are pursuing His purposes, you are succeeding. What an honor to be used by the King and to administer the affairs He has assigned to you (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
We have looked at how being marked by God means receiving a clear calling from Him, being equipped with spiritual gifts and talents for your assignment, and then stewarding it all with humility and perseverance. While every believer has the call to live for Christ, some are appointed by God for specialized ministries and missions.
If this resonates in your spirit, prayerfully consider that the Lord may have distinctly marked you out! He wants to use you powerfully for His glory. Walk in intimacy with Him and follow His leading each step. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Stay surrendered to the call, and you will experience the joy of partnering with God in fulfilling His wondrous purposes. To every reader, whether specially marked out or not, God says: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).