So often when trying to define God’s call on my life, I felt like His plans for me were elusive and intangible. In reality, however, I had placed obstacles in my own life that made it hard to hear what He was so patiently and clearly telling me. As God’s handiwork, we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our one job is to be obedient to Him and He will take care of everything else.
1. Just Go With It
When God repeatedly told me to write, my mind was flooded with thoughts like “But what will this lead to?”, “Will this be worth it?” and “Am I SURE this is what He is telling me?” It was in the midst of this doubt that I read Luke 1, where the angel Gabriel tells Zechariah about the imminent birth of his son, John the Baptist. Zechariah answers in disbelief saying, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
The angel responds to his lack of faith by taking away his voice until the day of John’s birth. In other words, believe God when He tells you to do something the first time. Don’t spin your wheels by questioning Him but be obedient to the last thing God told you to do – even if you don’t understand it. He will be sure to show you the next step in His perfect time.
2. It’s God’s Calling, Not Yours
C.S. Lewis once said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.” Pray for God to redirect your focus to “HIS WILL” instead of “his will for ME”. Don’t chase your call but chase the God who calls you.
God is our only source of power and strength so if we focus on ourselves, even while trying to do good things, we will surely fall flat on our face. God has given us each different gifts and talents but without His power burning bright in us, we are like a candle without a flame. A candle can have a uniquely colorful glow and aroma, but without the flame, it cannot fulfill its true purpose of providing light.
3. You Have Gifts and Talents
There are various spiritual gift surveys online including this one that can give you an idea as to what your God-given gifts are. In addition, be aware of your talents. Maybe you are great at decorating, gardening or baking. Perhaps God wants you to combine your gift of encouragement and baking skills to make gifts for neighbors as a means to reach out to them. Be prayerful about God can use your gifts and talents to honor Him.
4. Uncover Your Fears
Don’t allow fears to deter you from following God’s plans. Allow them to be the very catalyst that drives you to the foot of the cross. Be mindful of fears when they come into your thought life. Take those opportunities to not only hand over the fear to God in prayer, but to submit the entire situation over to Him. For example, maybe I realize I am nervous about a meeting with my daughter’s teacher. Instead of giving just the fear over to God in prayer, pray to give the entire situation to Him in prayer. Let your fear be a prompt or reminder that highlights opportunities to allow God to intercede through you as you give the entire situation over to Him.
5. Your Calling Is Closely Tied To What You Enjoy
In most sports, there is that feeling you get…just like when you hit a tennis ball on the sweet spot of your racket. You get a good spin on the ball and you know the racket was used exactly how it should be used. Always be watchful for that same feeling. When you find yourself in the middle of a task, hobby or job and notice that same satisfaction, know that you have found the point where your God-given talents align with the tasks He has laid before you. When you approach the point where your gifts and calling intersect, have found your sweet spot.
6. Be tenacious in pursuing your God-given goals.
Sharpening our gifts and talents will take work. Within the work lies the preparation, growth and character-building that will be necessary when His plans are fully realized. Development is part of the process because God wants us to make sure we are ready for all He has planned. It’s through working towards our God-given goals that He prepares us for the task at hand. The work God does within us while we wait is just as important as what we are waiting for.
7. Stay in the Word
It’s much like drinking coffee for the first time. At first, you drink coffee in the morning because you know it will help you get through your day. But before you know it, it’s a habit, something you crave and can’t make it through the day without. Know that time in God’s Word is not wasted and God’s Word cannot return void. As it says in Isaiah 55:11, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
My favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 2:9, which states, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has conceived what God has planned for those who love Him.” Know God has plans for you that are so much greater than anything you have imagined.
Which tip was helpful to you and why? I’d love to hear feedback and your tips below!
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