Hearing & Answering God’s Call: Too Unbelievable to Just be Coincidence

Hearing and Answering God’s Call Series: Part 3

 

Unbelievable Coincidence

 

Recapping Part 1 and Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 2, writing kept creeping up in my life. Even as a child, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I would put the thought of writing aside, but years later I would find myself writing again. Part one of this blog series talks about the 4 clues that you are hearing God’s call. One clue is you have a God-given passion for something. Another clue is that you keep getting signs over and over… and over. Sometimes your passion keeps finding its way back into your life… over and over. I think this reoccurrence of you passion could be a sign in and of itself.

(*An important note: Just because you have a passion, does not mean you are called to pursue it. Also, every passion we have is not a calling. After all, we often have passions for not so good things. Passion is just one clue. We need to look at every clue to figure out a calling. Another clue is that your passion matches up with God’s teachings. This series looks at several pieces to “What is your Calling?”

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The Call Became Stronger

True, my passion for writing was a nice little clue, but standing by itself this clue really means little.  The call became much stronger later…

We had just joined our church, and my husband and I were in the process of visiting Sunday Schools.  One Sunday, we randomly visited a Sunday school class called “Open Doors.”  During the class, the teacher off-handedly mentioned the book, The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures), which was about a missionary named Brother Andrew.  I thought to myself, ‘that sounds like a good book to read.’   Almost a year later, I still remembered this specific Sunday schools comment about this ONE book, but I couldn’t remember the name of the book. It’s funny how one small comment will just stick in your mind, isn’t it? One day I saw the Sunday school teacher, and I asked her again for the name of the book.  This time I didn’t wait around. I quickly purchased the book, and my journey began…

One Book Changed the Direction of my Life

Brother Andrew’s story was inspiring.   The things that he accomplished when he listened to God’s call were amazing.  When he was truly doing something God seemed to ask him to do, God took care of every one of his needs to get THAT job done.  (I thought this was interesting because we sometimes use God as a wishing well, but when we are truly following God’s wishes to help others; then, he will help us do THAT job).  In other words, if God tells us to do something, then God will help us get it done.  If you want to read some truly amazing God moments, I strongly recommend this book.

Awesome “God Moments” from the Book, The Narrow Road

Some of the amazing things that happened in the book were: 

* Brother Andrew had an injured leg. The leg hindered the particular mission work he felt called to do. In fact, he felt the leg would nearly make the mission impossible. One day Brother Andrew talked to God about not being able to do this mission work due to his hurt leg. His leg was healed immediately!

* Brother Andrew felt strongly that he was suppose to take Bibles to persecuted countries. Bibles were not allowed in these countries, and sometimes Brother Andrew was faced with difficult situations. One time some guards stopped him. The smuggled Bibles were right on the seat of his car and the guards didn’t see them!

* Once or twice the money for missionary school was about to run out, and the exact amount came to him in peculiar ways just in time.

Mt Favorite Brother Andrew Story: This is GOOD!

One of my favorite stories took place during Brother Andrew’s time at missionary school.  Brother Andrew and the other students were asked to do local missions as an assignment.  They were given no money, food, or housing and they were told that they were not supposed to ask churches or anyone else for help. They were asked to trust that God would provide.  This was an exercise meant to teach them how to trust God completely.  This didn’t mean that the missionary school thought that people/charities should not ask for donations; the school just wanted them to practice putting all their trust in God for this particular exercise.

The students were also expected to tithe!  The students were divided into two groups. Brother Andrew’s group tithed at the beginning of each week no matter what challenges they faced.  The other group planned on tithing if they had enough after they fulfilled their own needs.  Interestingly, the group who tithed no matter what, always had enough for themselves and the missions. The other group constantly ran out of money and supplies.

They Needed Cake, and They Got a Cake in the Mail!

God seemed to always answer the needs of Brother Andrew’s group no matter how small.  For example, a church asked Brother Andrew’s group to come to a church event. The church also asked the group to bring a cake to this event. Remember, they have no money! The group panicked about how they were going to get the money for this cake.  They even considered doing something they hadn’t done yet, which was ask people for donations.  Just when the decided against asking for other’s help, they received a package in the mail.  Do you know what was inside the package? A cake, sent to them by a loved one!  The giver did not know they needed a cake; she just thought it would be a nice gesture!

The Prayer that Started it All

This book inspired me. Like Brother Andrew, I wanted to experience God’s power and presence more regularly. But was I willing to follow God’s will no matter what? Yeah, I still struggle with that questions, but I decided to pray. Instead of praying for my needs, I prayed for God to show me what God wanted me to do. I told God I wanted to follow and serve God, and I wanted my life to be about serving God and others, not myself. (Yeah, I’m still working on that.) I asked God to please tell me God’s will. I figured if I really listened AND followed, I would see some amazing things happen just like Brother Andrew.  Basically, I was asking God to call on me.  Then God started talking…

God’s Call: Signs That God Was About to Answer My Prayer

Before telling me my specific call, God seemed to be telling me that my request was heard, and is being answered. Messages about God’s call bombarded me everywhere.

In fact, RIGHT after I prayed for God to call on me, our church started “The Call” series, which was suppose to help us learn how to hear and answer God’s call! Even our church band played songs about hearing God’s call. But here is the kicker; the band did not know the sermon topics when choosing songs!

After church, I experienced another coincidence. After church, I grabbed a veggie tales movie for my son to watch not knowing that out of all the Bible stories; this movie was about Jonah trying to push away God’s call!

Finally while I was putting my son to bed, I was showing my son pictures from his Children’s Bible. He was young, so we were just looking at pictures instead of reading the words.  The bottom of each page had a one liner prayer.  I finally randomly glanced at one of the prayers.  The prayer was literally asking God to help us listen to his call!! Out of all the prayers, why was this the one I randomly read?

I asked God if God would lead me because I was ready to do what God wanted instead of what I wanted. God seemed to answer imediatly. God seemed to be saying through signs, ‘Of course, I have been waitng for you to ask this! I will lead you to what I am calling you to do.’

But the next questions was, “What IS God calling me to do?”  Check out part 4 for the answer…

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What is God Calling you to Do?

Hearing and Answering God’s Call: The Series

Clues of your Calling

Part 1: What is God Calling you to Do?

I have always longed to know what God wanted me to do. Does God have a specific plan or call for me…for us? This is not an easy question to answer, and sometimes knowing the answer takes time. Perhaps callings even change over time. Recently  I began to notice interesting clues, coinsedences, and circumstances that made me feel like perhaps God was giving  me a few clues to help me determine my call. Of course I am human, and I sometimes get it wrong. But here are 5 clues that I felt lead me to my calling. Perhaps they can help you determine your calling too.

(Note these 5 clues are based on my personal experiences so please take what I say with a grain of salt. I think God reaches all of us in different ways)

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  1. You have a Passion for Something.

In the Bible God seemed to give others a passion for whatever God was calling them to do. Therefore, I think God gives us a passion for where we are being called to serve. If we don’t have a passion, we are probably not going to give the job our best efforts. When we are passionate, we feel driven to do the best we can do. So are you passionate for certain needs or causes? Did something happen in your life that seemed to develop that passion?

  1. You have Certain Spiritual Gifts and Even Talents.

1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 Says

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Romans 12: 6-8 Says

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians and Romans tells us that God gives us spiritual gifts that we are suppose to use to serve God and others. So knowing your gifts may help you determine what you are being called to do. If you are curious about your spiritual gifts, you can find several spiritual gifts surveys online.  I won’t provide a link since there are so many different types, and many are available through churches. I will let you pick which survey will appeal more to you.

You may not fully know your gifts after taking a survey as the answers to the survey do not dictate these are your spiritual gifts, but maybe the spiritual gifts quiz can lead you in the right direction. These surveys ask questions to help you self-reflect. Pray for God to guide you as you learn about yourself. Sometimes God not only gives you the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible, but God also gives us talents we can use to serve God and others. Do you have certain talents you can use? Perhaps brainstorming and writing your talents down in a journal will help you move closer to understanding your call.

 

  1. Signs and Coincidences Keep Pointing You in a Certain Direction

This one makes me nervous. As humans we can often see the signs we WANT to see. I know that I sometimes do! Or when I am feeling pessimistic, I see signs I DON’T WANT to see. HOWEVER sometimes the coincidences are just too unbelievable or signs are occuring one after another. When the signs are just too amazing, maybe we should take notice.

If you want to read an awe-inspiring book about God leading someone, read The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures).


This book motivated me to ask God to lead me even if it was scary. And my life changed after that…

Coming soon: Read more about how my life changed in Part 3 of this series.

  1. Your “God Calling” Matches with what Jesus Teaches.

This one is soooo important.

Matthew 22: 36-40 says

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So does your call line up with these two commandments and the other teaching of Jesus? God calls us to help and serve others. Does your call help and serve others?

Clues to God’s call

Your Calling Doesn’t Have to Be Your Job

Sometimes our jobs are different than our calling and that is okay. Some people feel called to volunteer in certain areas. I love how Bob Goff, a lawyer and writer, looked at his job. In his book, “Love Does,” Goff said he viewed his job as a lawyer as fundraising for his mission. We can also view our jobs as a fundraiser for our call to serve other.  Our calling can even be how we feel we should live our lives. For example, maybe you feel called to be an encourager, so you try to encourage others wherever you are. You encourage your co-workers, your family, or random people at a store. Sometimes we feel called to do something, but don’t love every aspect of the calling. Yet our passion drives us to push through. Maybe you feel passionate about helping the homeless, but you don’t love all the paperwork that goes into working at a certain organization. Your passion and calling can drive you to do the less appealing stuff. Does this make since?

Bob Goff’s book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World is a really good read. His wife, Maria Goff, wrote a book as well called Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want. I have read and enjoyed both books.

Keeping Track of Your God Calling Clues

As you contemplate your calling, you may want to keep a journal. Sometimes writing helps us organize our thoughts. Writing your thoughts, ideas, spiritual gifts results, talents, and listing your passions in a journal can help you in your search for your calling. I find that I am more open to hearing God’s call when I pray before I write.  You can also use a journal to write your prayers and write down your awe-inspiring God experiences. I am able to remember those amazing “God moments” in my life when I write them down as soon as they happen.

Just in case you are looking for a good journal, here are a few beautiful inspiring journals.

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This is part one of a five part series. Part 2 talks about clue number one, which is finding your Passion. Sometimes the fact that a passion keeps surfacing throughout your life is a sign in and of itself….

Find out more about the first clue that God is calling you in Part 2: Did God Give you a Passion for a Reason?

This series is meant for anyone searching for God’s call. However, if you are contemplating blogging or think blogging might be your calling, you might find later post particularly helpful. I will go into not only my blogging journey, but also the steps I took to start a blog.

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