Hearing and Answering God’s Call: The Series
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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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?
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. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 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
6 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; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 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.
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).
Coming soon: Read more about how my life changed in Part 3 of this series.
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?
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.
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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