Getting Caught by Your Calling
Christians in their twenties often struggle with the issue of God’s calling, as in, what does God want me to do with my life? I’m a big believer in reflection and taking time out to think over such matters, but often this leads to paralysis.
Travel anywhere in the world and you’ll meet young Christians wandering around trying to divine the will of God for their lives. Some put their lives on hold indefinitely as they struggle with this question.
After doing a bit of wandering of my own I’ve concluded that (a) God does indeed have a special plan for your life but (b) that doesn’t mean He’s going to tell you what it is, at least not all at once. Rather, He wants us to live day by day for Him and in that regular obedience His plan unfolds to our surprise and delight. He wants us to work and to marry and go forth and multiply and be church and do the work of the kingdom. He wants us to take the life He’s given us and live.
Yet God wants us to live intentional lives.
This means when we are faced with big decisions we seek His counsel and the counsel of inspired friends. It also means we look to the God-given desires within us. Probably one of the mis-quoted verses in the Bible is Ps 37:4 which says,
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
It’s amazing how excited people get over the second-half of this verse and how little attention they give to the first-half. My take on this verse is that when you make God your delight, He hardwires you new dreams and desires that impel us toward His purposes for us. If that sounds confusing, then I encourage you to read a little essay entitled Getting Caught by you Calling written by Dan Allender.
Here’s a taste of what Allender writes:
Our calling is not a list of things God wants us to get done… I don’t believer anyone is called to a job or a profession… My calling is to walk through any door God gives me in order to reveal His glory…
We don’t find our calling; it finds us… God gives us desire and meaning. They are inside us alongside our calling, without any effort on our part to create them. When it comes to being caught by my calling, my options are simple: Whom will I serve (the population)? In what locale will I serve (the place)? What portion of the Fall will I face (the problem)? And what means will I use to address those problems (the process)? Our calling in life is always tied to population, place, problems and process.
I love what you’re saying here, but the link is broken. Do you have anything else on this subject yourself, or elsewhere to recommend?
Thanks for that, Jared. The link’s now fixed.
Good day Dr Paul, can you please clarify me on how to detect and differentiate between these two voices;
The thoughts of the heart and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for your helps.
This may not cover every case, but it would help a good majority:
1) Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3 that Scripture is VERY useful (and important!) in telling apart the good stuff from the crap. He even stated in the famous 2 Timothy 3:16 verse that the Bible “is God-breathed”. If a thought can be supported by scripture (correctly handled as in 2 Timothy 2:15), then it’s probably from the Holy Spirit.
2) Pray to God/Jesus.
3) Work with other godly people. In the book of Acts, some of the more significant decisions are done by a group of people, compared to an individual. Brothers and sisters in Christ can check that our thoughts mainly glorify God rather than us.