How Do I Know Where God is Calling Me?

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“When I was 17 years old, I found myself driving my car down a Wisconsin backroad at about 11 o’clock on a Tuesday summer night. It was 75 degrees, I had the windows down listening to instrumental music, and BAM…suddenly, I saw a bright light shining in front of me and a loud voice saying: ‘My child, here is what you are to do…” said no one ever.

While we often wish that God would appear to us in a burning bush like Moses, audibly call us like Paul, or at least make it abundantly clear what we are supposed to do, few of have these types of experiences. So, how are we supposed to know what God is calling us to do?

Whether you’re a student, a professional in a corporate building, a mom at home with her babies, or anywhere else God may have you placed in this very moment, here are four principles you can apply when determining his call on your life:

The Four Principles   

1. Our first call is to the Gospel.

The first and most important call that God has for our lives is to believe the gospel message. 1 Corinthians 3:11 makes it clear that “no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” If Jesus is not the foundation of our lives, then each of the following principles is pointless.

2. Our next call is to sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 clearly states that God’s will for our lives is our sanctification. If we are amazing leaders, evangelists, workers, or anything else, but are not being growing in our love for and obedience to Christ, we are neglecting God’s call.

3. We are always called to make disciples.

No matter what we do for a living, being a Christian means being a disciple and making a disciple. Part of the last command given by Jesus in Matthew 28 is to go and make disciples and we would be wise to recognize this as a calling for all believers.

4. We are to be faithful where God has placed us.

Too often, our focus on what we will do in the future prevents us from being faithful where God has currently placed us. We can look to the example of Pricilla and Aquilla, who were faithful where they were to mentor Apollos (Acts 18:26) and utilize their house for a house church (1 Corinthians 16:19). We must not get so caught up in what we will do five years from now that we miss opportunities to be faithful five minutes from now.

While these principles are important reminders, a young Christian may be wanting more specific guidance in determining the future direction of their life. For those of us attempting to determine what we ought to do vocationally, there are four questions to keep in mind.

The Four Big Questions

1. What giftings has God given you?

Ephesians 4 lays out the beautiful picture of the different gifts God has given to His people so that all believers may be equipped.

2. What passions has God given you?

In Acts 16, we see the story of Lydia who was a seller of purple goods. While she was not in vocational ministry, her passion for selling goods allowed her to be faithful in hospitality and ministering to believers in her home (Acts 16:40)  

3. What opportunities has God given you?

Prior to the story of Lydia, we see this peculiar story of the Holy Spirit preventing Paul from preaching the gospel in Asia (Acts 16:6-10). Paul’s response was not to force his way into Asia, but rather he preached the gospel elsewhere. If we believe that God is calling us to sing at the halftime of the Super Bowl, but that opportunity never arises, then He wasn’t calling us to do so in the first place.

4. What do fellow, mature believers say?

There are numerous passages throughout Proverbs emphasizing the importance of wise counsel. Proverbs 12:15 states “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Whenever we are seeking to determine something as big as what God is calling us to do, we must receive the counsel of other mature, and preferably older, believers.

Final “Food” for Thought

Often, we think that if we don’t find the exact path that God has for our life, we are operating outside of the will of God. Since creation this has not been the case. Even in the Garden of Eden, there were numerous fruits that Adam and Eve could eat, and only one that they could not. While we certainly know that we are not called to partake in sin, we must remember that there are numerous paths of faithfulness.

Let us always seek to do all to the glory of God no matter where He has placed us.

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