Your calling is not a mystery. Your life is meant to carry a message out into this world. God eagerly desires to speak to you about the plans and purposes for your life. Here are four practical keys to discovering your unique calling.
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. … Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:1,6-7
Calling is simply defined as “a strong urge toward a particular way of life.” I love this phrase “way of life.” It’s not a physical place or a future project to accomplish, but a lifestyle built on key life messages. The concept of life messages is essentially consolidating our thoughts, experiences, passions and revelations into a few key words or phrases that motivate most of what we say, do and decide. Life messages are founded in sound Biblical truth coupled with our own personal experience with God. The passion and expression of our life messages tie directly into our calling.
Additionally, our greatest areas of influence in this world typically come from the areas in our lives where we have experienced the greatest breakthroughs. For instance, in the moment of my greatest loss (miscarriage) one of my greatest breakthroughs came in truly believing and expecting the goodness of God in the midst of negative circumstances. The message of God’s goodness is now at the core of my lifestyle. It affects what I talk about, how I make decisions, the way I see relationships and how I set expectations. Identifying your life messages brings incredible insight into the life you are called to live. Below are a few ways you can discover with clarity the lifestyle God has uniquely called you to live out on this Earth.
Keys to Discovering Your Calling:
1. Prayer - Ask God questions! “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7). Questions like: How do you see me? What purpose did you have in mind when you knit my life together? He made you intentionally and purposefully. Galatians 1:5 says “God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace.” Prayer is bidirectional, it’s a conversation with your King. You can expect a response from Him. He loves to talk with us! Consider journaling what you hear during your times of prayer so that you can review and reflect on the words He says to you personally. Psalm 16:7 says, “I will praise the Lord who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me.” God will not be silent, He promises to instruct and counsel you in your calling.
2. Prophetic Words - What has God said to you through other people? Often the Lord speaks to us through friends, family, church leaders and even strangers. “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28). Prophecy in its simplest form is encouragement from Heaven. The Bible says, “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (1 Cor. 14:3). You know those moments in life when someone has said something and it was like God Himself was speaking directly to your heart? It was so on point it HAD to be God? Yep, that’s the beauty of prophetic ministry and it often confirms our identity and purpose. Record and reflect on those words that God has spoken to you through others.
3. Life Verses - What verses resonate with your heart? Our Pastor Greg refers to life verses as the ones that “reach out and bite you in the heart.” Often these life verses are clusters of similar verses that speak directly to your calling. They easily take root in your heart and don’t take work and effort to memorize. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” These life verses bring clear vision to who God made you to be and how He intends to use your life for His glory. One of my life verses is Psalm 27:13 “You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” As I mentioned earlier, this was a verse and a promise God gave me in the wake of my miscarriage and it has become one of the life messages I carry - God IS Good! Our areas of breakthrough, our life verses, and the life messages we carry are all intertwined, which helps bring such clarity to the lifestyle we are called to live.
4. Past & Present Passions - What stirs your heart? What childhood dreams still ache in your heart today? God is not a tease, He puts longings and passions in our hearts for a reason. He gives us each a lens to see need and feel compassion and the drive to do something about it. God is so creative about connecting our talents with our passions. Whether you have always loved fashion, or carpentry, or pioneering new business ventures, God intends to use your passions to advance His kingdom on this Earth. Psalm 37:4, 7 says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he will give you the desires of your heart. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.” What do you desire to do something about?
I hope this encourages you to continue discovering the unique lifestyle God has called you and your family to live. The calling God has for your life is not a great mystery, He is revealing your destiny to you constantly in a variety of ways not even limited to the ones above. God sees your life as valuable and wants to show you the plans He had in mind when He made you. Your life will continue to have great impact and purpose because God made you for glory.
God how kind are you! I praise you for all the creative ways you have been revealing my calling. Lord, even this week, would you give me fresh insight on my calling? Would you remind me of the words and passions that define my calling? I love you. My life is yours and I trust you with it.