God’s call.

God’s call. Christians seem to use this phrase all the time.  As in “We feel that God is calling us to…” or “I’m trying to remain true to God’s call to me to…”.   I do get the idea. if God is clearly asking me or telling me to do something specific, I should be doing that thing.

But obedience is step 2. Very rarely do I hear anyone talk about step 1, which would be the part where we hear and understand what God is actually asking of or saying to us.

So here’s my question:

How do you, or have you, known what God is calling you to?

Share your stories or insights.  I’m just terribly curious to hear lots of both.

27 thoughts on “God’s call.

  1. By the way, if I could get all the women who have commented on this post together in a room, I would just bring everyone beverages and listen to the great conversations that would develop.

  2. Interesting post, especially since part of my study break time has included wrestling with this – again…

    I know I’m called to BE his. I know I’m called to SERVE, to use the gifts he’s given me for his glory. Because of my circumstances (female, which was an issue in my fundy days, divorced, moral failure, broken..) I have struggled greatly with what this ‘calling’ looks like and whether or not I’m striving to serve or heal myself rather than him. Two years ago (on my study break) I heard him clearly say, “Just do what your doing, where you are.” More recently, I sensed that his heart was pleased as I leaned more into leadership opportunities that kept opening up.

    This study break, I’ve been wrestling with this nagging thought/feeling/desire regarding ordination. I don’t feel qualified, capable – but I can’t shake it. I don’t WANT it – but I can’t shake it.

    And then this morning I read this verse out of Acts and was so completely wrecked, driven to my knees, in tears, because it expressed my heart. Wasn’t much to it; Peter’s preaching about the Holy Spirit coming, and he tells the people, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” As I read it, I didn’t see the promise for me – I saw the “all whom the Lord will call…” And in my heart, I know that is my role, to serve all who are far off…

    I ought to just go write my own blog post, eh?

  3. Hi Kim,
    A few years ago, I was considering what God had “called” me to do. As you know, I figured it had something to do with women’s ministry. So I pursued what I “thought” was fullfilling that call.

    But at a crucial point, God said to me, “Are you listening to your call, or are you listening to Me?”

    That stopped me in my tracks.

    I learned that a person’s “call” can start to take on it’s own voice – usually your own, and usually from your flesh.

    But we are born of the Spirit. :-)

    John 10 says, “My sheep hear My voice,” and we don’t have to figure anything out on our own. Because He said “I know the plans I have for you…. Jer 29:11.

    Now I just listen to what He says and I follow. So, to answer your question, “how do you know what you are called to do?…. by hearing Him, and keep hearing Him. :-)

      • I hear Him because I know Him, and He knows me. :-)

        Just like if Steve calls me on the phone, he doesn’t have to say “Hi, this is Steve”….he just starts talking and I recognize his voice as my husband and we have a conversation.

        Same way with my Father. I recognize His voice…it just comes from spending time with Him.

  4. Kim,
    I often ask “what do you WANT to do”, and does that line up with God’s mission, and your gifts. There’s a Scripture that says, (pardon my paraphrase), it is God who gives us the will (desire) to do His will …

    So, when I find myself really wanting to do something, it’s burning inside of me, it lines up with God’s purposes for mankind, and I seem to have the gifts to at least take a stab at it … I typically say “Ok, this is what I’m supposed to do”.

    I guess it’s probably not THAT simple, but … for me, I’ve rolled that way for a long time.

    • Why do we assume that “HIS WAY” is not that simple. I believe it is usually more simple that we try to make it. “His yoke is easy and His burden is light”.

    • this is similar to Neil’s answer when I asked him this same question. If we combine this perspective with Mark Warnock’s thoughts about confirmation through counsel and prayer with a community of people… I think we’ve got the answer.

    • Sharon – it’s not that His way is hard – you’re right, His way isn’t so hard (his burden is easy, yoke is light was a good reference, though we all know sometimes doing God’s will CAN be tough due to other circumstances).

      I’m saying that discerning it can be tough … we have so many other voices to distract us.

      Kim – I’d say if you have desire, it lines up with God’s purposes, you’ve sought trusted counsel and they have peace … that’s a GREAT SIGN.

      So …. if that means you and Neil are relocating to beautiful St. Simons (just join Russ Hutto in the house hunt) … we’re glad! :-)

  5. Kim,
    I found this little profound thought I had scribbled a while ago as we were struggling with this very question. I have no idea whether someone else said this or whether I thought it…it doesn’t matter…God spoke this clearly to me.

    “Though it may matter to God what we do, it matters most to him that we are godly in all that we do.”

    I have concluded that He calls us to be like Him and then as we are, He brings opportunity for us to exercise that likeness in our lives. Our obedience comes when we apply the Christ-like action to the circumstance.

  6. Couldn’t you have picked an easier subject, Kim?

    Sometimes God gives me a spiritual-thump-on-the-head to get my attention.

    Occasionally, I feel like I hear God’s voice in kind of an “aha” moment. But that’s kind of rare.

    And sometimes, it’s just sheer repetition. That happened earlier this year, when everything I read and heard over the course of a few weeks was the same message over and over.

    • my other choice was something about the end times, so…. :)

      I’m with you on the repetition…. I experience that as well. It’s rarely something really specific… usually it’s a repetitive call to calm down and give more time to the relationship I have with God. Which then usually leads to the specific things coming clearer.

  7. Kim, this is – of course – a great question. One I’m not sure looks the same for every person except in this way – to do God’s will we must walk closely with God. That much I know. I had a wise older saint tell me recently that walking into God’s will is saying a series of “yeses” to Him every day. Little yeses = a life of obedience = preparation for the next big step perhaps. Abiding in Christ = knowing the mind of Christ = peaceful decisions.

    I also think we get trapped into thinking of God’s will only in terms of good or positive things, not in terms of suffering and difficulty. Yet God uses these things as well – and we may need to experience them to be ever formed more into the image of Christ – which we know without a doubt to be God’s will.

    I’m sitting smack in the middle of this one right now. Feeling yearnings I cannot understand but few open doors. Wondering how it all fits together. Waiting for a word from God.

    Let me know if you figure it out! :)

    • I like that series of “yeses” idea. Thank you for the reminder that God’s will may sometimes not equal comfort or pleasantness for us.

      I will be praying for you, friend!

  8. yeah, like tam said, we’ve been talking about this…

    I look at it this way, God gave us gifts, passions, and desires… and then I imagine him saying “now go play.” I’m not questioning if SOME people have a very real calling from
    God somewhere, but I’m fairly certain that’s the anomoly, and the rest of us have a great deal of freedom

  9. i totally agree with mandy. joshua white and i had a similar discussion recently about “calling” and “freedom”. i think we put too many limits on what we are allowed/expected to do. God has put in us gifts, talents, passions. arent those our “calling”? do what you do, do it well and do it in honor of the Giver. wherever. do it with everything youve got and trust that if the direction is a tad off, He will redirect you.

    i often wonder if God sits “up there” scratching His holy head repeating to Himself…”tam, youre asking AGAIN? seriously? you have more ability and freedom than you clearly realize girl.”

    ok. maybe not exactly that. but…possibly.

  10. Kim. Drew and I have recently read “Decision-Making and the Will of God” by Friesen. It’s totally changed our perspective. I think God equips and gifts us – but we are to decide what we do with these gifts. I think we really do have some sort of freedom in the matter, as long as we don’t go against His moral will, of course.

    • Krysta & Mandy, thank you both for your comments… sounds like you might be coming from the same perspective on this. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Mandy, thanks for the book reference, I’ll definitely look it up!

      • The book is pretty hefty. Honestly, you can get the same info in Haddon Robinson’s shorter book – something like “Decision-making by the book” – you can find it online. He’s a GREAT professor at our seminary. He’s got the goods. :)

  11. i’m not going to answer your question because i don’t have an answer.

    but i’d like to comment … per usual.

    i’m not sure it’s supposed to be so difficult. you know, this whole … ‘calling’ thing. i feel, particularly for myself, that even when i’m feeling uber spiritual, the ‘call’ i think God is trying to communicate feels a lot like what i want (or what i’m passionate about). and maybe there is something to be said for that.

    honestly … i think that if people are engaging in activities that God cares about … He’s down with that. i think all of us have the same ‘call,’ it’s just how we flesh it out or how in manifests itself in our lives that will be a bit different. and, for me, how i flesh out faith, hope and love to the world around me is by doing things that represent my natural talents. which makes things so much easier. i spend less time worrying about my ‘calling’ and more time doing things that i think God is for.

    eh. but what do i know? God could very well scold me later and tell me to stop taking the easy route.

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