This morning as I was taking my daughter to school, I was listening to a local radio station that was interviewing Christian recording artist Aaron Shust. One of the radio personalities asked him the question, "If you were not a musician, what do you think you'd be doing?"
His answer was that he thinks being a meteorologist would be really cool (my wife feels the same way), but what he said next had a lot of wisdom in it. Aaron explained that his passion was for music and that God had given him a propensity to perform it. Therefore he knew that was what God had called him to do.
I have been asked several times how I knew that God called me to be a pastor and I have also been asked on numerous occasions how someone can know that God is calling them to a certain field or practice. In the Bible, God often speaks directly to those He calls, but it's not so cut and dry in the 21st century. How can we know?
While I'm no expert on the matter, there are a few proofs that I've gleaned from others over my life that I believe God gives us that allow us to know where He is moving us in our lives:
1) What are you passionate about? What area excites you most when you think about it as a potential career or future endeavor?
2) What are you good at? If you are blessed in a certain area, then I would believe that God may want to use that as vehicle for serving Him.
3) What do others affirm in your life? Are there abilities that you have that, when others see you perform them, affirm your effectiveness in? In other words, in what arena do you receive the most compliments? If you believe that perhaps God is calling you to preach but no one ever affirms your ability as a public communicator, maybe that's not the area of ministry God wants to use you in. On the flip side of that, perhaps you are constantly complimented on your giftedness in working with children. Maybe that is an area that God is opening up for you.
4) Where is God providing opportunities for you? We often hear phrases like "God opens doors", but also be sure to consider where He is closing them as well. If there is an opportunity that meets the above criteria and you start to move in that direction and that door stays wide open for you, then you must at least consider that God could be leading you there.
5) Finally, what is God telling you? This can only be answered by you when you are focusing your will upon His will and seeking after Him with all of your heart. As you pray, as you study His Word, and as you seek to live a life pleasing to you, God will communicate His desires for your life to you. It may not be in the form of a burning bush or an audible voice, but God will speak to you in a way that you know can only be from God.
The above is by no means an exhaustive or even an expert's list. But they are questions that I have been asked and have asked myself. And they are part of the process that has allowed me to know just where it is that God is calling me and desiring for my life to go.
And remember, it's not so important that you do stuff for God but rather that you glorify Him with you life. "To obey is better than sacrifice."
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