Many people feel trapped in work that provides a paycheck but little else. They find they have little opportunity to use their gifts or do anything that is personally meaningful.
Have you reached a point in your life where you know that what you are doing is not enough?
Are you at your wits end trying to figure out your calling?
Our primary calling is to be in a personal relationship with God. “But What Should I Do with My Life?” Sometimes our life situations, create a sense of needing to “do something” to find work that fits and brings a sense of purpose to our lives. You may be feeling a restless energy that is propelling you to take action.
What should you do if you find yourself feeling you were created to do “something more” with your life; if you sense the Lord prodding you to do something different; if you are in a time of career change, choice, and transition? Perhaps you have tried a variety of unsuccessful things to find the work God designed you to do. You are tired of bouncing around and not finding work that fits your gifts. So how can you find work that is a calling, not just a job?
First, recognize that finding your calling is a partnership effort between you and God. God is ready and willing to do His part to guide you into the work He designed you to do. But you need to do your part, as well. St. Augustine, a fifth-century theologian, said that we should pray as though everything depends on God and work as though everything depends on us. Praying for the Lord to guide your footsteps will be ineffective unless you are willing to move your feet!
Discovering your calling takes prayerful action. Your faith, trust, and maturity will deepen and grow as you risk taking action. The process of taking action steps also shapes you into the person God needs for you to be for the mission He has chosen specifically for you.
Here are 5 Ways to Align Yourself With God’s Will:
1. Pray for God to throw you where you can be best used for His glory.
I say “throw” because in Matthew 9:38 that is the literal meaning: “Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to throw out laborers into his harvest.” The point is pray! Ask God to use you to the fullest for his glory. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
2. Know your gifts and know yourself.
Every Christian has gifts (1 Peter 4:10-11). Knowing them shapes your convictions about your calling. There are several important components of your design, including your most-enjoyed skills (your passion), core values, personality traits, and spiritual gifts.
Most often we are driven to help in areas we have been greatly wounded by one way or another. For example if you’re a cancer survivor, you may feel a calling to minister to those still fighting. If you were a troubled teen, start a youth organization. Domestic Violence victim, start a support group. The possibilities are endless.
3. Allow yourself to envision a God-sized calling.
Most people have dreams for their lives that are too small. Their goals for their lives are limited by a lack of vision, fear, and everyday concerns. God calls us to undertake tasks and roles in our lives that we cannot accomplish on our own so that we can see His power at work.
Take intentional steps to widen your vision. Brainstorm with others how you might use your gifts in the world. Challenge yourself to come up with some big dreams for your life that you can only accomplish with God’s power. Investigate careers and people of interest to expand your vision of what God is calling you to do in the world.
4. Identify and overcome any “calling blockers” in your life.
“Calling blockers” are obstacles that hinder you in discovering and living your calling. Fear is one of the most common calling blockers, and is the number one reason most people aren’t doing what God calls them to do. While fear is normal when you are contemplating making changes in your life, it is not an excuse for inaction. God never calls us to camp out indefinitely in our comfort zone!
Other common calling blockers are money, busyness, negative thinking, childhood wounds, and isolation. To move forward in discovering and living your calling, you need to identify any calling blockers that are getting in your way, and start using some “calling catalysts” for overcoming hindrances to living the life God created you to enjoy!
5. Take prayerful action!
Learning how to take appropriate actions that get you where you want to go is a key part of becoming a person God can fully use. Tools that will help you “get going” in living your calling include developing personal mission statements, setting achievable goals that you are motivated to reach, and devising an action plan for creating the life God is calling you to live.