Discovering My Call (Part 4)
Updated: Jan 2
Now let's take a look at a couple of questions that I've found to be useful when fine tuning God's call in my life.
The first question of call is this:
How do I feel after I am done doing it?
This requires a bit of ecclesiastical navel gazing and some honest-to-God observations into the vast recesses of your heart and soul.
Just like some people are energy suckers and other people are energy givers, activities are that way, too. Some people seem to have endless energy when involved in various activities, while others, if they were to do the same thing, would be totally drained. Explore how it goes for you. Answers may go from completely pumped up to totally drained.
If you have a sense of joy, fulfillment, and "job well-doneness" - regardless of the amount of self-sacrifice it took to get there that is a clear indication that God has wired you to do that.(There may even be a sense of having "fun" in the doing of the thing. Don't be guilty about that. You can have fun in your calling!)
Conversely, if you get home after doing whatever it is you did, plop into a chair, pop a beer, and look back at what you did with feelings of dread, draining, and despair and feel miserable inside, unfit and completely out of your pay scale, it may be a subtle hint that what you just did really isn't the sweet-spot of where God really wants you to be. (I'm not saying if it's not fun it's not of God. A person can be wiped out after doing what God has called them to do but it's different. Here there is dread. There, it is a feeling of sacrificial joy which underlines the thing.)
Then there's that amorphous middle ground - that place where you think, well, it wasn't the worse thing that ever happened to me, fun in spots, and yeah I wouldn't mind trying that again just to get another shot at it. This could indicate a couple of things. It might mean God is working out his call in you (and that you by all means should do it again). It could also mean that God has you there for a purpose - for HIS good purposes. It could be a short term "project" until he finds someone especially suited for the task.
God may ask us to sacrificially step up to the plate because he wants to do something and no one else is willing to do it.
God may position you for a season in a place that doesn't quite match your sweet-spot, but matches his purposes in any given time or place.
Once I was in a church when the pastor invited us to share prophetic words. The moment the began a powerful phrase of words alighted in my mind. It was the beginning of a sentence that trailed off into the distance. I had a strong sense that God was inviting me to stand up in front of all those people and so something I had never done in my life.
"Prophecy isn't my gift," I argued.
But it seemed to me that God was saying, "Bill, just stand up and I will complete the sentence for you."
I was resilient and told God I would need more to go on. "More words," I argued. "Give me something more to go on here."
I squirmed, fidgeted, and wrestled with him in my seat. It seemed like forever. I finally told God I was NOT going to stand up and say anything thank you very much.
It was then when the guy next to me began to squirm and wiggle around in his seat, apparently struggling with the same issue. His response, however, was far different than mine. He stood up and, in trembling voice said, "You know, I've never done this sort of thing before but..." and he began to say the same exact words that I was getting! (But he finished the sentence.)
So in that case God was looking for someone - anyone - through whom he could speak a fresh word to the congregation gathered. He tried to get me in on the blessing but I wouldn't budge. So he went to someone else. Probably wasn't his sweet-spot either, but he got the word out.
So, to be clear, there are times when God will place us in situations that are temporal and may not be the all-in-all of who he's wired us to be. But it's important to remember - and this gets us back to our discussion - a certain sense of joy and fulfillment will always follow. And, even if what were doing wasn't fun or happy or free or whatever we would still have that afterglow and sense of fulfillment. Jesus too, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorned its shame (Hebrews 12:2).
So how do you feel after doing it? That' question, and your honest answer, will provide a powerful barometer that will get you headed into the sweet spot of your call.