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Am I Called?

By God’s grace, I became the Location Pastor at the Living Hope Church Maryville campus two months ago. This was something I knew God called me to five years earlier.  Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how they can know God’s call for them.  I believe you can know in five ways: your heart, year head, your hands, your opportunities and the observations of others.

calling

Heart (1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Peter 5:2; Acts 19:21)

First, the heart refers to the central command center of your life.  It is the place of your desires and affections.   In 1 Timothy 3:1, Paul says “if anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.”  In other words, God puts into a person’s heart the desires that fuel his calling.  I knew God was calling me to be a pastor because the overwhelming desire of my heart was to equip God’s people to make disciples. When you’re called, doing anything other than your calling seems absolutely absurd.  You think about it, you dream about it, you obsess over it.  This is because a calling is not a passion that you possess, it is a passion that possesses you.  More importantly, when Jesus is the desire of your heart you can trust your desires. What is the desire of your heart?  This is the first clue to your calling.

Head (Romans 15:22-29; Proverbs 16:9)

Second, God’s calling is revealed in your head. This refers to your capacity to plan and to consider potential outcomes.  When God calls you, he often helps you understand the call.  I knew that God was calling me to pastor because he began to bring plans and direction to what it would look like for me to do so.  I didn’t have to force myself to comprehend the details, God showed me over time as I followed the desire he put in my heart.   Can you see yourself doing what God has placed on your heart even if it doesn’t make complete sense at the moment? If so, you’re probably called.

Hands (1 Samuel 17; 2 Timothy 2:23-25)

Third, God confirms his call through your hands.  This is a reference to skills.  When God calls you to something he will provide the skills for you to do it.  A commanding officer doesn’t send his troops into battle without equipping them with the right training and artillery.  Neither does God.  The skills; however, often develop supernaturally over time as we submit to Jesus and rely on the Holy Spirit.  God confirmed his call for me to pastor by developing gifts for preaching, teaching, leadership, training and disciple-making.  These were skills that I had to work at, but they were also skills God has given me a smudge of favor in.  What abilities do you possess that you either do well or seem to have an exceptional amount of God’s favor in?  God will likely use these to help shape your calling and they will compliment what’s in your heart and head.

Opportunities (Philippians 1:12-13, 20)

Fourth, a person’s calling is often revealed through consecutive opportunities over time.  You’re probably not just going to wake up and realize what your calling is.  You’re going to have to try a few things before God makes it clear to you.  I knew God was calling me to pastor through several opportunities: He provided the opportunity to disciple my teammates to Christ through team-specific ministry on my college football team, I was asked  to lead a Community Group at church and as need arose I helped people understand difficult theological and doctrinal truths while equipping them to make disciples.  As this pattern continued, God made it clear he wanted me lead the Maryville Campus.  What pattern of opportunities do you see in your life?  These are how God develops your heart, head and hands.

Observations (Acts 15:22; Acts 9:26-27)

Finally, the outside observations of others can also clarify God’s call on your life.  When a person is called, everyone seems to know it.  For as long as I can remember, people have asked me if I was going to be a pastor.  It was a common question after I became a Christian.  As I prayed about being a pastor I asked God to confirm this calling through others.  He did, time and again.  I didn’t have to mention to others that I should be the Location Pastor at Living Hope Church, other people did it for me.  This confirmed what he was already revealing through my heart, head, hands and opportunities.  What have people observed in you?  These observations are key to unlocking the common thread of God’s call in your life.

A Final Thought

No one indicator is enough to confirm God’s call in your life.  You may not have all five, but a pattern should develop.  When God aligns your life around one core purpose, you know that you’ve got the makings of a calling. Remember, God determines your calling.  If you want to know what it is, ask him to show you through these five areas.  When it’s unclear take comfort in knowing that God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.  Submit to Jesus, rely on the Holy Spirit and seek God!

What has God taught you about calling?  You can leave a comment here.

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