Two of my favorite things to talk about is prayer and purpose. Even though I am no expert in either subject, I believe these two things, especially when put together, allow us to experience life like never before. Prayer, when direct, full of scripture, pure and heartfelt is how we talk to our Father. Prayer is also part of how we can receive, solidify and confirm our purpose (calling). We were all put on this earth for a reason. We are not here to aimlessly go through the motions of life hiding, half using, or not at all using the gifts God have given us.
“So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes from above. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Lights. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.” (James 1:16-17 NIV, MSG)
Your purpose is probably very obvious. God is not trying to confuse you. There is no maze you have to get through, no logic puzzle to put together, nor an equation you have to figure out to get to your calling. Oprah Winfrey once said, “The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.” Take some time in prayer and in the Word asking God to reveal this to you. Meditate on what things you’re good at, what people say you excel in, what pulls on your heart whenever you see it or hear someone say it.
“That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!” (Ephesians 1:15-19 MSG)
Maybe you already know your calling, but you are fearful of what God will make you do if you let Him know that you know your purpose (psst He already knows you know). Maybe you think too many people have your gift and you don’t want to be just another (fill in the blank). Maybe you know your calling, but just not how or when to step into it.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30 NIV)
If God, before you were even born, predestined, called, justified and glorified YOU to walk into your calling you better believe it will be everything you imagine it will be plus a whole, whole lot more. You will not just be another (fill in the blank again) because your call will be unique. You were meant to use your calling to serve, and by serving you will show God’s love and by showing God’s love you will bring lost souls to Christ. There is no time to let fear of the unknown stop you from living a life God has called you to live. The God of the universe, of heaven and earth, of blades of grass, stars, dinosaurs and everything in between trusts you with specific gifts to touch specific people. He believes in you that much.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10 NIV)
There is a book called “Calling and Separation” in which the author, Bob Yandian, talks about how you might know what the call is that God has on your life, but you have not been separated to walk into this calling yet. For instance, maybe you know you are called to work with children, but right now you’re working a desk job. It may not be the wisest thing to quit your job right then and there, but God will separate you at an appointed time to walk into your calling. Currently, you may be in your preparation time.
Melva Henderson writes on this topic in her Faith Life Series, Preparation Time is not Wasted Time, “Are you preparing yourself or do you get up in the morning and go to bed at night as though you have no purpose? Get the right people around you. Connecting to others is necessary. You have work to do…now is not the time to coast. Read the best authors, spend time with courageous leaders and craft a plan to sharpen your skills. Even though along the way you’re going to bump against obstacles, internally and externally, real and perceived, as you face them with courage you’ll raise your threshold for pain and you’ll become a better person.” As you acknowledge there is a call on your life, God will reveal what exactly it is you are called to do and then invite you to walk in it.
I’ll leave you with this last scripture.
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” (Proverbs 22:29 NKJV)