What job does God want you to take? Where does He want you to go in your career, and for how long? Here’s how to figure out what God wants you to do with your life; these five “Blossom Tips” are focused on career and job decisions, but can be applied to all of life’s biggest questions.
I was inspired to write this article by several readers who had questions about figuring out God’s call on their lives. Here what one reader said:
“What is the purpose of my life, where do I fit in?” asks Callie on 6 Practical Ways to Find God’s Call on Your Life. “I believe God created me for a purpose and I’m meant to do great things but I feel stagnant and overwhelmed. I’m worried I won’t be able to accomplish anything or figure out what God wants me to do. Sometimes I feel as if He doesn’t hear me or isn’t going to fulfill all His promises in my life. I’m tired of surviving and barely making it…I want to thrive and live in my purpose. How do I find God’s call on my life?”
My five tips for figuring out what God wants you to do are inspired by a crossroads in my own life. I couldn’t decide if I should go to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, get my Education degree, and become a teacher (like my mother and grandmother). Or, should I go to Briercrest College and Seminary in Saskatchewan, get my Master of Divinity, and become a pastor (which is what I really wanted to do)?
Here’s how I figured out what job and career path God wanted me to pursue, and why I regret one of the biggest decisions of my life.
How to Figure Out What God Wants You to Do
My “She Blossoms” articles — even the ones about discerning God’s will for your life — are broken up into five different categories. These “Blossom Tips” ensure I cover the whole spectrum: Spirit, Heart, Soul, Body, and Brain. And, the separate Blossom Tips help you identify which works best for you.
5 Steps to Finding God’s Will for Your Life
- Spirit – Get inside the heart of Jesus
- Heart – Stop straining to find God’s will
- Soul – Go where the life is
- Body – Take a small – or big, bold! – step forward
- Brain – Be smart like a fox
Also in this article: how I decided to become a teacher instead of a preacher, and why I regret my decision.
1. Spirit – Get inside the heart of Jesus
God has a specific plan for your life — and He requires you to be actively involved in how His plan unfolds. It’s a mind twister, for sure! But if you know Scripture, you’ll better understand how it works. God requires us to move forward, be active, and step out in faith. He also requires us to rest in Him and follow His lead. How do we actively participate and rest in God? By getting inside the heart of Jesus.
Instead of obsessively trying to figure out what God wants you to do with your life, focus on deepening your relationship with Jesus. How? My new favorite way to build a relationship with God is by copying out Scripture, by hand, in my own “Bible book” (a journal). Right now I’m writing the book of Luke; next, I’ll write Deuteronomy. Copying out the Bible helps me understand God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit better. This makes the big and little decisions in life — whether it’s a career choice or vacation destination — easier.
2. Heart – Stop straining to find God’s will for your life
“God has been telling me for a while to stop pushing,” says Wendy on 5 Signs You Should Give Up Hope in Your Relationship. “Stop trying to make things the way you think they should go. Let God go ahead of you and prepare. Wait for things to come to you. If you’re holding on to something that is over, let go. Stop trying so hard to figure out what God wants you to do! Do your part but stop killing yourself in the process. Step back. Stop. Let go and let God handle your life.”
When I was choosing my career path — should I be a teacher or a preacher? — I struggled and strained, thought and fought. I weighed all my options, sifted the pros and cons, and chose the direction that made the most sense. All my straining and struggling led me to the wrong choice: teaching. I thought I’d figured out what God wanted me to do with my life! But really, I’d spent months simply convincing myself that the most practical decision was the right one.
3. Soul – Go where the life is
How do you figure out what God wants you to do or decide about your job, relationship, children, marriage, home or future? By following the smell of life in the next step. By tasting the joy of lightheartedness and energy. By walking towards your interests and yearnings, your convictions and curiosities.
When I was looking at the course offerings and class outlines of Bible colleges and teachers’ college — should I get a Master of Divinity or an Education Degree? — I was excited by the Old and New Testament teachings. I was thrilled with the idea of learning about God, and preaching to Christians. The idea of becoming a pastor was uplifting and life-giving! But I chose to get a teaching degree because it was safer, more practical, and less risky on all levels.
4. Body – Take a small – or big, bold! – step forward
When I was trying to figure out what God wanted me to do (preach versus teach), I wasn’t worried about finding His one “perfect will” for my life. And that is one thing I don’t regret. I still believe God doesn’t have a single “perfect will” for my job, marriage or future.
I believe God didn’t have a single “perfect will” for me because:
1) Getting an Education degree gave me the opportunity to teach Grade 8 Language Arts and High School journalism for three years at an International Christian School (Rosslyn Academy) in Nairobi, Kenya.
2) Living in Africa was the hardest, best experience in my life.
3) Pursuing a career path not suited to my introverted personality traits was the best way to discover my true calling as a writer and blogger.
Figuring out God’s “perfect plan” for my life — in my specific example of teaching or preaching — would’ve been a fruitless endeavor. I wasn’t spiritually or emotionally ready to get my Master of Divinity and pursue a pastoral career. I would’ve made a mess of everything…but God would’ve used me anyway.
If you’re an introvert like me, read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.
Whether or not I figured out what exactly God wanted me to do with my life, He created beauty and life. He used me, despite me and my fumbly attempts to do what I was called to do…and God will use you, too. Just take a big bold step forward! Or a small soft step. Either way, do something. Choosing something and moving forward will help you figure out what God wants you to do next. Go one step at a time.
5. Brain – Be smart like a fox
This “Blossom Tip” goes hand-in-hand with my first idea on how to figure out what God wants you to do with your life: build your relationship with Jesus by asking Him questions. He was a Jewish rabbi, keen on learning and discovering. Jesus was a smart man who asked everyone questions — even His Father. Jesus required His disciples, apostles and followers to use their brains and choose their paths.
Follow your heart, but take your brains with you. When you’re figuring out what God wants you to do with your life, combine all the resources He’s given you: Scripture, the Holy Spirit, Christian leaders and mentors, prayer, and active movement forward. Pay attention to closed doors and stirrings of restraint. When you feel a check in your spirit, as Oswald Chambers says, stop immediately.
If you’re searching for God’s will for your career, read How to Find Your Dream Job – No Matter How Old You Are.
What do you think about my ideas on how to figure out what God wants you to do with your life? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! I read every comment, but don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.