Maybe God is calling you to go back to school, drop out of college, start a business, or end a relationship. What do you do when you hear God’s call and it involves disrupting your life, family, relationships, financial security?
You go to His Word and listen for further instructions. You ask for wisdom, seek His will, and hold Jesus’ hand while you knock on doors.
And you remember that you are not alone. In 6 Practical Ways to Find God’s Call on Your Life I offer practical tips on what to do when you hear God’s calling. This article is different because I’m revealing a personal glimpse into my own life. I heard God’s call this morning, and today I will ask for wisdom, seek His will, and hold Jesus’ hand while I knock on doors. Come, I’ll show you what I mean…
This morning while writing in my journal, I heard the words “teach girls to read and write.” I’ve been yearning to do something deeper and more meaningful in my life, I’ve traveled extensively, and I easily adapt to different cities, countries, and cultures. I’m financially secure, childless, and self-employed.
You’d think it’d be easy for me to follow God’s calling on my life, but it’s not. I’m reluctant to disrupt my husband’s life. We have two dogs and a cat that require attention, time, care, love. My first book — Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back — is coming out soon and my publisher expects me to market it.
It seems like nobody will happily receive the news that I’m going to India or Africa to teach girls to read and write…and yet I feel compelled to move forward.
What about you — what do you hear God calling you to do? Maybe you don’t have a firm idea, or you feel like your life has no purpose or meaning. Maybe you’re scared, faithless, undisciplined, or confused.
Don’t worry; you are not alone. God brought you here for a reason, and He will lead you forward.
What to Do When You Hear God Calling
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of the Bible! This article (What to Do When You Hear God Calling – Step 7) is inspired by Genesis 7 — and by God’s call on my life a few hours ago.
We meet Noah in this article. He knew what to do when he heard God’s call on his life. His response and actions give us insight for responding to God’s calling on our own lives. Genesis 7 also reveals a few key truths about God’s nature and relationship with humans.
1. He has a plan for the world. In Genesis 7 we see one of God’s plans for the world in magnificent, dramatic, detailed action! Noah lived in a specific era, and God knew what He needed to do with the earth at that time and place. He is holy, just, and thoughtful. God sees everything that happens in this world, and He feels grief and joy, anger and compassion. He is actively planning our days, relationships, and experiences — even when it feels like our lives are out of control. God’s plan involves calling us to work with Him to carry forth His will.
2. God involves us in His plans. God doesn’t work alone. In The Reason You Were Created – Step 1 (inspired by Genesis 1) I highlight the fact that God wasn’t alone when He created the world. God works through us to accomplish His plans and He equips us with what we need to follow His call on our lives. God seems to enjoy partnering with us to make changes in this world. I think it’s because working together deepens our relationship and draws us closer to Him. Remember this when you’re wondering what to do when you hear God calling: He won’t abandon you.
3. God doesn’t extend His mercy forever. Genesis 7 isn’t the only instance in the Bible that God renders justice on unbelievers, faithless folk, evil people. God calls and calls and calls…and eventually allows people to fall into the consequences of their lives. There is a point of no return. Only eight people survived the flood in Genesis 7. The rest died because they weren’t walking with God or following His plan for their lives.
Don’t let it get too late to follow God’s calling on your life. Don’t say, “I want to follow God’s call for my life but I don’t know what to do, or how, or when, or with whom.” You’ll regret it.
About You and Me
1. We are being called by God. You’re here on She Blossoms — and I’m working on my “She Blossoms Through the Bible” project — because God is calling us. What else has God called you to do? Clicking on this article and reading these words is a small prompt or calling from Him. Paying attention to His call on your life is another small prompt. God is calling you to do something bigger, better, and more fruitful with your life! It’s exciting, even when we don’t know what to do or even where to start. This requires us to trust on and lean into Him.
2. We will need Jesus’ help. We sometimes fall into the trap of relying too much on our brains, strength, courage, energy, money, family, friends, social capital, community, church. The problem with this is that they don’t always hear God’s call on our life. God speaks to us in a variety of ways — the Bible, prayer, sermons, books, “random” circumstances, believers, even nonbelievers. But we’ll have to move out of our familiar homes and territory to actually follow God’s calling, just like Noah did. God gave step-by-step instructions to Noah for building the ark, and He will lead us forward the same way.
3. We can trust God — even though we’re inclined not to. We want to go our own way. We believe the deceiver when he asks if we can really trust God. We get caught up in fear and doubt, in wondering what to do when we hear God calling instead of trusting Him. We get our life purpose and our life calling mixed up. We forget that our life purpose as believers is to love Jesus with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Our calling is our specific, individual assignments from God. We also forget that He will equip us with everything we need to pursue His holy plans for our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.
What to Do When You Hear God Calling
Praise Jesus and take one step forward! Stop worrying about what to do when you hear His call on your life. It’s time to take a small step or giant leap forward — and what this means depends on what God is calling you to do. For me, it means searching the internet for Christian organizations that help girls learn how to read and write. And it also means trusting that God will help me work out the details of my life.
Stay focused on hearing God’s call and moving forward, one little step at a time. He will come through for you in big ways — just like He did with Noah.
What is one small step you can take forward today? Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below.
May you find wisdom and clarity, strength and courage, peace and joy. May your struggle to find exactly what to do when you hear God calling cease…and may the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit fill your heart, mind, soul, and spirit.
With His love,
P.S. If you’re struggling with a difficult decision or starting a new season in life, read An Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will.