It was many years ago. I was working in my garden, listening to a Revive our Hearts broadcast. A lady spoke about finding your specific God-given mission. Up to that point I hadn’t even thought about it. I knew in general that I was to serve God, and I was in many ways.
But in that moment, I was struck that God had a special plan for me. One He wanted me to know and pursue.
So, as the lady suggested, I set out to determine God’s particular plan for me.
I began thinking about my spiritual gift(s), talents, and passion. I knew at that point that I had the spiritual gift of encouragement. I was a people-person and I loved to talk. I was self-motivated and passionate. But how was I to use all that?
I diligently asked God—for quite a long time. Weeks, maybe months. I’m not sure. Eventually, I kept “seeing in my mind’s eye” the word TELL. Tell? What in the world does that mean!?
Suddenly the light bulb came on! I am supposed to speak about Him. Duh! I’m supposed to tell others about my great and mighty God; to proclaim His Name from the rooftops (See Ps 145 below). So I began looking for opportunities to do just that.
Little by little—through God’s leading and the counsel of others—I found myself doing devotionals, giving testimonies at fellowship gatherings. Later I began facilitating, then teaching Bible studies.
The Lord kept giving me opportunities to speak more publicly.
I was petrified at first! Although I am a gabber—I prefer 1 on 1—not in front others. (Did you know that public speaking is one of the greatest fears for most people?) Due to my sheltered upbringing, I was afraid to even raise my hand in class, even after I was saved for many years. My heart pounded out of my chest whenever I was brave enough to speak up.
Once, God led me to have a major role in a Church play. The house was packed! Right before I went on stage, I desperately cried, “Lord, I can’t do this! You’ll have to speak through me!” He came through. Surprise, surprise. NOT! I remembered every line and did very well (although acting is not something I felt led to pursue).
A few years later in 2003, the Lord led me to start speaking regularly at the Baltimore Rescue Mission for women. That was the Lord’s training ground for me. Putting a speech together forces you to organize your thoughts. And the only thing that mitigated my fears was being prepared. I diligently prayed, studied, wrote, and practiced my talks.
I did my part and God gloriously did His!
As God proved His faithfulness to me, my confidence in Him—not myself—grew. I realized I was supposed to feel inadequate without Him. But with His enabling grace “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13)!
He equipped me, reassured me, and enabled me every step of the way. Other people told me how much I was helping them which confirmed that I was on the right track.
It was downright exciting to see God use me! That fueled the fire within me.
Fast forward 5 years.
“Write a book” said the Lord to my heart one morning. “TELL about Me through writing.”
Unlike most authors, I NEVER wanted to write a book. Flabbergasted, but compelled, I wrote and self-published the first of 6 books in 2012.
I don’t have time to share all the other milestones and details of my journey. (I’ve written a lot on it elsewhere.) But let me just say that every step of the way, God showed, repeatedly confirmed, encouraged, equipped, and empowered me to do His will.
Understand that this is an ongoing process that needs frequent re-evaluation and fine-tuning.
Here’s a nutshell of what I did to find my God-given purpose and stay in it:
- Examined my spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, and burdens.
- Asked and kept asking God for direction.
- Counselled with others.
- Stayed close to my Father so I could discern His “Voice.”
- As I began to recognize God’s open doors, I begged Him for courage to step out in faith; submitted my inadequacies to God. Did as He directed.
- Intentionally looked for ways to use my gifts in fulfilling my mission.
- Prayerfully examined every opportunity in light of God’s will for me.
So my friend, will you set out to find your God-given mission? God wants you to know it and will give you everything you need to accomplish it!
Next time I’ll talk about the countless times I questioned my calling.