We as Christians use this word often.
These questions are something I have subconsciously been working through. I don’t think I realized that my intentions weren’t truly to follow what God has for me, but what I thought was the most holy calling until I was real with where my heart was at.
I went to college for four years. I have a bachelor’s degree. My parents have spent a lot of money on me. These are all reasons and excuses for my want to have a job that impresses, a job that people will see as of value.
I’ll be sharing the gospel full time. My work will be used to further the Kingdom of God. I’ll be able to see my rewards in heaven. These are all reasons and excuses for my want to have a job that is seen as spiritual or holy.
What I’m hung up on is not what I feel God wants for me but what I feel other people want for me. Not just what a good job will be but what the most holy job would be. I bet this sounds pretty messed up to some of you, but when looking into your heart do you hear some of the same questions and statements? Excuses and lies?
1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” Then it goes on to say in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
God’s will for our lives is that we would be sanctified, becoming more like Him everyday. Our call is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks through that sanctification. Does this shed light on whether we should be a missionary or someone who works in a cubicle? No. But it does shed light on our intentions behind the decisions.
When trying to figure out what God wants for my life, I have had to ask myself some tough questions. Questions like, “Are you trying to prove something to yourself or to others? Are you trying to find value in a profession instead of your identity in Christ?” These questions have brought out intentions and motivations I wasn’t aware that I had inside me.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the Christian life isn’t about leading “x” amounts of people to Christ or making the biggest impact for the kingdom. It’s all about following what God has for me.
So when you are feeling lost and not sure what God has in store for you, here are some tips to help you be reminded of what he really wants for your life.
Seek Him out first. Don’t allow the values of others dictate what you feel God wants you to do in your life. If you don’t even know what he wants for you, wait on Him! Take a step of faith and pursue something you love to do. In time, you will find what he has for you in your giftings. He has made you uniquely and gifted you with certain talents, skills, desires, and passions. Just because you have a job that isn’t what you want to do with the rest of your life doesn’t mean your life is worthless. He is calling you to be sanctified in him wherever you are and in whatever you do.
Look into your heart and find your true motivations. Ask God to show you where you are putting your value. Is it in other’s opinions, or is it in your journey with Him? If you feel your motivations aren’t in the right place, ask Him to make you more like Him! Ask Him to do his will in sanctifying you where you are!
When you find what God wants for you in this season, follow through! This might sound like a duh, but follow-through is sometimes the hardest part. Again, don’t worry about what others might think. Your identity as God’s child is all that matters. You will find true freedom and joy when following the journey that God has for you!
It’s hard to find out what God wants for our lives, but just remember that what he wants is for you to become more like Him! If the desire of your heart is to draw near to God and be sanctified, He will draw near to you. Stay faithful and watch how he uses you for his Kingdom.
God, I pray that these decisions wouldn’t weigh us down. It’s hard to figure out where you want us to take our next step--although we do know that after taking that step of faith we are able to trust in you more because you never let us down. I pray for the hard decisions that people are having to make today, and pray that you would help direct us all to the place you want us to be. Sanctify us Lord to become more like you! We love you!
[This post first appeared on Radical Everyday Living, December 23, 2013.]