How to Discern Your God-Given Call

  • 29 January 2017
  • Randy Wollf

Man walking alone in thoughtUnderstanding God's personal call is an important part of living fulfilled and productive lives as Christians (see Why Understanding Your Personal Calling is Important blog). Of course, Scripture describes God’s moral calling for every Christian―biblical principles guide us and help us know how we should live. Yet, it seems that God also has a more specific calling for each person―a job for them to do. Ephesians 2:10 says that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. What "good works" does God want us to do in our lifetime? Let’s look at three steps for discerning God’s calling.

Life Purpose

Simply stated, our life purpose is the reason we exist. It’s what gives our lives meaning. I’m sure we can think of many people who had a strong sense of purpose. Mahatma Gandhi sought to promote peace and equality in non-violent ways. Mother Teresa devoted her life to loving the least of these; to touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted. A Canadian hero, Terry Fox, set out to run across Canada on one leg to raise money for cancer research.

To discern your life purpose, prayerfully identify 6-10 Scriptures that are meaningful to you. Why do you think that God has emphasized these verses in your life? How do they connect with activities that give your life deep meaning? Write down single words or themes that stand out to you from these passages. Now, use those ideas to create a one-sentence purpose statement that captures at least something of why you believe God created you (see the Three Steps to Understand Your Life Purpose in a Deeper Way blog for a more detailed description of this process).

My life purpose is to build capacity in myself and others so that we can love God deeply and serve Him more effectively. My purpose statement went through numerous revisions, so don’t feel that you have to figure it all out at the start.

Core Values

Our core values are deeply embedded assumptions and beliefs that continuously influence our decisions. They are extremely important! They will either support or hinder the living out of our life purpose.

Living Out God's Call, No Matter What

  • 19 January 2016
  • Randy Wollf

Last July, I had the amazing opportunity of serving for two weeks with an indigenous Christian mission in Northern India. We had the privilege of learning from and building capacity in about 80 pastors and lay leaders along with 20 young women who were part of an eight-month discipleship/vocational training program.

I was deeply encouraged and challenged by the faith of those who came to the training. One Indian pastor, who has been almost blind for 30 years, travels from Hindu village to Hindu village sharing the Gospel. Villagers have beaten him seven times for his fervent witness. Yet, despite the opposition, 200 Hindus have accepted Christ through his ministry! God has called him to share the Gospel and he is prepared to do so, no matter what the cost is.

Another pastor, who grew up in Bhutan, came to Christ through a near-death experience involving explosives. Sharing your faith in Bhutan is illegal. Yet this man, like Peter and John in Acts 4:18-20, cannot stop speaking about Christ. Despite serving two prison sentences, he has seen many come to faith and has planted several churches. Even now, in his 80s, this pastor continues to live out God’s call on his life by proclaiming the Gospel boldly.

During our last day in India, we toured Mother House in Kolkata where Mother Teresa lived and worked. As I walked through a section of the House devoted to remembering Mother Teresa, one of Mother’s quotes deeply moved me:

“I do not want to be successful; I want to be faithful.”

For Mother Teresa, true success was being faithful to God and His call on her life.

What do you sense that God would have you to focus on in the months ahead? What are His priorities for your life?

In a previous blog, I shared about Why Understanding Your Personal Calling is Important. When we understand God’s plan for our lives, it helps us to stay on track with His priorities. We live with passion and purpose, willing to make significant sacrifices to follow our Lord’s directives.