3 Ways of Hearing God’s Workplace Calling (Video)Video / Produced by TOW Project
Most people don’t hear God speak from the clouds and point them to a particular career.
If you’re wondering what God is calling you to do, here are three things to pay attention to:
- The needs of the world
- Your skills and gifts
- Your truest desires.
1) The needs of the world
God created people to work to meet the needs of humanity. Needs aren’t just huge global problems. You’re called to solve the immediate needs around you - like working to support your family.
1 Timothy 5:8 says that “Whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith.”
Beyond the walls of your home there are needs both big and small. In Matthew 25:34-36 Jesus blesses those who give food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and care to the sick.
God praises the excellent woman of Proverbs 31 because “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.” She’s able to do this because she works and “her merchandise is profitable” (Proverbs 31:18-20).
It’s impossible for you to meet all the needs of the world, so narrow it down: What needs are you personally responsible for? (like caring for children or extended family.)
What needs are you in a good position to meet? (You might run for elected office in your town, instead of moving away to find new work.)
Are there needs that not many others are willing to address? (You might be one of the few people willing to document human rights abuses across the world. If an issue is frequently on your mind, it could be that God is using it to call you.)
God has given everyone the ability to recognize something that the world needs. God expects you to notice these needs and get to work, even without hearing an audible call.
2) Your skills and gifts
The Bible says that God gives people gifts for accomplishing specific work. Some of these gifts are named, as in Romans 12:6-8 which lists prophesy, teaching, generosity, diligence and cheerfulness.
And of course there are specific workplace gifts, like talents for mathematics or cooking, which also come from God.
Other people can often see your gifts better than you can. Ask Christians in your community what they see in you. Or use an assessment tool to learn more about yourself.
Your gifts are a good starting point, but not an end to finding your calling. After all, gifts develop with effort over time, and sometimes God gives his gifts only after you take the job in which you’ll need them. So keep an open mind to how God made you and where he might be calling you next.
3) Your truest desires
Your desires are important to God. Psalm 37:4 says “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Christians sometimes expect that if God calls them to a job, it will be something they hate, as in: think of a country you would hate living in, and imagine God is calling you to be a missionary there. But why? The best missionaries love the place and people they serve. And besides, who says God wants you to be a missionary? If God is guiding you towards a particular place or profession, it’s more likely you’ll feel a deep desire for it in your heart.
In the end, there’s Freedom in Christ.
The needs of the world, your skills and gifts, and your truest desires may be guides to your calling. But there’s no formula. For most Christians, God’s calling is more like being pointed in God’s direction, rather than like being given a particular job title to aim for.
Thank God, you don’t have to get the perfect job or fulfill your unique potential to make God happy. In Christ, believers have perfect freedom.
As 2 Corinthians 3:17 puts it, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
As a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), you have freedom to take risks, to fail, and to make mistakes. Or you can accept the job you’re in as good enough, and work with God there.
In the end, you won’t be judged on your job, but on the merits of Jesus Christ, applied to you by God’s grace in giving you faith.
There is only one indispensable calling from God: the call to belong to Christ.