No matter how long you have been a Christian, it’s normal to wonder what God’s purpose for your life is. But how do you know if God is calling you to do something? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
How do you know if God is trying to tell you something?
Here are the 5 top signs God is trying to tell you something:
The first sign God is trying to tell you an important thing is that you keep getting related repetitive messages. For instance, you could keep coming across bible verses that are talking about the same issue.
Alternatively, you could consistently come across similar articles, sermons, and songs – you could even keep having a related repetitive dream.
You should particularly pay attention to such repetitive messages if they address an area of your life that you are currently struggling with. Interestingly, God has been speaking to people through dreams from Old Testament times. Even non-believers like King Nebuchadnezzar received prophetic dreams.
Similar feedback from other believers
If a family member, trusted friend, or fellow followers of Christ keep telling you the same thing about you, pay attention to it, even if it’s not what you want to hear. They may have been sent to guide you to your ultimate purpose or to warn you that you’re veering off God’s will.
If you keep failing in the same area of your life, God could be trying to tell you something. For instance, if you keep falling into the same sin over and over again, it could be a sign that you have not surrendered that issue to God yet.
On the other hand, if you keep failing every time you try to start a certain business, it could be that God’s plan for you is different.
Another sign God is trying to tell you something is a hardened heart. A great example of this situation is the story of Pharaoh refusing to let go of the people of God despite Moses’ insistence that it was God’s will. Ultimately, this made God use force to free his holy nation.
In the same vein, if you notice that you are no longer moved by your sins, there’s a high chance that God is trying to get your attention. It’s just that you probably won’t notice until he does something drastic.
So if you notice that several things are happening in your life and are pointing in a certain direction or are trying to convince you to do something, God could be speaking to you.
In some cases, God talks to us using a small voice in our head or spirit. While sometimes this can manifest as a gut feeling, it can also be heard as an audible voice. This is what happened in 1 Samuel 3:7-10.
In this bible passage, Samuel heard God’s voice calling his name severally and thought it was Eli. This isn’t the only time God uses an audible voice with someone in the bible though. His son Jesus Christ even appeared to Saul (later on known as the apostle Paul) on his way to Damascus and asked him why he was persecuting him.
How do you figure out what God is calling you to do?
Figuring out God’s calling on your own life can be tricky. Fortunately, we have compiled 5 tips below to help you find clarity in this confusing time:
When you’re trying to figure out your individual calling, you need to be obedient to whatever instructions God gives you, even when they’re scary, unexpected, and difficult to understand.
This first step of faith can lead you to your true purpose. After all, the bible is full of stories that remind us of the dangers of disobedience.
A great example is the story of Jonah. When God sent him to preach in Nineveh and he tried to avoid doing it, a whale eventually swallowed him.
Focus on the will of God
The difficult truth is that you’ll never find what God’s calling you to do if you are constantly thinking of yourself. Instead, you should focus on God’s will. After all, you are not on this earth to just live a good life – you’re here to fulfill God’s purpose.
So focus on him more and make yourself less (John 3:30). This posture of humility will make you more willing to leave your comfort zone and chase after whatever he has set before you. As C.S Lewis reminds us true humility involves thinking of yourself less.
Use your different gifts and talents
No matter which talents or spiritual gifts God has given you, they are linked to your calling. As such, it’s important to use them for the glory of God, particularly to serve others. Ultimately, this is one of the characteristics possessed by faithful stewards of God (1 Peter 4:10)
Don’t let fear stop you
If you suspect that God’s calling to something, don’t let fear stop you from trying it out. It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all. As 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, God has given us a spirit of power and love rather than one of fear.
Dwell on God’s word
Regularly dedicating some quiet time to studying the word of God can help you figure out what your calling is. After all, it’s full of inspiring characters, stories, and bible verses about pursuing your calling even during difficult times.
Beyond that, it works within us to achieve what God intended it to (Isaiah 55:11)
How do you know when God puts something on your heart?
When you’re trying to figure out your calling, it’s easy to mistake the selfish desires of your heart for God’s will. After all, the heart of a human being is one of the most deceitful things out there (Jeremiah 17:9). So to help you out, here are 4 signs that God is the one who put something on your heart:
It aligns with God’s word
God will never call you to do bad things that contradict his word. Instead, he will call you to good work – such as spreading the good news.
It’s bigger than you
God never gives us small desires – he gives us big dreams that are greater than us. Most times, these dreams are outside our comfort zone and can seem impossible. After all, his ways are greater than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).
Remember, God asked Noah to build an ark – something unheard of at the time. He also asked Moses, a stammerer, to go save his holy nation from slavery. Ultimately, God will call you to do something even if it’s your first time doing it.
You will need faith to achieve it
Because of the sheer size of the things God calls his people to do, accomplishing them requires faith. After all, even Sarah needed to have faith before she could finally give birth to Sarah (Hebrews 11:11)
You will need to be patient and work hard
Just because God calls you to something doesn’t mean that doing it will be easy. On the contrary, anything worthwhile that God calls you to do will require you to work hard and be patient. Even Hebrews 6:12 warns against being lazy and encourages us to work in faith and patience.
Moreover, the bible has a lot of people who had to work hard for a long time in the pursuit of their calling. The creator of the universe himself had to patiently work for 6 days to make every good thing.
So don’t give up when you constantly have to deal with hard things – alignment will come at the proper time.
How to know if God is telling you not to do something
Whenever you’re about to do something that you’re not supposed to do, the holy spirit will try to guide you back to God’s direction. This will manifest through signs of various forms. These include:
Different open doors
One of the clearest signs God doesn’t want you to do something is that he will shut the door to that decision and open other different doors. For instance, if you’ve been thinking of moving to another company, he may stop that from happening and offer you a promotion at your current job instead.
This can be quite frustrating if you’ve been doing your best to move in your preferred direction. A great example of this kind of dilemma is that of Esther. While it would have been easier for her to not reveal her Jewish heritage and let the people of God die, she chose to plead for them.
What you want to do contradicts God’s word
Another clear sign that you’re on the wrong track and need to stop is that what you’re trying to do contradicts the word of God. Even 1 John 5:14-15 tells us that we will only get what we have asked for if it’s in the will of God.
Rebukes from other members of the royal priesthood
Sometimes, the heavenly father sends others with a personal relationship with Him to warn us about our choices. Such opposition should be taken as wise counsel. Even 2 Timothy 2:23-26 states that a true citizen of the kingdom of God will be willing to correct others.
Signs God is calling you to ministry
Clear signs that God’s calling you to ministry include:
You have a desire to serve God
The first sign God is calling you to ministry is a fervent desire to serve God and others. After all, even Jesus Christ said that he came to serve and give his own life up for others (Matthew 20:28).
Ultimately, such a selfless desire can make you want to start teaching a Sunday school class or share the good news in the mission field.
You meet God’s standards for spiritual leaders
In 1 Timothy chapter 3, the apostle Paul outlines the qualities that a religious leader should possess. These include hospitality, self-control, respectability, and spiritual maturity. So if you have these qualities, God could be calling you to ministry.
Others think you would do well in ministry
If a trusted friend or member of the body of Christ keeps telling you that you would thrive in ministry and create a huge impact, it could be your calling. After all, other followers of Christ are meant to inspire us in our spiritual journey.
Even Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us that we are constantly surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who should inspire us to evade sin and endure the race before us.
This bible passage reminds us that Christ Jesus also did the same and endured the cross, eventually earning him a seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Open doors in ministry
Another sign that your new calling is in ministry is that God keeps opening doors for you there. For instance, you could suddenly find yourself leading your church’s youth group or teaching a Sunday school class. After all, God orchestrates all the steps of a righteous man (Psalm 37:23).
You are filled with the holy spirit
If you’re a person God has hand-picked for ministry, he will send the holy spirit to guide you. After all, Christ Jesus also promised to send the holy spirit to the disciples when he died so that they could complete their mission (Acts 1:8). Ultimately, the spirit of truth gave them power and the ability to speak in tongues.
We know that this is not all that the holy spirit does though. It also births fruits like goodness, kindness, patience, love, peace, joy, and self-control in you (Galatians 5:22-23).
When God’s calling you to do something, he will try to communicate with you in a variety of ways. So learn to identify and listen to God’s voice – this will save you a lot of time and confusion in the long run.