Goals / Milk & Honey

Answering God’s Call

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Most of us have an idea of where we want to go in life, or at least, how we’d like it to turn out. We try our best to align our actions with our desired outcomes, but life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, God interrupts us on our journeys and asks for us to pivot in ways we’d never expect. To answer God’s call is profound. It pushes us to new depths and experiences, but it’s also a choice that is full of uncertainty. We don’t always know where we are going, nor do we know what obstacles we’ll face along the way. And yet, answering yes, is still our best option.

Facing the Uncertainty.

The scriptures give us insight on what it takes to answer God’s call. One of the most well-known examples we can find is the story of Abraham (at the time Abram), and how his journey first started. In Genesis 12:1, we read “Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.” I’m always fascinated that God said to Abraham that he should go – to a land that I will show you. That’s future tense, meaning – you’ll find out in due time. We don’t know much about Abraham or his faith at this point, but it’s hard for me to imagine starting a journey without clear direction on where I’m going.

With such a request, how do you make a plan? How do you know how much to carry, or which direction to go, or how long it will take? The answer is – you don’t. And that level of not knowing is often the reason we don’t start. Our need for certainty and/or control blocks us from receiving God’s full blessing. When we do find the courage to start – we still might struggle to finish. It’s hard to measure progress without knowing more about the ending. Doubt always has a way of storming in when it feels like it’s taking too long for us to arrive.

Nevertheless, we must keep marching forward.

Abraham did not always get it right, but one of the keys to his success was embracing patience in combination with faith. In faith, Abraham answered God’s call. In patience, he kept going in the midst of ambiguity, trusting that God would give him his next steps when the time was right. Nevertheless, for many of us, Abraham’s story might feel like an infinite distance away from our own. How many of us can say that God has called us to leave our homes to venture to an unknown land? His story appears to be unique, and not always relatable.  

But what if we considered for a moment – the disciples. Or Moses. Or Esther. They each answered God’s call, leaving behind the known for the unknown. They faced a myriad of uncertainties and didn’t necessarily meet them all with grace. They did however, course correct when needed, and pressed forward. We too, must do the same, when answering God’s call. Giving our lives to Christ means that we too, are embracing the unknown. We’re going on a journey, and we aren’t really sure where it’s going to take us, but we must keep marching forward.

How to Stay on Course

One of the greatest detractors to answering God’s call is self. When saying yes to God, we put self aside to submit to His will. Yet, that’s not always an easy task. When we have our hearts set on particular outcomes, God’s voice feels harsh when not in line with our own. Overwhelming is a sentiment that comes to mind. Emotions cloud our judgement, and if we aren’t careful, we start to block out the voice of God. Like Abraham who encountered a famine and left the promise land to go to Egypt, we’ll think what we’re doing is for the best, but our consultation with God to ensure alignment will be missing.

To stay on course requires commitment, even when our emotions tell us otherwise. If we rely on motivation or comfort to keep us going, we will eventually fail. We can’t count on feeling passionate, excited, or joyful all of the time. The truth is that in some seasons, we’ll feel on fire for God. In others, we’ll be exhausted. On some days, we will feel confident in where we’re going. And for other decisions, we’ll be required to exercise our faith… to sit in the unknown until God tells us it’s time to come out on other side.

Commitment is a choice, and it’s one we must continually re-make every day. Some days we will fail, and other days we will struggle. But do not be discouraged. Show yourself compassion, and if given the opportunity to try again – keep going. We serve a God who is understanding to our suffering. In compassion, He carries us when we can no longer carry ourselves. We just have to trust that He is, and that what He has in store for us is what is best for our lives.

But is it me talking, or is it You God?

Answering God’s call can be hard for us. We might be worried that it’s our own voice we’re hearing instead of His. How do we know the difference? Well, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” When unsure, ask for a sign. Pray for clarity. But most importantly, slow down, and take your time. Even if you need to make a quick decision, give yourself a moment to breathe and connect with God. Don’t decide until you’re sure that it’s God’s voice you’re hearing.

Answering God’s call

To answer God’s call takes us getting to know God. We learn to recognize His voice and submit to His will. Self fades as we learn to embrace strength, discernment, courage, and patience. Most importantly, we put our relationship with God into action. We take steps to exercise our faith, in the smallest and greatest of situations. We face the sins we cherish and pray for the ability to overcome them. Excuses have no place in our hearts. Instead, we replace emotions that push us away from God with honesty, authenticity, and genuine connection.

Such a relationship allows us to feel comfortable with telling God when we’re unsure, confused, sad, or overwhelmed. As obstacles mount and the days grow long, we cry tears at the foot of the cross knowing that God has the power to grant us the type of peace that moves us through this chaos. We press on, answering God’s call with dignity, grace, and in our imperfections. We won’t always get it right. Abraham didn’t. Moses didn’t. Esther didn’t. But I’m thankful for every chance we have to try again, and to make the most of the life God has given us. There is no better gift we can give ourselves than to answer the call of Christ. He is waiting at the door, and I pray – we all let Him enter.

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