Answer The Call
A friend and I were having a really good conversation about identity and spiritual gifts the Lord gives. She asked how can you start growing in knowing what you are called to do and what your gifting's are. My answer, easily said, but not always easily done is this: Answer the call.
Answering the call is a saying I use to encourage myself to step up in times when I’m uncomfortable. I have learned when I am asked by people to step up in ways that I never have before, to do it, because that might be the very tool God uses to stretch and reveal things in you. Someone asks you to publicly speak or lead a small group? To spearhead something at work? To pray at family gatherings? Step up. It could very well be God calling you higher. We can see plenty of those “step up” moments in the bible as well.
Sheep boy, will you be King?
David is one of those stories where you see how the Lord recognizes potential in someone way before they see it. David was a shepherd boy. He was the youngest of his father’s sons and could be found doing “minuscule” tasks, compared to fighting in battles like his brothers. His victories against lions and bears weren’t seen by anyone else but God…and that’s all the audience he needed. When God decided Israel needed a new king, He used the foolish things to confound the wise: A sheep boy, tending to his sheep. When it was time for Goliath to go down, who stepped up: A sheep boy, tending to his sheep.
What I’m saying is this, you don’t know what’s inside of you, but your Maker does. Answer the call.
Learning new things with God? So did Samuel (1 Samuel 3: 1-10)
Samuel was a young man who was beginning to hear the Lord’s voice. As you can see it took him three times and help from Eli to see exactly what was going on. It was new, and he didn’t quite know how to respond. He’s at an odd place that I’m sure many people have been at before. He thought he heard Eli call him but subsequently Eli didn’t call him at all. He heard a voice, but whose is it? I think it was a very profound response that Eli told him to say “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. Though this was new for him and he had never heard his voice his response changed the game for his future when he answered the call.
There came a time in my life where I realized shrinking back was just not an option anymore. I was used to being the quiet one in class that shared all my input in my homework, only for the teacher to read. I was used to having good convos and bible studies amongst close friends only. I was used to doing projects on my own because teams required too much. However, the time came where God was calling me out of my comfort zone. Not because I liked it, but because He had something for me to say.
I noticed a pattern of a push to step up. I went from timid to owning it. I learned that acting like I can’t do something is hurting both me and the people who need it. So when I’m asked to do something I do it. My answers turned into: “Yes I can lead that” or “Yes, I can do that” and “Yes I can teach you how to write that”. Sometimes scared and all! God was confident in me so I figured I needed to be. With each yes it opened doors to what God knew was already inside: A coach, helper, intercessor, advocate, writer, speaker, counselor, local and international missionary, and the list goes on. This leads back to the first question of “how do we know what we’re called to do or what are gifts are?”. It’s essentially asking, “how do we know what’s inside of us?” It’s my belief that we’ll never know unless we answer the call.
Next question: How do you know if it’s the right opportunity to grow? You might think to yourself “how do I know if this is a right opportunity or if the person asking me to do something is actually God sent?” Here are some tips I live by:
Believe Trusted People- If it is coming from someone you trust and has your best interest at heart like your pastor, mentor or even friend, it could potentially be the right direction. You see earlier in Samuels example that Eli was the one that helped him learn God’s voice. Most times those who can be trusted will not do it with impure intentions. Plus, it’s important to have good counsel around you. (Proverbs 11:14)
Try the spirit- Try every spirit to see if it is of God! (1 John 4:1)
Pray/Obey- Ask God for clarity on it and He will answer you. You don’t have to be confused or anxious about it. Even if you try and fail at least you learned the lesson. (James 1:5, Phil 4:6)
Like David and Samuel, there is more that’s inside of you and its for the Glory of God. Answer the call!
Until next time,