This article is by Blair Parke and published by Crosswalk
It can start as that small feeling inside, leading you toward a path you never thought to travel. Maybe it’s the small voice that whispers in your mind to think toward a different perspective than the one you have now. Or, it could be hearing a clear message from God that you think isn’t possible, only to hear it confirmed over and over by others who had no knowledge of this message beforehand. When we are at a crossroads in life, or just feel a stirring in our hearts for more than our present circumstances, this is usually when God might be telling us something we need to hear or do.
God calls us to seek Him daily for answers, requests, and peace that comes from obedience and trust in Him. When we make it a point to follow Him in loving trust, then He can open up more of the plan He has in store for each of us. So, if God is telling you to do something, these three steps might be worth following to understand more of what our heavenly Father has called you to do.
What Does God Call Us to Do Daily?
We are told in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) that we must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This basically means that from morning to night, we are to place God first in everything we do, especially in our daily decisions. As we rise up in the morning, we are to thank Him for another day of life and ask that He lead us to accomplish what will bring others to Him and His kingdom. Our day should be filled with thanks for the blessings He has given us, great and small while asking for guidance as we move forward through daily challenges life brings.
This attitude each day allows God to reach us on a personal level, to let us know what and where we are to go next. To God, this shows not only our obedience to Him as our Creator, but our love for Him who loved us so much He allowed His son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Once we demonstrate this devotion to God by seeking His love and guidance daily, He understands that we are at a place where we will accept and follow where He leads us next.
What Does the Bible Teach Us about Those Who Obeyed God’s Calling?
If ever we needed an example of the prosperity to follow someone who surrendered to God and followed His will, the Bible has countless examples of people taking the chance to obey God’s calling and be blessed beyond measure. From Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac to Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, to Jesus’s disciples willing to spread the gospel when it meant separating from family and certain death, these examples from the Bible demonstrate the blessings God gives when we let Him take the reins.
What the Bible also teaches us is what happens to those who don’t follow God’s calling, how unnecessary turmoil and struggle could come to them because they would rather follow their own ways than God’s. Think of Jonah and the whale; King Solomon and his love of pagan women; even Lot’s wife, who became a pillar of salt when she looked back when God said look forward. The Bible shows that God knows what is ahead, as He created the plan, so following what you think the plan might be will only lead to suffering, heartache, and even more of a treacherous path ahead. God offered the invitation to obey His command to all, and it wasn’t cloaked as an ego trip but as a way to show His way can only lead to good outcomes.
What Are Three Things We Can Do When We Feel Like God Is Telling Us to Do Something?
So, let’s say you feel you have been told something by God to do that you aren’t sure is God talking or your mind playing tricks. Maybe He is telling you to leave your current job and join ministry full-time; maybe He is telling you to not give up on a relationship that you think is dead; maybe He is telling you to make some lifestyle changes that could not only benefit you but those around you. But before you go off to complete what you feel God has called you to do, these three steps could help solidify whether this is truly from God.
1. Take God’s request to the Word:
For anything that God or anyone tells you, do your research in God’s Word. The Bible is as relevant today as it was centuries ago, so no matter what you think God has told you, looking up Scriptures that apply is best.
If you need ideas on where to look first, the four Gospels are always good starting places because Jesus’s sermons and parables can apply to several situations in our lives (career, marriage, ministry, children). I always like the book of Proverbs, in that several verses pertain to following God and avoiding temptations where your flesh might take over. The book of Psalms is another good option with King David’s regular conversations with God about several life topics, while many look to Paul’s teachings through his letters to different churches as foundational insight into the modern world.
2. Talk with a trusted friend or confidante:
When God tells you to do something, it is never good to use just your judgment or understanding to determine what He is saying. We are social creatures so sharing problems or questions we have is something we always want to do. But before you go and tell anyone about what God is revealing to you, make sure who you tell this message to is someone who will give you sound, biblical insight into what God is saying.
Many turn to their pastors for this insight or their Bible study group, while some go to mentors, spouses, or trusted family members and/or friends. Whoever it is that you need to talk with, make sure it is someone who also has a strong relationship with God (as well as with you) and maybe bring questions to ask the person on what you think God might be saying and what you have found from your Bible research. Also, if this is a pretty important message given, it might be best to set up a specific time you can talk to this person about the matter privately and with as limited distractions as possible.
3. Write down and share questions and prayer requests to God:
It may sound silly to go back to the source of the original message, but sometimes God wants us to return to Him with questions and thoughts because it shows we see this as significant. It is always important to have quiet time with God, so maybe use some quiet time with God to discuss further what He told you in your spirit. Go to your place where you typically pray most to God, preferably away from others, and maybe write down some questions or prayer requests you have for God in order to know what to do with the message given.
Come to this quiet time knowing that your answer may not happen the first time you get down on your knees to pray. It could be days, months, or even years after God gives you the message to where He reveals to you what you are to do next. So, be patient, take the time with God, and know He will answer you when it is time to move forward.
A Prayer to Follow God’s Call
Whether you have or haven’t heard distinctly from God about something, it is always important to make sure you are spiritually ready for when God calls you. If you need help in preparing your heart for God’s mission, this prayer might be of assistance:
Dear heavenly Father,
Thank you for all You have done for me throughout my life, even while You were knitting me inside my mother’s womb. I can’t thank You enough for all You have done for me, especially in sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins.
Today, I want to pray for You to prepare my heart to follow Your call. I pray that I will be alert and ready for when You call me to do something, to go somewhere, or to change something about myself to shine my light for You.
Lead me, Lord, to where You need me most, and I thank you for believing and loving me. Thank you, in Jesus’s name. Amen.
Being open and ready to follow where God calls you can be quite a daunting task, especially if you don’t feel spiritually ready for it, but taking the steps to prepare helps you show God this is important to you. As we have read through countless stories in the Bible, those who answered God’s call were able to surpass the mountains in front of them and reveal God to others through their resilience and obedience to God. Those that didn’t answer the call were met with circumstances that some never fully recovered from.
If God has told you to do something, it is best to compare what He said to what the Bible says, gaining insight from a trusted friend or pastor, and then praying to God for answers and guidance. These three steps can help discern God’s meaning and the next step ahead on the journey. God is always telling us to do something; maybe today is the day to follow where He leads!