Five Practical Ways to Answer God’s Calling

Have you ever thought about God’s calling on your life? Does the prospect of God using you seem so intimidating that you can’t possibly see it working out right? Are you still contemplating how you would even pull off what He has put in your heart?

I can tell you, years ago, I was in your shoes. I clearly heard from God: “You will speak in my name.” And yet, all the details were not truly revealed at that time. He gave me just enough to know that what He was speaking to me was His assignment for me. Not my friends, not my neighbor, but little ol’ 5’2” me.

And yes, I was filled with self-doubt. But my doubts didn’t surround what God could do, rather they were a reflection of my inability to conceive how I would carry it out.

“Lord, my background has been in nursing. I know I lead small group on Friday nights, but that is only eight to ten people, and most of them are close friends at this point. I have no degree in theology. There are still scriptures I have a hard time interpreting.”

So why would a big and powerful God use mixed-up, broken people like you and I to carry out some really great things in His name? Simply put – relationship. God is all about relationship, and we were created for relationship with God and with others.

Relationship doesn’t occur in isolation. It is a give and take, a back and forth, an exchange of thoughts, feelings, and actions. When strong, healthy relationships are in place –us and God, us and others –big things do happen!

Our relationships are the vehicle God uses to help us fulfill the calling on our life. And although everyone has their own specific and unique way to contribute to that calling, our joint efforts help to carry out the overall calling that God has given the followers of Christ:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:19 AMP

I hope some of the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place for you now. And as you are considering all of this, let’s talk about some practical ways we can answer God’s call on our life:

  1. Love God. We can’t be disconnected from the power source and expect anything to happen. So the first thing we must do is check in on our relationship with God.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’” Matt. 22:37 NLT

  1. Pray consistently. If you want God to provide further details on your assignment over time, there has to be an ongoing dialogue with Him. That’s what prayer is all about.

Never stop praying. 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

  1. Know why we do what we do. Several times in the Bible, we are commanded to love. Love our neighbors, love our enemies, and simply to love others. We can do this only within the context of these words written by John:

We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NLT

  1. Be brave. When we go out in Jesus’ name, we never go out alone. One of the most gracious things the Lord does in scripture is to remind us over and over not to be afraid. My favorite go-to verse when I feel dread creeping in is:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7 NLT

  1. And lastly, praise Him for the end result (even if we don’t see it). We don’t always get to see the immediate result of our work for Christ, but we can count on our efforts contributing to His overall plan and that His will – will.be.done!

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever. Ps. 86:12 NLT

Were you expecting something different? Perhaps a more scholarly discussion. Nope! It really isn’t necessary. One thing we need to remember is God simply asks that we ‘do.’ When we obey His instructions, He does all the heavy lifting. None of us can change another person’s heart, only Jesus can do that. But praise Him that we get to be a part of the process.

I heard that sigh of relief you just let out! That’s great!

I hope the weight of the world has been removed from your shoulders, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy. No doubt, there’s a lot of work to do. But when we take practical steps: love God, pray consistently, remember why we do what we do, be brave, and praise Him for the end result, the work goes much smoother!

I would love to hear from you! What has God called you to do? What part of this writing really blessed you? Which area(s) do you need to work on so that the load seems lighter?


Amplified Bible (AMP). Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

10 Comments

  1. Qhezu Sibiya-Reply
    November 23, 2018 at 6:14 PM

    I am Thandazile. I have heard God say to me that He protected me when I was young because He wanted me as I am now. Prophets here are saying I have a special calling, which is attracting enemies and witches. I am spiritually attacked and every time it makes me concentrate on the negatives. I have terrible dreams, financial problems, marital problems….the list is endless. I pray almost every time something happens, maybe 4 to 6 times a day, but nothing seem to help. What must I do? Please advise.

    • November 25, 2018 at 8:59 PM

      Thandazile,

      I am so sorry to hear of the heavy spiritual attack that you are under. I will also be praying for you. When the Apostle Paul was attacked and suffering in great ways, he found a way to praise God for what he had. Prayer AND worship can be powerful against the devil.

      If you have not entered into a relationship with Jesus, the son of the living God, now is the time. Ask God to reveal His son Jesus to you, ask God to forgive you of any sins you may have committed, and then ask Jesus to come into your life to be your Lord and Savior.

      If you have an established relationship with Jesus already, ask Him for peace and protection as well as wisdom in what to do next. I believe He will answer!

      Blessings!

  2. Emmanuel Atoyebi-Reply
    October 2, 2018 at 6:47 AM

    I am Emmanuel. I have heard a calling from God many times. Recently, I had a dream in which I saw Pastor Folu Adeboye (RCCG) asked me “Why are you ignoring the call of God?” I also went to some other pastors to seek prayer and they all said the same thing. Please help me, how should I start?

    • October 3, 2018 at 12:37 PM

      Hi Emmanuel! The first place to start is by reading the Bible daily and praying to God that He would reveal to you through the scriptures what He has for you. By communicating with Him daily, you start to feel Him drawing closer. Be alert for thoughts that align with His word and continue to ask those of the church to speak into your life. Reflect on what you are good at (meaning connecting others together, serving others or the church in some special way, or a skill set you have that not everyone has like woodwork). As simple as those sound, this is where God sometimes starts with us in revealing our true calling. Seek Him in all things and I am sure He will provide the answers you are seeking. Blessings!

  3. francis-Reply
    September 24, 2018 at 1:43 AM

    Please send me your email. I would like to communicate directly and privately. My calling has been hard on me. I really need help.

    • September 26, 2018 at 10:13 AM

      Hi Francis! Here is my contact page with email listed. https://elainelankford.com/contact/ You can also entered your message through the contact form at the bottom of that page, which is private and secure. I get those messages directly and they are not published. Look forward to hearing your story.

  4. Joseph Mulbah Kerlie, II-Reply
    August 17, 2018 at 7:59 AM

    Good day,

    Out of the 5 practical ways to answer the call of God in my life, I want to focus on the second ( Praying Consistently). I understand prayer is a communication between God and his children. But most often I pray without hearing from Him. After prayer I wait for minutes desiring to hear that still voice but to no avail. How can you help me?

    • August 18, 2018 at 9:06 AM

      Joseph,
      Thank you for your comments! I think most of us want to hear that still small voice, but in reality God speaks to us through His word and through others much more. Keep yourself open to those avenues when seeking a word from God. I believe the more you study the Bible and pray regularly that you WILL hear that still small voice. Don’t get stuck on praying in one place or one way. I often just walk around the house and have conversation with God or talk to Him while driving. Over the years, the Holy Spirit has allowed me to hear that still small voice more and more. But I can go for days and not hear it. That’s when I start opening myself up to seeing if He is speaking through His word or another person and sure enough, things I read in the Bible or talk with others about seem to be right in line with what I am praying about. I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to fill your heart and that God will bless you. And I believe you WILL hear that still small voice soon! Blessings, Elaine

  5. Wendy Christopher-Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 5:26 AM

    Gee thanks for the article, honestly I’m just a 15 year old girl and its kinda overwhelming that I received God’s calling. Each time I think about the calll, I get kinda…I don’t know, queasy cause I feel like am not worthy, I’m a sinner and yet God still calls me to serve.I don’t deserve it.
    The whole idea is too much and each time God tells me that he’d carry all my worries, all my problems , all my doubt if I just do His work. He knows that am scared and He comforts me with His Words. He keeps telling me that the time is short, He is coming soon and if I don’t talk to those people that am supposed to talk to before he comes, am gonna be in real trouble.
    The problem is that; am stilll hesitant!
    Please help me or pray for me or something …please. I need boldness, I need dedication and focus, I need God more and more.

    • August 18, 2018 at 9:00 AM

      Hi Wendy,
      First, apologizes for answering this so late. Second, will definitely be praying for you!!! It is scary to get a call from God no matter your age. Lots of folks in there 30’s 40’s, and even 50’s are scared to death to answer the call. How brave you are to even be responding to God in such a manner! My advice – take a deep breath, allow yourself some grace, and then step out little by little. You don’t have to share the whole gospel with someone at once. You can just say “I believe God sees you and loves you.” Sometimes that is all that is needed to get the conversation started. But, the conversation may go on over time, so don’t expect a change in that person all at once (although it is awesome when that happens). Keep seeking God, stay in His Word, and ask Him the tough questions. He really doesn’t mind! I will be praying for you!!! Elaine

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