What Is God’s Will For My Life??

long_roadWhat is God’s will for my life?  It’s a question I (and most people I know) ask often.

To be honest with you, I really thought I would be well beyond that question by the time I reached the age I am now.  Heck I’m halfway through my life and I still wonder what’s around the corner, if I’m doing the right thing, or if there’s another chapter in my life I should be preparing for.  A while back, I blogged about the subject of finding God’s will.  I just can’t seem t leave the matter alone.

However, I HAVE learned a couple things that have helped me quite a bit and maybe they’ll help you.  They might even surprise you.  Are you ready to find out what you’re supposed to do with your life?  Check it out…

Finding a vision for your life requires finding a vision for who you are.  Truth is, it’s hard to know what to do if you don’t know who you are or who you want to be.  Try writing a personal mission statement.  It makes a great course reference when distractions come.  What character traits do you value?  How do you want to be remembered?  At the end of your life you will be remembered for the kind of person you were, more than for the things you accomplished.

Romans 12:2 says to “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you…

The key to developing a vision for who you want to be is to let God.  Let God define success for you.  Let God choose your priorities, your values, and your preferences.  Then you will learn His will for you!

The next part of finding a vision for your life is this: A vision for our lives requires an ear for God’s heart.  Think about Isaiah’s calling for a minute (Isaiah 6).  Isaiah didn’t receive a direct word from The Lord.  God’s will wasn’t sent to Isaiah in a letter delivered by an angel.  Isaiah was simply in God’s presence and he heard God asking, “Who will go?”  Isaiah heard the need, put up his hand, and said, “I’ll do it!”

I want you to notice something here.  Isaiah saw a need and decided to meet it.  He didn’t take a test to see if he had the correct “gift mix” to respond to the calling.  He didn’t examine the need to make sure it aligned with his passions.  He just said yes, and history was written because of his willingness.

It’s a tragedy that so many lives go untouched, and so many needs go unmet because believers won’t step up to the plate if they don’t feel a warm tingly feeling inside when a need is presented.  If we treated our spouses the way we treated God, we’d all be divorced.  I can only imagine what my wife would say if I said, “I love you honey, but I won’t help you with the dishes because my heart’s not in it and I wouldn’t be doing you any favors by washing them half-heartedly.”  I would soon find myself sleeping on my mom’s couch, eating a steady diet of Chinese take away and Funions.

I recently read an article about career placement and fulfillment entitled, “Passion is Overrated”.  The researcher found that those who spent their lives “following their passions” usually ended up unemployed and/or unhappy.  Most people don’t even know what they’re really passionate about, so how can they follow their passion?

On the other hand, many people discover they are passionate after they do something!  Think about the times you volunteered for something after someone talked you into it, and you ended up loving it!  I have a friend who took a mission trip to Africa and the trip changed his life.  He ended up starting a humanitarian organization  because of the effect the trip had on him.  He did not have a passion for helping African orphans until AFTER he stepped out!

So let me wrap this up by reminding you to be like Isaiah by spending time in God’s presence, determine who you want to be, and answer the call when a need is presented.  You may be surprised to discover that finding what you’re supposed to do with your life isn’t that hard at all.

Serving with Passion!

I get tired.  It’s true!

I know I’m part of some pretty awesome stuff.  I’m partnering with God to write history.  But I still get tired.  Sometimes I even go beyond tired and get self-centered, petty, and prideful.

How does this happen to me?  Well, there’s this really leaky stuff called passion and, when I let it dwindle, I notice that serving becomes less about partnering with Jesus to fulfill a vision and more about, well…me.

Passion is so important in ministry because it fuels us to keep serving, giving, and dreaming.  Passionate people seem to have the energy to keep going after others have cooled off towards the calling.  Passionate people are also contagious and seem to draw others into the vision naturally.  John 2:17 tells us that Jesus was passionate about God’s house and look at the crowds He drew!

So how can we stay passionate?  Here are a few things I’ve learned from James 4:8-10:

Stay close to God in prayer.  When we move close to God, He moves close to us.  Letting our prayer life get cold is like letting the car run out of gas and hoping the whole trip is downhill.  You know it’s not that easy, so pray, pray, pray.

Purify your heart.  Are you letting things that aren’t so “excellent and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8) into your entertainment diet?  Does it seem to take longer to move past offenses these days?  It may be time for some spiritual house cleaning.  Regular times of self-examination and repentance can be really refreshing as we experience God’s grace and forgiveness.

Humble yourself.  Check your gut.  Are you really serving in humility or is pride creeping in?  Pride is touchy, thinks it knows better, and bristles when given instruction.  Pride takes the joy out of serving!  It’s not fun for you or anyone serving with you!  Humility takes joy in simply serving the King.  God lifts us up when we’re humble.

Stay astonished.  Boredom, touchiness, and being put out by the commitment it takes to fulfill the mission is a good indication your passion needs a resurrection.  Luke 24:32 says, “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”  That’s where I want to live, in a state of passion and astonishment to what God is saying and doing in my life and my surroundings!

So how about you?  How’s your passion pulse?

My prayer for you is for passion, astonishment, intimacy, and honesty.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen

Preaching Passion

This is a picture of my writing teacher. Her name is Ms. Hoeltzner. It’s not a very good picture because we’re not supposed to have our phones out in class.

The thing about Ms. Hoeltzner is that she doesn’t teach writing. She PREACHES it! She’s passionate about the subject and I love it. There’s just something about passionate people that draws me in and stirs up interest in whatever it is they’re talking about.

I remember the first time I ever watched Steve Irwin on television. Previously I had no interest in wildlife, but I soon wanted to adopt every animal in the zoo.

That’s the power of passion. It moves people, compels them, and awakens something inside them they didn’t know was there. Passion is vital to anyone who desires to lead, inspire, or effectively communicate.

So do me a favor. Why don’t you tell me about one person who’s passion has motivated you. Just tell me about them in the comments section below.

Oh, by the way, Ms. Hoeltzner told me today that she thinks I’m a really good writer. It really meant a lot to me 🙂