Callings: What if I get it wrong?

I think the thing that most hinders our generation of Christians from chasing our dreams is the obsessive pursuit of “getting it right.” We have to be sure that what we are wanting is of God before we take a step, and we are crippled by the fear of “missing it” or hearing God incorrectly. To be clear, I often use these questions as a measuring stick for my next step, but I think sometimes they can do more harm than good, paralyzing us until we here a booming “YES. This is what you should do,” in our heads.

Because we know that God often communicates to us in a whisper or a passing thought, we cannot expect to hear a resounding affirmation or veto from Him on every decision we make. There is a calling on your life, but whether you will fulfill it does not hang in the balance every time you make a choice.

I heard this analogy a few years ago that really changed my view on discerning God’s will for my life. We often like to think of God’s will for our lives as a tightrope over a large canyon, and we believe that if we take one misstep to the left or right off of the tightrope, we fall outside of the will of God. In reality, God’s will is actually the canyon. It is vast and wide, and there are often many paths to take us to where He would have us go. We can rest in the fact that even if we make a mistake or don’t hear Him perfectly on what our next step should be, the Holy Spirit is within us and will act as an internal GPS, rerouting us to the best possible path toward walking fully in our calling. We should also remember that as long as we are not being rebellious or deliberately disobedient, we are not powerful enough to cause God’s plan for our lives to fall apart. Therefore, even if you get it wrong, His good plans for you will still come to pass. Proverbs 16:4 says that the Lord works everything together according to His purpose, so we can trust that God is able to use our mistakes to accomplish His purpose for us.

If you are ever totally unsure of your calling or even if you have one, turn toward God’s word. There are things that you are called to do in scripture, and the only way to get those wrong is not to do them. I recently heard a podcast describing this concept and it has changed the way I live my life. Every believer is called to love God and to love their neighbor. If you can do those things, then follow what makes your heart beat fast. As a created being, you have unique passions and desires inside you that have been planted there by God. If a decision is before you and you’re worried about making the wrong decision, assess the options based on those criteria. Can you love God doing it? Can you love your neighbor doing it? Does it make your heart beat fast? If it ticks all of those boxes, run toward it. Sometimes, God gives us a choice. There isn’t always one thing that is blatantly better than the other; maybe both would be very good for us. In those situations, we have the freedom to choose and to follow what makes our hearts beat fast.
 
Your individual calling is bigger than a vocation. Pursuing your calling doesn’t mean being locked into one job for the rest of your life. The thing you are individually able to give away to the world, that is your calling. For me, the thing God has shown me most clearly in my life is that He is a comforter in all situations. Therefore, a calling on my life is to comfort all those who need it, to be the most comforting person anyone has been around all day. I am called to this because I have freely received, so I must freely give. What is it that you have freely received? What do you know most about God? If you give that to the world, you are operating in your calling.

One thing we do have to accept is that sometimes we will mess it up. You will think you heard God so clearly on something, and it won’t pan out like you thought it would. Your humanness will get in the way at times, and you will make mistakes. If you take one thing away, know this: You have hope in the fact that no mistake, no “getting it wrong,” no mishearing God can change God’s plan for you or the things you are called to do. If your heart is postured in obedience and humility to Him, you will always get it right.

Author | Kalli Drake

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