I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a hard time knowing when God is actually calling me to do something or when it’s my own thoughts of selfish ambition. That is until recently…
You see, I was torn between all of the different avenues of work that were coming my way and how I was supposed to get all of the things on my to-do list accomplished. It was rather difficult to know what God was calling me to do with all of the noise of life getting louder and louder. I was being pulled in so many directions I sort of lost sight what was God’s calling and what was my own selfish ambition.
First of all, I want you to know that I was being a total Jonah! God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, and Jonah’s first reaction was to stress out over it and run away! (Jonah 1:1-3). I was doing the same thing with this blog. I truly felt God was calling me to create and write this blog, but I started stressing over the hours it would take especially considering I was also being given several different opportunities for work that would take up the majority of my time but provide some financial security.
And then came the questions about what people would think of the blog or me?!
Would people hate my writing?
Would I ever be able to get it off the ground to have people find it?
The list of fears and questions goes on and on.
Because I was so stressed and questioning everything I kept postponing the blog. I was running away from God calling me to share my experiences and knowledge with others and help uplift His kingdom. I was being a Jonah.
Even though I strongly felt that God had originally called me to write the blog, all the other opportunities and projects started to make me doubt if what I was hearing was really from God. If He was presenting all of these other opportunities was I misreading the feelings I had about the blog? I couldn’t possibly do all of these things at the same time could I? (See what I mean about all the questions? They just wouldn’t stop!)
So, as a faithful person should, I started to pray for clarity of God’s will for my life. Which direction should I go? That was the main question (yes, I know… another question) that I kept asking in my prayers.
I started to get very frustrated because I didn’t feel like I could hear God speak clearly. I was looking for an audible answer to what path I should take. I should have realized that God doesn’t speak to people audibly like that. Or at least I have never truly heard His voice audibly.
God “speaks” to people by revealing truth through normal life circumstances and situations. God “speaking” may come as a thought while you are doing normal everyday stuff or it may come in the form of a door being closed to block the wrong path or maybe even in passing comments from friends and family that make you stop and think. Jonah had to be thrown off a ship and swallowed by a great fish in order to listen to what God was telling him to do.
I didn’t want to be a Jonah anymore! So, I started paying attention to all the little things God was doing in my life and comparing them to the Bible. 2 Timothy 4:16-17 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (NIV).
Low and behold, my clarity of God’s will for my work, this blog and my life in general came once I started paying attention instead of stressing out.
God spoke in His beautifully wonderful way through life events.
I had several people ask about the blog for one.
Then my husband told me that even if I only post once every now and then while I am figuring out my work load at least I would still be on my way to following God’s will. He said I was being too picky about how often I would post and how much work the blog would take. He said that God will give me the time as long as I at least tried!
That same weekend, everything I heard revolved around spreading God’s word. Helping people in whatever way you can and using your God-given talents. Even the sermon and Sunday school lesson called to me! The best part was that everything I was hearing was based on biblical truth!
Monday morning I woke up and it was like God slapped me upside the head and said “DUH!”. God was speaking through other people and situations the whole time and I was just too stressed to listen. I was too worried about the what if’s instead of just letting God take control and allowing myself to follow His will in faith.
It was like clarity came in a rushed wave and settled on me, lifting me up so that I knew beyond doubts and fears that everything would be just fine as long as I started writing. Work would “work” itself out. The house would be fine if it was a little dirty. Bills would be taken care of because God has always shown me that He will provide.
So…. here I am picking myself back up, dusting myself off, and getting to work writing for this blog. I am sure this blog will evolve and change according to what God lays on my heart to write about, but at least I am hearing Him!
Have you experienced difficulties hearing God’s will with clarity? How did you overcome it? I know that God speaks to each of us in so many different ways.
I would love to hear from you in the comments below about any insights you have had understanding and following God’s will.
Are you still being a Jonah? What can I do to help you find clarity?