by Dezra Lawson
The Bible tells us that we were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but I often find myself wrestling with questions like “Why? What does God want from me? Why am I here?” It’s easy to go through the motions of life, to do good things and to help others, but have you ever wondered, What is my true calling? What is my divine purpose during my short time on earth?
Most of the time I search for these answers through prayer and patience. I often get annoyed with the fact that God’s answers to these questions aren’t always obvious and direct in the way I’d like to receive them. I’ll sense subtle whispers and guidance but never in the way I’d like—and I still even question those. I feel like I am waiting on God’s almighty voice to say:
“Hey, why don’t you do this on Saturday at 7 pm so I can have you meet someone that will offer you a class? After that class is over you will be on the right path that I need you to be on and taking all the right steps!”
Or I would love to receive an itinerary of my life from God, showing me how he would love for it to go, or maybe to have a published book uniquely created for me. Now that would be amazing! In the meantime, I will wait and know I am seeking my best path forward by trusting in him.
God’s Plan and Free Will
Admittedly, I am so often guilty of trying hard to control life’s situations and choices on my own, thus spending less time seeking God’s opinion. When situations occur in life, we have an option to turn to our own control or trust in God. When we try to control too much of life’s situations, we are interfering with what God is doing in our hearts. Learning to fully trust that God really has my best interest in mind and desires the best for me allows me to give him full control of my life. I really do want to seek him first, to “let go and let God!” I want to trust that God has my back and lean into this promise from the Bible:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
If for some reason, God actually decided to provide a detailed itinerary for my life, the problem with that would be that God gave me a choice of free will. The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (NIV). God could lay out a plan for my life, on paper, in black and white—and I could choose to go a different direction. So honestly, he would be wasting a lot of time if he did this type of thing for us! He wants us to be free—free to make choices, plans, and to use that time to serve others. No matter where you are in your life’s journey it is never too late to change your future and to follow your true path. Recently I heard author Dave Ramsey say this on his radio show:
“Where you are today is not your destiny, because life is a filmstrip, not a snapshot.”
Another valuable piece to consider when you are trying to discern God’s will for your life is to determine your gifts and talents.
What makes you, YOU?
Do you have quirky traits that are unique to you?
Do you do something exceptionally better than others?
Do you do something that brings out the best in you, that makes you the best version of you, or that brings you an overwhelming sense of pride, joy, and excitement?
Follow those passions and talents. Our individual uniqueness is God’s orchestration. Defining what you are good at doesn’t always have to be what you do for your career choice. You can live out God’s will for your life by pursuing your passions and natural abilities.
Recently, I’ve been able to see my oldest son pursue a passion in music with the William Mason High School marching band. He quit soccer the year prior to deciding to commit to marching band. He was amazing at soccer, had tons of natural talent and ability, but would never practice outside of practice. He had the God-given ability, but he really lacked all the passion for the sport. My husband and I were glad he chose something to be involved in, but also questioned if he might quit this too if things got difficult. I’m happy to report that we have watched him blossom over the last year. During the band marching season, he was the best version of himself. We saw a side of our teenage son we had not seen yet. He was organized, he practiced outside of practice, voluntarily brought his instrument home, took initiative, cared about his progress and status within the band—and even got upset when his “dot” position might’ve been compromised and given to another student.
Same kid, separate paths, and yet one brought him into a whole new version of himself. While he was playing soccer, he was just going through the motions. He had played since he was eight years old, he knew “mom and dad will always sign me up,” so he became complacent. If we had tried to convince him to stay with soccer and to not give up, he would’ve never discovered this love for music and marching that he had within him. When this happiness came through, his relationships were better with us and with his siblings.
I’m thankful that God brought this lesson home to me through my son. When we follow our passions that are centered around our unique gifts, we can live a life God intended for us to live, all while living within his will. We shouldn’t be afraid to change things up in our lives or start something new, surrounding ourselves with people who will encourage this type of change.
Being strong in knowledge of the Word of God, knowing what the Bible expects of you will guide you down the right path. It may not always be perfect, it may be bumpy, some parts paved, and others graveled. The road will split, and you may question which way to turn, but seek him first and trust that he will be there no matter which way you choose.
Here’s a promise from God you can count on:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8, NIV).
For more information on this topic, check out last week’s teaching by our senior minister, Brad Wilson, in our recent “Have you Ever Wondered?” series. You can watch “Can I know God’s Will for My Life?” here.
Dezra Lawson works part-time as the Communications Project Coordinator at Christ’s Church. She and her husband, Mike, have four active boys ages 5-15, and two female dogs, a lab and lab mix. She enjoys finding new hiking trails to walk on her AllTrails app, photo taking, and chocolate.