As Grace Ann’s interview questions continued, the questions got a little tougher to answer. Some of the toughest questions she asked are listed below:
How do you really know God’s plan for your life?
How do you know when you are on the right path?
This one is tough! There are hundreds, probably thousands, of books on this very topic. I’m not sure if there is an actual answer to this one. With my mathematical, analytical brain, I wish it was like a problem to solve. But faith isn’t like that.
I think God uses a few different things to help show us the way we should go. In my 37 years on this earth, I feel like God has used the following things to help show me the way He has for me. They are:
1 – Past experiences
2 – People speaking into my life
3 – Spiritual gifts/talents
4 – Opportunities
5 – Scripture
6 – Prayer
I’m sure other people might have more or less ways of trying to decipher God’s will, but this is what seems to help me 🙂
As I mentioned in a prior blog post, I was raised in the Assembly of God church. One part of their children’s ministry was called Missionettes. Basically, it was like Christian Girl Scouts. When I made Honor Star, which was the highest achievement you could receive in Missionettes, the church held a big ceremony. It was a BIG deal. At the end, you actually received a tiara! After I was crowned, my pastor’s wife, Sister Fern Ronsisvalle, came to me and said, “Sarah, I really feel that you will be a pastor’s wife someday.” I held on to that statement in my heart for years. I didn’t tell anyone about it except for my parents. While Scott and I were dating, he felt God called him into ministry. I had never told him about my encounter so many years ago, but when he asked my thoughts about his being called, I was able to tell him what Sister Fern had shared with me so many years before. Of course, that was great confirmation for him. So that’s the ‘experience’ part as well as the ‘people speaking into my life’ I was talking about above.
Then there are your spiritual gifts/talents. Scott actually preached on this very topic this past Sunday. Our church is in the middle of a series called ‘INFLUENCE’, and using your spiritual gifts is definitely part of making a difference in the lives of others. (If you’d like to hear Scott’s message from this past Sunday, it will be posted under the ‘Scott’ category in a few days.)
God didn’t gift you with things to just use on yourself and for yourself. He gave you gifts and talents to use for His Kingdom. Look at what you do well, and see if that fits into what you feel God may be calling you to. Look at what drives you… what you are passionate about. I bet you’ll find that what you are passionate about is what God is passionate about you doing. 🙂
I also think God tries to show us His plans for our lives by presenting opportunities to us. Honduras is a PERFECT example of this. On my own, I would have NEVER signed up to go on a medical mission trip out of the country. First, I’ve never really been globally-minded (don’t judge me!). Second, I am NOT medical! I am not a nurse, not a doctor, not a scrub tech, not an EMT… not even a receptionist in a doctor’s office! But God knew I was needed there to minister to the Honduran people who are sick and suffering, although I didn’t know it myself. So God used the Calfee family to present an opportunity to me to join them on a medical mission trip to Honduras, and BA-BAM! God revealed more of His plan for my life. I just had to have my eyes and ears open to the opportunity that God was offering to me… and then the courage to say ‘YES’. Just recognizing the opportunity isn’t enough… you have to be courageous enough to take it.
Lastly, there is the praying and scripture part. These might seem like the most obvious ways of discovering God’s will, but I believe they might be the most under-utilized tools we have been given. If you are honestly seeking God’s plan for your life, just ask Him. Ask Him to show you. He wants to show you! Then look through the Bible and study about other people that God spoke to. Look up scripture about God’s calling. I bet the answer may be clearer than you think! 🙂