God’s plan for your life:
A how-to-find-out guide
So needing God’s guidance!
This morning, I kid you not, I received a read-receipt from an email I sent on the 4th March 2011 2:24:10 pm. I was both amused and annoyed that my email had been sitting in that inbox unread and unloved for over one year! In a similar way, when we are praying to God for guidance, either for our jobs, career or calling (not always the same thing), it can genuinely feel that our prayers are just sitting unread in our Father’s heavenly inbox. I know that’s not the case, but it sure does feel that way sometimes!
The answer to our prayers can already be at our finger tips!
For many years I was a careers adviser, helping people of all ages find their way into meaningful employment. It’s amazing how prepared God is to get involved in showing us His plans and purposes for each part of our lives, including our jobs. I recall once, when giving advice in a Job Centre in South London, the Holy Spirit told me to talk to a tough-looking gentleman about Jesus. Within a few minutes, this tattooed behemoth of man was in tears and had recommitted his life to the Lord. Not only that, but in the weeks that passed, doors opened for him to a great job that fulfilled all his needs and desires.
We must know what God has placed inside us
Paul the evangelist is a great example of how the gifts that God has given us will always measure up to the mission to which He calls us.
1 Corinthians 12:11 All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! (The Message)
Our calling could be to become an accountant, a nurse or to work with disadvantaged teenagers. Whatever we’re called to, when we discover the career or calling that suits every part of who we are, we will have a sense of peace or šalôm. The reason for this is that when we work according to our God-given ability, personality and a number of other considerations, we will inevitably work according to the design that God set for our lives.
Paul was someone whose calling fantastically matched his abilities, personality and a number of other important factors, and the rest of this blog illustrates this. So, if you feel that God is not ‘answering your emails’ or prayers for direction, it’s possible that God could speak to you through the process of gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you have to offer.
By using the chart below, you can begin to assess your own talents against a particular calling that you have, and see if there’s a close fit. As you do this, listen out to God speaking to you. Remember, He’ll never call you to something for which He hasn’t already you.
1) Qualifications - How well qualified was Paul?
He received excellent legal and theological training.
Acts 22:3 “…I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors…”
Suggestion: If you don’t have the correct qualifications for the job this could mean a return to college. Make sure you’re being realistic about your goals and ask yourself if you will be able to hit the grades!
2) Related experience - What was Paul’s prior experience?
He had an excellent pedigree and a proven track record for being zealous!
Philippians 3:4-6 ‘If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more….’
Suggestion: Assess what you’ve done in the past. Can you gain relevant experience through a sideways move at work or by doing voluntary work? Not only will relevant experience help you into a job but it will also help you to confirm your ability in this area.
3) Known ability - How suited was Paul’s ability to his role?
He was a man of many talents! – including being observant and creative.
Acts 17:23 ‘For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’
Suggestion: It’s essential that you know what you’re good at doing. If you don’t know, then do an assessment (hyper link), ask close friends and family, and review your past successes. God will only call you to something that matches either your present or potential skill set. For example, if you cannot impart knowledge then teaching is probably not for you!
4) Personality fit - How did Paul’s personality fit his role?
Paul was assertive – he did not ‘pull his punches’ when he knew he was right!
Galatians 2:11 ‘When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.’
Suggestion: If you’re a square peg, don’t force yourself into a round hole! If you’re a creative type, you’ll find work in a procedure-bound nuclear power station frustrating!
5) Heart’s desire - How did Paul’s passion match his role?
Paul was completely sold out to Christ!
Philippians 3:8 ‘What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus… I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’
Suggestion: You know those deep desires in your heart? Well, they were put there by God. Spend some quality time getting in touch with these desires, and then pursue them!
6) Prophetic confirmation - How did the prophetic guide his role?
Paul allowed himself to be guided by the prophetic.
Acts 9:17 ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus…has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’
Suggestion: Prophetic encouragement is extremely valuable because it will encourage and confirm your calling. It will never contradict scripture and it will never contradict all the above factors in your calling.
7) Confirmation from others - Did anyone else confirm Paul’s ability to perform his role?
Peter declared that Paul’s knowledge of God was so profound that it even confused him!
2 Peter 3:15-16 ‘…just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him…His letters contain some things that are hard to understand…’
Suggestion: The bible recommends that we seek the counsel of others. However, be wise about who you ask, and make sure they have your best interests at heart. Ask for genuine feedback on your suitability for a certain career / role, and not platitudes!
You can contact Charles at the following addresses:
Facebook: Want2geton Christian Career Coaching
(Author: Charles Humphreys
Articles in this group
Turn redundancy to your recruitment advantage
Don’t let a redundancy mar your chances of finding work again. Find out how to spin it into a selling point. (Author: )
Links to professionally written articles containing practical advice for those looking for a job. (Author: )
Getting the job you want – a practical guide
This practical guide on getting the job you want has some excellent up-to-date ideas on helping you become both active and professional in seeking and securing the right employment for the next stage of your life journey. (Author: Sally Davis)
The Christian Guide to Jobs and Careers
This book will take you on a journey to discover not only the employment that God could have in store for you, but also how He could be using the job market to mould you according to His plan. (Author: )