“…So Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:34
Do you ever wonder if you’re “called” to do something? Rather than tell you what it feels like, I’m going to ask you, by laying out a series of questions about your desires. Hold out until the end because, with all things, there’s a “kicker.”
To get us in the right frame of mind, the desires I’m referring to are not about things you can get. They’re about things you can give… your God-given gifts and talents. Your gift could be artistic, business oriented, working with your hands in a trade, lending emotional support to hurting people, writing, or as a financial giver. Don’t overthink the answers. Just make a mental note of whatever immediately pops into your mind as you read through these next questions. They’re certainly not all-inclusive, but I hope it’s a start to get you thinking.
Do you have a passion stirring deep inside that you tell yourself is just your own desire, but deep down you know — you can feel — it’s something so much bigger than you? Do you have an almost restless sensation that gives you an unexplainable urge or need to do that thing? And when I say restless, I really mean a Sigourney Weaver alien bursting out of your stomach kind of restless. On that note, does it also scare you? Does it take you beyond your present comfort zone? Do other people reaffirm your gift? When you’re operating in that gift, does it feel easier than you thought, fulfilling, and help seems to come just when you need it? Despite fear, does the idea of not doing it leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled?
Here’s a big one.
Is there an inaudible yet unmistakable voice… something you sense in the deepest recesses of your being that something… Someone… is calling out to you and telling you to cross that comfort line and do what you already know is welling up in you?
I don’t know what’s going through your mind right now, but I hope it’s validation of what you already know to be true. A name for your gift. Your call to action. Your calling.
Writing books and speaking/teaching is my calling. I used to be afraid to say that out loud. I used to let Satan fill my head with lies and fears. “No one will buy your books.” “No one will care what you have to say.” “You don’t have the right degrees.” I’ve dealt with tough negative self-talk over the years, but wasn’t able to get to the other side of it until I learned something very valuable. It’s not about me.
It’s not about you either. It’s about what God can do through us, if we’re willing.
I don’t need to care about who will or won’t buy my books. I just have to write them. I don’t have to worry about what people think of what I teach. I just have to invest time in studying, listening, and writing, and what those words do when they fall on someone’s eyes or ears is up to Him. It’s freeing, really. But you need to choose to give God control. Listening and answering the call are the easy parts. Give God the hard part, which is how people respond to what you offer.
I’m not suggesting answering the call makes the rest of the journey easy or care free. My first book, Stolen, is being published in a little over three weeks. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling vulnerable and nervous putting myself out there like that. But I try to remind myself it’s not about me. It’s about the message, which is in God’s hands now. The same goes for you.
Ok, here’s the kicker. Are you ready?
You can’t take forever to decide to answer the call. God’s Word shows us if we don’t respond, He’ll find someone else who will. In Genesis 25, Esau despised his birthright, so God passed over him and granted it to his younger brother, Jacob. Do you recall all the places in the Bible where it refers to the great lineage of patriarchs “Abraham, Isaac and Esau?” Whoops. That turned into “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Or what about the business of King Saul? Saul had the throne of Israel first, but kept hardening his heart, so God passed over him too, and anointed that quiet shepherd boy we now know as King David. It was from King David’s lineage that Jesus, the Messiah was born. Double ouch for Saul.
The morale of the story is simple. First, don’t ignore the God-given gifts He is speaking to, and burning inside of, your heart. Second, don’t be afraid. Step up and step out. He’ll be there to carry you the whole way. I love the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” Lastly, don’t live a life of regret because you didn’t step up and out, and God passed your call onto someone else who would. You can’t undo that decision, and you have no idea the great plans God has for you, your whole family, and the lives of so many others. Don’t overthink it. Just answer it. I challenge you to take one step forward over the next week. Big step. Small step. It doesn’t matter. Just take a step, and see what God does.