Last week, I showed from Scripture how I believe you can find God's purpose for your life. It involves submitting yourself wholly to Him, body soul and spirit, putting Him in complete charge of your life AND then allowing Him to transform your mind. The transforming of your mind is an important step. You may have already submitted yourself to God completely but your mind still needs some work. Whether you've been in church your entire life or you became a believer late in life, our natural mind is an enemy of God. Our natural tendency is toward selfishness, pride, lust, dishonesty, immorality, you name it.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
We must allow God to transform our way of thinking, our worldview, our likes and dislikes, our priorities, if we expect Him to show us our calling ... if we expect to be able to even hear Him when He does call us!.
When I finally opened my eyes to the reality of God and gave my life to Jesus twenty years ago, I was a big fat mess. Everything in my life was in chaos, my marriage, my children, my job. I was miserable, depressed, and drinking. Not only that but I was selfish, immature, bad-tempered, and vain. Boy, did God have His work cut out for Him!! (I'm surprised He took me on at all!)
When we finally give our lives to Him, God does not zap away all our problems. We got ourselves into them and we need to get ourselves out! Of course we have Him on our side now, guiding us, directing, helping.. .so it's much easier. Those early years of my faith were some of the hardest years of my life as God dealt with issue after issue and began to clean me up and change my heart. Somewhere along the way, I desperately cried out to Him to show me what He wanted me to do with my life. You see, I was working full time in a job that I absolutely hated. I dreaded every long day that I spent at work and wanted desperately to do something else.. to find what God created me for, to use the talents and skills and desires He gave me to bring Him glory!
What I didn't know what that God had a plan. It was a great plan. He knew exactly what He wanted me to do. But I wasn't ready yet. I still had things He needed to work on before I could handle what He wanted to give me. Plus, I truly wasn't fully submitted to Him, nor had my mind been transformed enough.
Year after year went by. Every day I went up on the trail behind our house and prayed and prayed before I went to work, begging God to show me His will. I couldn't understand why He wasn't doing that. After all, I just wanted to serve Him! What I didn't realize was that inwardly I was putting conditions on that service. There were certain things I wouldn't do.. one of them being I definitely didn't want to stay in my current job!
Then something happened. Something clicked within me and I stopped struggling, stopped begging, stopped asking. I wasn't depressed or upset at God. In fact, Quite the opposite. I had come to a place in my relationship with Him that He had started to become more important than me. His will started to take precedence over mine. I remember the day when I finally lifted my hands to Him in worship and told Him that I wanted His will above all else, even if it meant that the job he had for me was cleaning toilets in San Quentin. I literally said that! And I meant it! That was the turning point.
Did things change right away? No. But my attitude had. I simply kept walking with God and growing in my faith and waiting for whatever He brought my way. Months later I was back up on that hill again saying my daily prayers when I heard Him (an internal voice) tell me to write a story about a Christian Pirate. Though I enjoyed writing and had dabbled in it off and on as a hobby, I had never perused a writing career. I had never taken a class in writing or studied it in school. But I knew that I knew that I knew that God had spoken. So I did. I studied tons of writing books and then tons of pirate books and I sat down and wrote The Redemption. 6 months later I had a contract for it and 2 more books with Barbour Publishing (Unheard of, by the way)
Have I reached perfection? Has my mind been completely transformed? No way! But I had allowed my mind to be transformed enough so I could hear God. If you can't hear God, how do you know what He wants you to do?
But the real key, at least for me, in finding God's call on your life is total and absolute submission to whatever that call is. It wasn't until God had my entire heart and will that He saw I was finally ready to write for Him.
Whether God has one major call on your life or several through the years, if you truly want to be fulfilled in this life and do the things you were created to do, submit to Him completely, allow Him to change you, and then listen for His instructions.
That's my story. I hope it brings some encouragement to those of you who just aren't sure what the heck they are here on earth for.