In part one and two of this series, I outlined some of my past experiences while making a living and embracing the secular music culture. I also detailed some of the various adjustments that I needed to make after being born again. In this last part of the trilogy, I would like to address a couple of personal concerns I have observed along the way, as Jody and I have been ministering in different churches over the past 23 years.
Having been raised in the slippery slope of secular music, it is difficult for me to hear worship minstrels say things like, “We had a great show last night at such and such a church,” or, “We’ve got a gig next Sunday morning.” This is the language of the world. I believe we should have an entirely different desire and focus.
We are called to worship the one true God with our whole being. The best musicians in every field are those who allow their hearts to express their inner affection through their music, and passionately express the love they have. It is awesome that we, as children of God, have the opportunity and privilege of pouring out our love and adoration for our beautiful and loving Father. Worship is a time to draw near to God with our deepest hearts, and not a time to draw attention to ourselves regarding our gifts.
I don’t believe it is healthy for us to look to worldly musicians as examples to glean from. We are blessed to have so many great godly musicians that we can learn from today. When we inappropriately look up to a particular person, they may become a type of teacher or mentor. YouTube is an excellent resource for both good and bad influences. We can inadvertently start to imitate the people we are watching on the internet. Jesus said, “A student is not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher” (Luke 6:40). Sometimes we get more than we bargained for when we set our eyes upon a prize. Many great worldly musicians have very serious relational issues, and many struggle with depression and addictions, among other things.
We are born again, and we are a royal priesthood. We are the children of God. Music was created by our Heavenly Father, and the majority of people on earth have a special love for it. I believe that we should be discerning, regarding the distinction between worldly music and music dedicated to God. James says, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). Billy Graham was quoted in 2016 as saying, “This cosmos has its own entertainment and diversions that so permeate the atmosphere that it makes the way of the cross seem antiquated and irrelevant. In much of the entertainment media fostered by the cosmos, the name of God is profaned, sex is glamorized, and high, ethical living and Christian moral standards are laughed at.”
I know that many may disagree with my viewpoint on this distinction of worldly and godly music. I’ve had passionate discussions with Christians who vehemently oppose this concept. I've been told more than once that music is ‘amoral,’ which means it is neither moral nor immoral. Let’s agree to disagree on this issue. In my experience, all forms of music have an effect on us regardless of the lyrics. There is a vibration in the sound that has the power and capability to stimulate and awaken pure or impure motivations and desires.
God desires us to be holy, the definition of which means, “devoted entirely to God or to the work of God.” That’s us! We are called to be holy. Here are some synonyms of holy: blessed, consecrated, hallowed, sacred, sanctified. We are the ‘called out’ Levites who are expected to consecrate our hearts and hands in order to be ready to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This reminds me of a song by Mercy Me, written by Chris Tomlin called “Give Us Clean Hands.”
“We bow our hearts, we bend our knees
O Spirit, come make us humble
We turn our eyes from evil things
O Lord, we cast down our idols
So give us clean hands, give us pure hearts
Let us not lift our souls to another”
O, Minstrel of Worship, I hope that you are still excited to be part of this high calling of God?
Psalm 24:3-5 says:
“Who may climb the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.
They will receive the LORD’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God, their saviour.”
In my last article entitled “From the Stage to the Platform,” I enlarged on some of my personal history, in an attempt to lay out some of the details from my journey in the secular music arena. After I got saved, I had to readjust my focus from being the centre of attention, to centering my attention upon the only One who is truly worthy. I also shared how God’s love finally brought me to my knees after 46 years of fighting against Him. The Lord was wooing me. I had heard the Gospel many times, but I had other plans and selfish desires that I thought were more important. I resisted His advances with a steadfast resistance. O, how deluded I was! I couldn’t be more thankful for the day of my salvation.
I know now that there is no real life until Jesus enters our hearts. Everything is basically an illusion that feels real, but ends in meaningless death. It reminds me of the Scripture that says, “You can rationalize it all you want and justify the path of error you have chosen, but you’ll find out in the end that you took the road to destruction” (Proverbs 14:12 TPT).
Let’s look at Israel’s great leader Moses. “Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle” (Exodus 17:10-13).
I see that these two men were instrumental in helping Israel to be victorious against the Amalekites by serving Moses. I am starting to see that the dynamics of a worship team may be very similar to the biblical story of Aaron and Hur. When the members of the team are submitted to the leader(s), and are able to lay down their agendas to uphold the arms of the worship leader(s), it makes leading worship a joy instead of a burden.
Times of worship are not times for individualism. It is not time for individual members to shine. It is time for Jesus to shine through the team. If the team has this purpose in mind, there will be true unity. This may be a lofty goal, but I have experienced it many times. I sometimes see the illustration like a picture of a surfer surfing the powerful waves on the ocean. Picture this: we all get on one surfboard, and as the waves (Holy Spirit) propel us, it soon becomes effortless. Notice that we are not on a bunch of different boards, but we are all together on one board. This is my desire every time I am involved in worship. I love it when we all pull together in sync, and we all feel the effortlessness of worshiping the King of Kings!
How do we get there? It takes a unified desire, purpose, and focus. Unity requires submission and it requires serving. When the worship team members are able to lay down their agendas and uphold the arms of the leader(s), it can be a beautiful thing. Resolve that the next time you are involved in the worship experience, after you have worked the musical parts out, remember to work the unity out also. After you have joined your parts together, join your hearts together. I pray that we would desire more of this unity, as we go forth into the future.
The team members are like parts of one body. Imagine how painful and futile it would be if one leg wanted to go west while the other leg wanted to east? What if one eye was looking left while the other is focussed to the right?
We are called to worship the highest and greatest King in the universe. There is no one like Him. There never has been and never will be! Lord of Lords and King of Kings is who He is! We need to give Him our best, as a team, submitted to one purpose and one desire! I believe this approach always pleases His heart. Let’s talk about these things with our teams and let’s focus on bringing these ideas more and more into reality.
In the world, we used to call it a show. It is not a show! There is only One in the audience! We are all called to be a part of the worship team. We may not all be called to get on the platform, but we are all called to worship the One who is worthy of all of our worship. This unity goal is reachable! It takes committed hearts to be joined together as one. We need to serve His higher purpose. Let’s focus our gifts back towards the One who gave them to us in the first place. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).
I grew up loving music and I started singing at five years old, when my older brother taught me how to sing the latest songs on CHUM radio. I had no idea that music would become such a deep passion! It also, at times, became an obsession for me.
I always wanted to be on the stage since seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, and eventually, it became a reality. The “stage” is lit up so the performers can be seen by the audience. Ultimately, the reason I wanted to be on the stage was to receive a sense of love. I was seeking a deeper sense of value and worth.
I finally surrendered and got saved at 46 years old. I slowly started to understand that the platform in the church was much different than the stage I had become so familiar with. The stage is designed so the performers can be seen and, at times, adored by the audience. The platform is designed to praise and worship the audience of “One.” The Lord is meant to be the focus, and the church members become a group of worshipers. Only the Lord is worthy to be worshiped and adored. We are designed to worship, but we are not designed to be worshiped.
Everything had to be realigned for me as I slowly transitioned from the stage to the platform. It was no longer a show but a service. I was no longer the one who was being worshiped, but I was used to usher people into the presence of the only One who is worthy to be worshiped.
Often in church situations, when someone has a prominent worship gift, they are quickly fast tracked onto the platform. The modern church culture depends on good preaching, good worship and snappy video and lighting effects. When a new member comes into the church with any of these much-needed gifts, he or she is often swiftly lifted up. This is very dangerous, as this is exactly what happened to Jody and me. When this happens, our dormant pride has a very good chance of reviving itself and beginning its destructive, declining tactics! This declining fall happened to us once or twice in our journey! The old patterns of self-importance began to resurface.
In the secular music business, it is vastly preferable that we try as much as we can to sound exactly like the original recordings. It is sad to see a very similar trend in the church world. If our hearts are sold out for Him, then our musical style preference should take a back seat to our open hearts releasing our praise to Him. Sometimes I hear musicians warming up to a familiar "secular" song on the church platform. I personally wonder why? Perhaps some people have not experienced the effect that some of these songs can negatively have on some listeners?
The church platform should be a place of holiness. I believe we are called to holiness. We are called and honoured to worship the Lord. God is worthy to be honoured with all of our hearts, in Spirit and in Truth.
Lately, and really for the past few months, I have been feeling called by the Father to pull away from my environment of busyness, to-do lists, and from activities of creating more things to do. To step back from the frenzy of reengaging around me, and instead deliberately create a large space in my life for just the Father and me. As my world seems to want to dive into a fast-paced life of freedom out of (hopefully) post pandemic isolation, it seems counter cultural to step back, at a time when everyone is rushing forward!
To step back into Him and protect time for His presence to take centre stage in my life, my work, and my relationships. Rather than allot Him a slot in my days between the work, programs, and activities that my post pandemic freedom allows, I’m feeling called to refrain from engaging in the “more,” especially if it takes away from us, our time, from His place on the throne of my life and my heart.
The extrovert in me, who laughs loudly, weeps freely, and loves people dearly would normally dive into these new events with a passion. I have already done so many times before, only to end up losing myself and my Father in the buffet of events and projects my life presented me, becoming driven by the need to produce and provide instead of noticing my need to learn to follow.
So I am being called to step back now, into His presence, to protect the slowness, to protect our relationship, the Father’s and mine, to protect the throne of my life as being fiercely and functionally only for my Father and my Lord. To protect time for His presence to flow, for worship. To protect our intimacy cultivated through a long-enforced time of quiet.
Quiet because of global decisions that slowed my life down, and that the Father and I used to grow together.
And one way God is calling me to invest into our time together is through praise and worship. Not the event of worship but the act of praise and worship, and giving this the time and priority which is sorely needed. I enter His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4), and how better to enter His presence? The Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
Do you know what means? The psalmist tells us that God inhabited the praises of Israel. He uses the word yâshab, which according to Strong’s means to abide, to sit, to tarry, to remain. This is what the Father does with us when we praise Him, and then we enter into worship and deeper relationship with HIm.
Because cultivating a close intimacy with my Father, to walk through each day with Him, both of us hand in hand, experiencing and living life together, is more vital, more life giving and freeing than any collection of new activities and events our newfound freedom can offer. Our continual act of worship and praise is our circulatory system for His presence.
I am continually learning that only by deliberately investing into my relationship with my Father over everything else, with my time and priorities, will I ever truly be able to contribute to, rather than consume, whatever I engage in. I am then able to bring the fruit of our relationship with me.
Be blessed, loved ones.
God’s kingdom is a kingdom of growth and change. Growth results in change. An acorn does not look like an oak tree, and yet the tree began as that small acorn.
My father told me once, “life is a never-ending series of change.” And he placed the challenge before me early on in my life. Fight change and you will be fighting life itself, for the rest of your life. Or learn to accept and hopefully embrace change and life will be a platform for growth and be good.
We know not all change is good: an ill-timed death of a loved one, a relationship, a marriage. Sickness and job loss, family tragedy can all bring change we would rather not have. But if we really believe God...
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:28-29
His purpose was that we were to be conformed into the image of Jesus! I don’t know about you, but the more I look like Jesus, the more different I will look! I cannot crave the familiar and grow at the same time, and neither can the Bride of Christ.
Growth by its definition changes
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom 12:2
But how do we grow and take care of ourselves at the same time? This can be confusing because growth is often uncomfortable, so loving ourselves while growing is vital. The trick is to learn what that looks like, and what it does not look like. Allow me to share what I have learned about self-care vs self-indulgence.
Growth and self-indulgence work against each other.
Growth and self-care work synergistically.
Self-indulgence is born out of a goal for self-comfort and pleasure, often sacrificing a moral compass for pleasure and comfort. Self-indulgence can be motivated by escapism, boredom, lack of hope and so much more. It spirals downwards and can be often fed by the need to cover shame. We feel shame so we try to defend ourselves by seeking pleasure as proof that we deserve it and that we have worth, because we ultimately believe the lie that shame speaks that we are worthless. Ugh anybody else relate here? I know I do!
But self-indulgence is its own unquenchable reward, constantly seeking pleasure with the goal of validating ourselves. Because without the reward of pleasure we feel the shame. And this is where addiction creeps in…
Self-care is self-explanatory. It is caring for ourselves but it may or may not involve pleasure. What? I might not feel good?
Yes, it might not always feel good. But it is good.
It could be exercise or a doctor’s appointment or counselling. It could be a night off with friends, sleeping in or a vacation. Sound better now? Of course, self-care can feel good! It is behaviour that exists because of the underlying truth that we are worth caring for. It is guided by the truth that we have value, that we are worth investing into. And it is brutal to engage in when you are struggling with shame.
Self-indulgence numbs us and self-care validates us, and when shame is an issue, authentic validation is horribly difficult to accept much less voluntarily engage in.
Self-indulgence avoids growth and authenticity; self-care seeks it out.
Self-care has as its goal health, wholeness, connection and relationship with God.
And while goals of health and growth often require us to engage in behaviour that is not fun and may not feel good in the moment, they produce lasting fruits in our lives we so desperately need.
Reconciliation … a long word, which I think is fitting. It is a process that requires time and intention to be successful and highly values relationship when done well. It requires both parties wanting to understand and value the other’s journey and pain. The willingness to walk in someone else’s shoes, to empathize with their process. This requires listening, and humility, the willingness to admit we do not understand someone else’s heart fully. A real desire to know someone. That we may have got it wrong, that we may have reached incorrect conclusions, that we may have judged someone, labelled them ignorantly, overly simplified their character because we did not choose to understand their heart. Reconciliation is not easy, and in order to be successful it must be fuelled by love and a deep desire for relationship. It is a goal that is not void of justice but prefers the higher goal of relationship, where mutual honour and humility are the foundation.
God’s heart is for relationship, always. We were created to be in relationship with Him first, and then with others, and part of preserving relationships and growth is learning how to overcome damage that our inevitable failings in relationship will cause. Without learning how to walk through the process of reconciliation, relationships are doomed to remain superficial or even end through an inability to heal. We see this in families, between friends and groups of people, even countries.
However, we cannot move towards reconciliation without fully owning the damage that has been done by ourselves to others. That means no excuses, no minimizing, no avoiding taking responsibility, no victim blaming and no denial. When we are in the wrong, whether through our inaction or through action, we need to fully own it, and validate the other’s pain. This cannot be rushed. A person’s pain is validated by listening to them and giving them a voice.
If we value someone deeply we will we need to listen. Really listen to their heart, their pain, their perspective. The goal is to understand. You don’t always have to agree, but you do need to empathize with their pain. However, the question to ask yourself is this: have you cultivated a character that is safe to be vulnerable with? Note I didn’t ask how you see yourself, rather how others see you. After all, the goal is to be in relationship with others. Not with ourselves.
I want to stop here for a moment and ask…. Are you reading this thinking of someone else? Because if while reading this your thoughts are moving towards the wrongs done to yourself, and how you wish they would read this. May I humbly suggest you stop reading and come back to this later? As long as we focus on how we wish others would change, and what others are doing wrong, we miss the very real and powerful chance to be part of the solution ourselves. By focusing on the one thing we can control that we have complete responsibility for: ourselves.
Reconciliation also means asking for forgiveness, directly, when we have done harm. Not because we are owed it, but because in asking for forgiveness we are acknowledging our wrongdoing, and that we are in a place where we need forgiveness. It is vulnerable, because it places us in a position not to be forgiven by whomever we have hurt. We may come face to face with the real possibility that the other party does not value the relationship as much as we do. And as horribly painful as that is, we know we will always have the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father, and the chance to grow and bless people even if someone chooses to close the door on relationship. We can still be part of God’s solution.
If reconciliation is an option, it will not involve punishment, but it often involves restitution. Before you react to that statement hear me on this. Punishment’s goal is justice only, often fuelled by revenge, a wrong for a wrong. Punishment by its very nature encourages correct behaviour out of fear of a deterrent; it does not encourage a safe place to grow out of our wrong behaviour. Restitution operates from a recognition that we may not be able to make “right” what we have done, but we are fully committed to working on not repeating our mistakes again. And that commitment involves sacrificially building bridges and changing ourselves and our behaviour to make things right from our end.
Restitution has as its goal restored healthier, healed relationships.
Dear Friends, I have had this burning desire the last couple of days to share what I believe the Lord is stirring up in my heart to write to you. It is with sorrow that I write this as I feel these days have created a lot of division in the body of Christ. Call it a shifting, shaking, whatever you like, but I believe we, as the body of Christ, have become comfortable with dishonouring the Word of God and each other. Without moving into a lot of detail I sensed an urgency to repent before God in an identificational way for how we have misrepresented the heart of God, our Father, to the world and to one another.
Please join me in this plea for forgiveness. I believe the Holy Spirit has highlighted the areas that I am asking for forgiveness, in what I am subtitling as, The Plea of the "Ps".
The Scripture Context:
Ephesians 4: 31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
Mark 3:25 If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.
Romans 12: 17-18 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone.
Father forgive us for being prayerless and quickly taking action, oftentimes hurtful actions towards others when we should start with praying, hearing and then obeying your voice. Lord, forgive us for not making prayer our priority and praying for each other and even our enemies (Mt.5:44).
Father forgive us for quickly protesting because we feel our freedoms or rights have been violated. Forgive us for not making the main thing, the main thing: preaching and living out the gospel message in spite of surrounding circumstances (Rev 12:11).
Father forgive us for judging our governmental leaders. We understand the difficulty to rule and rule well. We choose to pray for those in authority and to uphold the law of the land. Help us to be a kind-hearted people, full of authority, power, and anointing of the Holy Spirit when rules of law need to be challenged in a civil way just as Paul the Apostle demonstrated in his Apostolic ministry (Acts 25:11).
Father forgive us as leaders of Your Church when we misrepresent you. Have grace and mercy upon us when we lead our flocks astray. Help us to model the heart of the Good Shepherd who is not ignorant of the schemes of the enemy but to be wise in all our ways by putting on the full armour of God. Help us to bend our knee to Your will and desire in this day and hour (Eph 6:10-18).
Father forgive us for not understanding the times and the seasons and properly navigating through this pandemic. Give us the wisdom to overcome and to put to an end to the futile plans of the enemy. Forgive us for not placing our trust in you and believing and having hope in your ability, over and above all the things we place in priority (Deut. 28).
People. Position and Personal:
Father forgive as people who hold their personal positions and opinions over others in a superior or prideful way without representing the love of God as a Father. Forgive us Lord (James 4:6)!
Bring restoration Lord. Strengthen Your church. Bring unity and revival to hearts and to our land in Jesus' name we pray.
I was in my 20s and had just moved. I had been job searching for a while and had a couple of interviews, but wasn’t getting any job offers. I had had some temp work to help pay the bills, but I needed a permanent gig that would be reliable. I finally got an interview at a local private school with a very kindly gentleman who asked me all the usual questions and then he said very directly, “You know, you are an excellent candidate and I am very interested in hiring you, but I honestly think you would be bored with this job. I think you should wait for something better than this.” I was completely thrown off. I just said to him, “But I need a job!” And to be honest, if he’d offered it to me, I’d have taken it.
But he was right. Two weeks later, I had an interview across the road at another school and they hired me. I worked there for 3 years and loved the job. It was the first time I was stretched in my career and it gave me great skills that I still use today. I’m so glad that kind man didn’t offer me that job!
However, it taught me how hard it can be to say no to the thing that is easy and in front of you, rather than to reach for the harder or the unknown.
I have seen many students I work with do the same thing: sticking with the job they have done for years and know really well (serving at a restaurant, working in retail) rather than stretch into the unknown.
There are risks. It can be scary to step into a career job, and may result in waiting longer than you would want to. It may not work out right away. However, to shift into the career you’ve been training for and dreaming of, you need to start seeing yourself as working towards a “career” rather than working in a “job”. The place to start is in how you present yourself on your resume and in your cover letter.
There is a skill that needs to be learned in writing strong resume content. Many students write their resume to reflect that mindset by describing their job duties. A career resume shows skills that have been developed through multiple work experiences and that can be transferred into another role. For example, a person with three years of experience in a fast-food restaurant has amazing skills in working under pressure, meeting tight deadlines, solving problems and communicating. It isn’t always easy to show those to potential employers, however it is possible to learn!
Example: Morgan has worked at Wendy’s for two years as a Crew Member. She is applying to work as a Legal Assistant in a law firm. Her resume lists “Prepared food orders quickly” and “Kept restaurant clean”. Neither of these skills will be needed to work in a law office, so we can change them around to make them relevant.
Once you get the interview, you have to do the work of learning what to say and how to speak like a professional in your field, not a retail worker or high school student in a part-time job.. Every interview gives you experience. Every job gives you experience. Every experience gives you experience. Leverage what you have to get you where you want to go. And don’t be afraid to make use of career services in your community. Employment Ontario offers free careers services in most communities throughout the province. Many resources are available online and easily accessible.
The process of moving into a career and out of the part-time job mindset is all in your head. If you feel ready and take hold of the opportunity, you will rise up into it. Even if you have a few flops along the way, it’s all good learning. Your attitude of being a learner and willing to try will be the best favour you can give yourself.
I used to get these two words mixed up all the time even though I know they are completely different. For some reason they seemed similar to me. Recently the Holy Spirit showed me that they are two different aspects of how we approach our lives and careers:
Aerodynamic - this refers to how objects move efficiently through air to reduce friction and drag. People with aerodynamic careers think about long-term plans and strategize to move forward. There can be many reasons for being aerodynamic, and not all of them are negative. The person may be ambitious, easily bored, want to achieve a lot of different goals, or even save for a large purchase.
How do you plan for an aerodynamic career? Your long-term and short-term goals should be set and evaluated regularly to guide you along the way.
Ergonomic - this refers to systems and actions intended to minimize repetitive strain or injury due to consistent use. People with ergonomic careers intend to stay put for the long term. They may move within the same organization, but don’t intend to go anywhere else. They may put up with a number of conflicts and challenges in order to maintain the stability of a predictable situation.
How do you plan an ergonomic career? Find ways to avoid strain or burnout from repetitive behaviour.
Neither of these two career paths is better than the other. They both have positive and negative sides. You may gravitate to the one that is most comfortable, but you should prepare for the possibility that you will need to pivot and accept more change (or less) than you like. See it as an opportunity for growth. God will be right there with you!
“Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy.”
Psalms 33:3 NIVUK
There is a traditional school of thought that a calling is one of the Biblical, trusted job titles: ordained ministry, missionary, evangelist, worship leader, Bible teacher, etc. Anything that is not one of these, is a job. A career is traditionally considered a path of (usually related) jobs over time.
We need to take back the idea that careers are not callings and vice versa. Why couldn’t God be the Author of this process, leading us and guiding us along the way?
Career advising encourages us to review our interests, personality traits, and strengths to paint a picture of a suitable career. However this leaves out the Christian worldview considering how we were designed and gifted by our Heavenly Father. Because most spiritual gifts assessments are focused on the spiritual gifts outlined in the Bible, I recommend considering a secular career assessment that considers your personality, interests and values. It is worth paying for a professional to guide you through the process if you have no idea which direction you want to go. Your local community college probably offers assessment to community residents for a fee.
But your identity, spiritual (and natural) gifting and unique creation must be part of your consideration in finding a calling. Here are a few questions to work through before the Lord. Make time and space to listen and write what you hear.
1. What keeps coming up over and over? In what areas do friends come to you for advice? What are you known for?
2. What makes your heart happy? If it’s sleeping, then think of something else…
3. What words have been spoken over you - either directly from significant Bible verses, prophecy or experiences you have had in God?
If you can’t think of anything, ask your close friends who have known you a long time, or ask a family member who knows you well and who you trust. You have to weigh everything to check that it lines up with who you know yourself to be and what the Bible says, but it can be useful to seek input from someone else. Above all, know that your Father in heaven has input on this too. If you ask HIm, He will tell you what He sees.
The men who built the tabernacle in the desert were craftsmen with established careers . When they stepped forward to create parts of God’s meeting place, it was a calling from God himself, and an act of worship.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. ‘I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:”
Exodus 31:1-6 NIVUK
Their skill was raised to far more than they could have ever imagined. I love that God even thought of gifting Oholiab to help Bezalel - it was too big a task for just one man.
God’s plan for your career exceeds your imagination. What is He calling you to? It may be something unexpected, or it may be something you knew all along. Know that whatever it is, it will set your heart on fire. Be bold and grab hold of the calling you have in Him and in your career.
You can find Beth Salt on youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw6K2sBVkVJmxI68lev2bnA