It’s easy when desire comes before calling and confirmation. But what do we do when the calling comes before the desire? A few months ago, I republished a five-part blog series about calling (you can read the first part here), which led me to republish this old (2014) post on the same topic.
This was the song at the start of my season of being called to work full time in the ministry as an administrative staff. Back then, it was so easy, especially at first when I have already been asking God for a long time what’s next in terms of my job. There were concerns that I had to consider but regardless, I was already 100% fully decided to go wherever God would tell me to go. Then the opportunity came. Then the confirmation came. Then I went. I seem to be entering another season (not related to work) and it’s in a different order of things. I have plans. God seems to have a different one. And unlike before when the desire came before the calling, this time the calling came before the desire. I prayed that God would do it my way, and then I realized it was a lordship issue. I asked for prayers not for God to change His plan, but for my heart and mind to be right. And as I allowed Him to change my heart, soon enough I got excited and couldn’t wait for God to unfold His plan! So when the calling seems to come before the desire, based on this experience here’s what I suggest:
1. Ask God to Change Your Heart
Cry out what you feel to God. Tell Him Your plans and desires. Be brutally honest. But at the end, be humble before Him, trusting Him that He knows what’s best and His plans are what’s best—His plans are to prosper us, never to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
2. Seek Godly Counsel
Especially when you’re still really wanting it your way, God may be telling you something but your ears are just closed because you’re throwing questions and expecting a “right” answer. Talk to someone who is more mature in the faith than you, someone that you trust and you know you will listen to. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
3. Ask Trusted Friends to Pray for You
There is no more powerful help anyone can give you. Have trusted friends who you can share all details and feelings with, and who will commit to pray with and for you, for no less that God’s will for you (e.g. Romans 15:30, Paul asked for prayers).
There’s no better response. Sometimes even when we still have reservations, we already know that all God is asking us to do is to obey. Jump and He’ll catch you. Jump out of the boat and He’ll make you walk on water. After praying, seeking godly counsel, and asking for prayers, our hearts and minds will eventually be in tune with God’s heart and mind. True faith produces obedience, regardless of reservations (e.g. Jonah). I am the happy wife of my happy husband, Pao. We are overly grateful that I am now 20 weeks pregnant with our second child. I am the author of the book, When God Could’ve But He Didn’t.