A Surprising Change of Direction
Before I started writing and speaking, I spent my days teaching art to elementary school kids in Houston, Texas. My students learned about Van Gogh and Matisse, how to create crayon-resistant paintings, and even how to apologize for hogging the art supplies.
But then God changed the direction of my life.
During my morning quiet time, the Holy Spirit began to speak in that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). “Get ready. I am going to give you an opportunity to speak.” I would be vacuuming, driving to school, or watching the news and sense the same impression. “Get ready.” I had no idea what I would possibly say but wanted to be obedient. “Alright, Lord. I will do it if that is what you want.”
I had a deep confidence God was calling me to write and speak for Him even though there wasn’t anything in my circumstances confirming that it wasn’t just my imagination. My talent hadn’t been honed; I didn’t have a journalism degree, and many people were—and are—more qualified. All I had was a passionate desire to communicate about Christ with words.
After months of sensing this new calling as a burden, a series of circumstances only God could have arranged led me to a man who had a ministry for kids in Memphis, Tennessee. He told me he was producing seminars for children across the country, and because I had experience with kids, he wanted some advice. During a meeting with him in Texas, he asked me one question that confirmed God’s message to “Get Ready.”
“Would you like to speak to the children's mothers?”
Later, when I was alone I called my mom. “You won’t believe what just happened.” God had confirmed His promise to me. It was the beginning of ministry. He had sparked a desire in me to write and speak, told me what was going to happen, then confirmed my desire through circumstances only He could arrange.
But not everyone was as thrilled as I was. A few people told me I was out of God’s will. Another even felt I would be sinning if I used my gifts and talents. Later, another person defined how they believed I would use my gifts and talents because anything else made them feel threatened.
All of this brings me to my main point: 1 Cor. 2:12 says God’s Spirit helps us understand what God has freely given us. What God has given—and also His guidance—is spiritually discerned. This is why you can have deep confidence about a calling even though it makes no sense in the natural. Others may not get it—just like they didn’t get it in my life.
For this reason, some people may try to convince you to turn away from what God wants you to do. But, remember this: The person who is unspiritual will use his senses (his ears, eyes, and unspiritual mind) to try to “discern” what you should do. Reason makes us focus on circumstances, but spiritual discernment helps us see through circumstances.
As you are pursuing your calling, I encourage you to pray for spiritual discernment. It will help you understand if the advice you are receiving from others should be heeded or ignored.
Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.