In my world, I just turn on the faucet and water appears.
In her world, she drops a bucket attached to a very long rope into a deep well. Then, with amazing deftness, she quickly pulls it up and accesses the fresh water that we all desperately need to survive.
She was surrounded by friends. They were filled with expectation and smiles.
The village was abuzz because they were gathering to receive a Bible—some of them for the first time ever.
I snapped a photo of the girl working at the well, and then headed inside the ramshackle concrete room the local church meets in. There wasn’t enough space for everyone, so the crowd spilled outside, with dozens sitting on the ground under a tarp attached to the building.
Then, I was stunned. There was the girl again. This time, instead of a bucket, she was wielding a guitar!
She stepped up, gathered everyone’s attention and began to lead us all in worship. She played and sang and exquisitely ushered each of us into the throne room of God.
As a spiritual leader, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is, “How can I discern what God is calling me to with my life?” There is something extraordinary about finding that “sweet spot” where The Spirit is moving powerfully in and through us.
First Peter chapter four highlights both aspects of this young lady’s ministry: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
She used her gifts of service at the well and her gifts of worship and leadership on the platform.
Here are four ways to discern how God may be calling you to serve:
1. What am I learning from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit? Discernment begins here: Reading. Meditating. Fasting. Waiting. Listening.
2. Where does my joy intersect with real needs? Frederick Buechner once said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
3. Is there both a “push” and a “pull?” Sometimes, God makes options clearer by simultaneously closing the door to a current opportunity while attracting us to new ministry opportunities.
4. What are others telling me? It is difficult for us to wade through our own preferences when we are considering opportunities. Scripture spurs us to seek input from wise counselors—it is one of God’s safety nets that we would be unwise to overlook!
YOUR TURN: How did you know where God was calling you to minister? What is God teaching you now about the ways that He has shaped you for service? Answer in the comments to this post.
Dr. Jason Peters serves in VOM’s International Ministries department, traveling frequently to meet with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. He has ministered in 35 countries, as diverse as Cuba, India, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Nigeria. Before joining VOM’s team, Jason was a faculty member of the US Air Force Chaplain Corps College, where he directed Crisis and Trauma training. Jason, his wife, Kimberly, and their five children are actively engaged in standing with their persecuted sisters and brothers.