“Do what you love and love what you do.”
“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough.”
“Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
We’ve all heard these before – but how often are we still left questioning what God actually calls us to do… What do I have to offer? Is this the right career path? Am I serving in the right ministry, perhaps? Been there, questioned that. It wasn’t until I heard a message from Pastor Robert Madu (11/10 would recommend) a few years ago, that a lot of these questions were clarified for me personally. At the heart of his message was the fact that our calling goes hand in hand with our gifting.
What is your gifting, you say? Why, I’m so glad you asked. My good old pal Robert just so happened to outline 4 questions that are so simple, yet incredibly profound in identifying what your gifts could be. Whether it be ability-based, people-based or knowledge-based, I encourage you now – don’t just read over these questions; take a moment and pause. Answer them for yourself and allow God to be at work in you as you do so.
How can I identify my gift?
1) What do you enjoy doing & how can this be used in the Kingdom?
Your gift will complement your passions. You cannot have a God-given gift that you hate having, nor will you have a passion that this gift won’t make way for. If you enjoy doing something or are good at that very thing, don’t take it for granted. God wired you with a calling in mind and He wants you to enjoy the journey, not just endure it.
2) What would you do for free?
This one’s a good challenge. Essentially, if it were truly your gift, no amount of money could either stop you or convince you to pursue it. For example, if you work in the medical profession, building or engineering fields, you are ultimately driven by a need to improve the quality of life for others. If you’re a counsellor, social worker, pastor or teacher, chances are that you are not motivated by your payslip (can I get an amen), but more so the passion that you have to fulfil a need where there is lack in peoples lives. The moment we realise that we are motivated by much more than fleeting money, we also begin to realise that there is a difference between a career and a calling.
3) What do other people notice in you?
Do life in community – I cannot stress how important this is in recognising your gifting! How will people call out the God-gifts in you if you don’t allow them to see you in action? If you haven’t already, try joining a life group, serve team or simply get some quality people around you as your support crew. These are the people that will be both your biggest encouragers and your most loving critics. Listen to those you trust, because often we fail to see in ourselves what others notice in us.
4) What is something that comes easily to you but may be difficult to others?
Confession session in full swing: I can’t swim to save my life. I’m terrified of anything with sharp claws, more than 4 legs or wings (yes, butterflies are included. No judgement). I don’t have a musical bone in my body. I think I’ve just about come to terms with the fact that I’m not called to be an athlete, vet or musician, but that’s simply because I am well aware of my gifts. I find it easy to speak in front of an audience, I love seeing kids learn and I have a knack for doing things creatively, so that’s why I pursued a teaching career. However, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Ask yourself – what comes easily to you? There will be an ease and a grace to your gifting.
There is a significant importance in identifying your gifts, because the enemy knows what God has put in you. It no longer becomes an issue of pride or self-confidence, but one of a God-assurance, as we are then one step closer to partnering with Him in this unique calling He has for our lives. Find what it is you are passionate about, remind yourself of that daily, and invite God to go before you into your sphere of work and life.
We each are called differently, but share the same purpose; to know God and to make Him known. God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Just like He asked Moses with the wooden staff in the book of Exodus, He asks you the same today – “What is in your hand?”
Robert Madu used a powerful analogy for understanding our calling, and that is this – If you take a hammer and nails and place it in the hands of someone who is called to be a qualified builder, what will you get? An exceptionally built house. If you took that hammer and those nails and placed them in my hands, however, you’ll be lucky if you get a somewhat average birdhouse. But take that same hammer and those nails and place them in the hands of Jesus, who was called to die once and for all to cover our sin, what do you get? Salvation for mankind.
So, what is in your hand? What are you gifted at? If you’re up to it, I challenge you to give that up to God, entrust Him with it, and see where He takes you– you are called, so do this with bold assurance.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
– Proverbs 16:3.