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How do I know what God’s calling is?

Directions – they are what we need to get from one destination to another. I have a friend who drives by the seek and ye shall find method. He eventually gets to his destination, but is often late. He’s a great guy, but he would be the first to admit that google maps would be better than no directional guidance at all.

One person wrote to me saying he was praying about whether or not he should go into the field of counseling. I prayed quite a while before responding to him. I asked my Lord, What do you want me to say to him? What can I say that he doesn’t know already? The question had been on this person’s heart and mind for some time. The Lord said to my spirit He would guide me.

I wrote to him saying that the thing in life that he is most passionate about is often the direction to go.  Is counseling something he could have a sustained interest in? As a pastoral counselor, I know from personal experience this is not the field for everyone. It takes a lot of love within and energy to be a pastoral counselor.  Knowing that you are dealing with the problems in people’s lives, you want to make certain as best as anyone can, that you are providing proper guidance.

I’m definitely not called to be an auto mechanic. When I was a very young man I applied to join the Canadian Armed Forces. The recruiting officer was trying to contain his laughter as he gave me my aptitude test results. He said, “Mr. Osborne, you did very well on our aptitude tests. Out of the 64 fields we have, you qualified to be trained in 32 of them. ” It won’t surprise you when he said one of the top fields was chaplaincy.

He went on to say, “But, Mr. Osborne, if I might make a suggestion. Never become an auto mechanic.” I knew that already. I had come to accept that auto mechanic would never be a career or even an avocation for me. On the aptitude test for mechanical knowledge I was given a diagram of a motor that was all apart. I had to pick out of the multiple choice options how to put the motor back together again. We had been instructed if you don’t know the answer to any of the aptitude questions, just guess. I had no idea of how to put the motor back together so good listener that I am, I guessed.

Based on guy to guy communication he was giving me, I got the answer to that question wrong, totally wrong. So, please don’t ask me to fix your car. I can guarantee you that it would never run the same again, if at all after I got my hands on it:)

If you need any further confirmation that work with my hands is not one of my giftings I did a gifts assessment. I got a big fat goose egg, zero for craftsmanship. So, guys, please don’t ask me to help with anything that needs repaired.

This anecdote is to point out to you that we all have different gifts. This blog may be going out to someone who is great at repairing things or has a job working with their hands. That could well be your calling. We wouldn’t have churches if we didn’t have people who know how to build them. Students need teachers. Some of us who hate dealing with numbers need accountants to do our taxes. We need guidance from our pastors. We need to  be able to go to our pastors in times of life or spiritual crisis.

In praying to the Lord about the direction I should take with my life like many people, I wonder at times am I heading in the Lord’s way or my way? I have spoken with many people in their fifties, who are seeking a new career direction or they hate the one they have..

The Lord has called me to ministry in many areas. Like me for some of us you will be called by your Lord to be doing a number of different things. That is your calling. Embrace it. Any advice you are given to focus on one or two areas of your calling need to be taken to God in prayer. Let Him confirm or deny what the person has said.

Listen to God. If He says in your spirit that the way you are going with a career path is wrong, then head in His direction immediately. God won’t bless you in a career He never wanted you in to begin with.  When I was in my early thirties I did an entire Honours Diploma in Microcomputer Business Applications. I thought God wanted me to be an instructor at the computer school, because I was getting very high marks.  I failed to take time to pray about it. While God used my training in computer program logic for my calling as a journalist, I was never meant to be a computer teacher. So, God closed that door firmly and said to my spirit that I needed to be obedient. I accepted then the calling  to be a missionary in South Korea.

I pray God directs me in the path of being a visiting missionary there. I want to show my wife, Karen, the beauty of one of their mountains called Sorak Sans. In Seoul, according to the Guinness World Book of Records,  Lotte World is the largest indoor theme park in the world. If you ever get the opportunity to go to South Korea, you’ll have a lot of fun at Lotte World. Just wear some comfortable running shoes, because it’s a lot of walking.

The Lord’s guidance can often be found in the Scriptures. One I have used for myself and  in guiding others is Proverbs 3:5-6.  I like the way “The Message” puts it.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.

I think many of us get lost in discovering God’s calling for our life, because we try to do it on our own.  The Lord wants us to consult first with Him, and then the wise counsel of others, in determining what to do with our life.

All of us should be going to our Lord first before going to others about our calling. When you pray if the Lord reveals to your spirit He doesn’t want you to become a minister, counselor or even an auto mechanic, then don’t engage in any of those careers.

If you have no clue of  what God is calling you to do as a career, it’s okay to get some guidance. There are guidance counselors, who have assessment tools for determining your aptitudes.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to say to everyone,” I’m outta here.” Go away on a retreat. Get alone with God and seek His will for your life. Make sure that only your family knows where you are. Make it clear to colleagues and friends you can’t be contacted during this time. If necessary leave your cell phone and your laptop or tablet at home. That way you won’t be able to give in to the temptation of emailing people or spending part of your retreat time surfing the net like me.

Try to get a spiritual formation director to be your guide at the retreat. There may be spiritual issues such as anger at God, which are blocking you from the calling He has on your life.

Be still and know that He is God and He will be true to His Word. He will guide you in the way you should go, even if it’s  being an auto mechanic.

For your prayer reflection about God’s call I’ve added a link to the video “Here I Am.”

God’s peace be with you as you discern His calling for  your life.

P.S. Please feel free to email me at: if you need life or spiritual guidance. I will respond to your emails as soon as I can. I am working on research for my Master of Theology degree in Missions at a distance school called South African Theological Seminary for my thesis “From Liability to Blessing – A Study of the L’Arche Richmond Hill Community in Toronto.” L”Arche has homes all around the world that help those with developmental challenges to live a life where they feel they are of value.

Many of the prayers you have seen will be in a book I’m working on entitled “Prayer Poems from Gethsemane.”

Please pray if it’s the Lord’s will that the door for my wife, Karen, to enter a Master of Divinity program at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. would open.

I’m also working on articles and a book, which is the story of my life called “God’s Miracles For Him.”  You can find it if interested by just clicking on osborne2029 and scrolling through all of my submissions.

So, while I have a busy schedule, I will do my best to respond to any of your comments or personal inquiries.

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.