How do find and follow the call of God for your life? This blog is by Mark Appleyard, an Australian electrician turned pastor who recently launched a business that is serving leaders all over the world. Right in the middle of his current change in focus to align with his calling I asked him how it was working. Here is his response and some practical keys to discover your own journey hearing God calling YOU.
“Of course you are!” was the response I received from many of my peers when I announced to them that I was preparing to start a new global business while still pastoring the local church we planted in North Carolina.
It’s Not Very Romantic…
Finding and aligning with the call of God is not as romantic as I would like. I am on a lifetime of pursuing Him and discovering my call. Indicators for me that God is taking me deeper into my calling usually involve
- The basic affirmations of others (Gentle pointers from trusted sources)
- A quiet stirring in my spirit (I’m learning this is probably God)
- Divine interventions (random conversations or circumstances that are like kisses from God)
It’s Inevitable I will be Challenged
Each time I seek to walk out my calling several things are inevitable:
- People will try to stop me – People running from their own calling will try and ease their own sense of guilt by dissuading me from running in mine.
- My trust level will be challenged – Appropriating the entirety of my gift of faith in God, and not putting it in myself, is really hard.
- I will grow in friendship with God – Each step of faith produces a greater revelation of the fullness of my calling as a son… meaning there will be more steps to follow.
I am My Own Biggest Challenge!
A cold hard reality is emerging as I write: The only person in the way of me… is me.
Numerous times this past year I have placed my faith in me by taking matters into my own hands instead of allowing God’s timing to reveal His direction. Each time this happens I deny the invitation of intimacy from my Heavenly Father. He’s not just interested in the task, He is also interested in sharing His heart with me along the way as I walk this thing out. I am finding that taking time to journal each day is activating my spiritual ears to hear the difference between the sound of His voice and my own.
Get Started. Keep Walking.
Alignment is breeding alignment. The more aligned I become, the easier it is to stay aligned with His purposes and calling. Misalignment is uncomfortable and feels more meaningless the longer I am misaligned, so I am motivated to stay aligned. Thankfully God has sent a few Divine Interventions along the way to help keep me aligned, such as the random Irish guy I sat next to on a flight home from Paris who described for me perfectly the needs business leaders have that I was already considering addressing in our course material.
Good Things or God Things?
Most of you reading are leaders who already are doing many good things with your life. The question is, are they God things? With your currency of time, are you simply spending it by doing what everyone expects of you with no Kingdom returns? Or are you different? Are you investing your time in the eternal future He has called you to with maximum impact?
Today, if you are different, here is how you can walk out your calling in full alignment with your Heavenly Father:
Ask dangerous questions regarding your future with the people you trust;
Spend time journaling in the Word of God;
Hear what He is saying about your future; and
Keep an eye out for Divine Interventions – God kissing you on your journey!
Mark and Julie Appleyard have a combined Christian Leadership experience across the world of over 45 years that has included two church plants, turning a small church around to be a community impacting church as well as serving on the Senior Executive of a 3,000 member church with nearly 40 full-time staff.
While still remaining founding Pastors of Crossroads Church, they now also serve as founders of Anothen – a Senior Executive Consulting network. Anothen has been activated to fine tune Kingdom business leaders to think, speak and live from heaven’s perspective–to help them become the most influential spiritual leaders in the world.
Mark & Julie have three children and live in North Carolina.
For more information, please see www.anothen.co.