He told me to ignore the call of God, and it was the best advice I ever received.
I was sixteen. God had been working on me. Not like cleaning out a few cobwebs kind of work. He was knocking down walls and rearranging the basic structure of things. I knew, well I thought I knew, that He was calling me to some type of ministry.
I pictured myself in the Amazon rainforest passing out tracts and cold chills went up my spine. Each intake of breath felt heavy, like I couldn’t get enough air. How do you know?
How do you know when God is calling you to a deeper place with Him? How do you know if God is asking you to be in ministry? Or even more daunting – missions? Just the word brought to mind the tiny black and white photos of the missionaries in the back of the Open Windows devotionals we used to read at the breakfast table.
I took my shaky questions to someone I knew would have the answers. Someone wise in the ways of the Lord – my grandfather.
My Pop, as we called him, was a preacher. He retired after 50 years in the ministry, but couldn’t stay away and was doing interim pastoral work to supplement the time he spent in his garden.
Sure no one else was around, I dropped my big question and waited. “Pop, how do you know when God is calling you into the ministry?”
His hands stilled on the mail in his lap as he turned to look at me. “Ignore it.”
I’m sure my mouth hung open because those were not the words I was expecting to come out of Pop’s mouth. “Ignore…God?” I didn’t understand.
“Ignore the calling. The best way to know if God is really calling you is to ignore it. If He does really have a calling on your life, He won’t leave you alone. There will come a point where it will be obvious. You won’t question it anymore, and you’ll know with confidence God’s plan for you.”
I let that sink in a minute, the velour sticking to the backs of my sweaty legs, and took a deep breath. I didn’t have to worry about it. The ministry train wasn’t going to pass by if I was unsure about whether or not to get on board. God would make it obvious.
And guess what? He did.
Perhaps you’ve heard God whisper. And you’ve wondered. Wondered if He’s really speaking to you. Is He calling you to some kind of ministry or the mission field? Is He asking you to open your heart to adoption?
I offer the advice of a wise old preacher and tell you, “Ignore it. Just for a time, because if God’s really trying to get your attention, He will. Trust me.”
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 NIV
****Today is the day!! Today is the release of the Guideposts book I co-authored. If you received this by email, click on the link to my site. Look in the upper right-hand corner. If you are interested, you can order from there.