Do you ever have this thought: Who do I think I am that I could _______? Fill in the blank with your strongest desire, and then ask yourself who is stopping you from fulfilling it. If you’re like me, you will discover that you have been limiting yourself. That is not a comforting thought.
Maybe it’s too late to fulfill my desire.
When I was in my twenties, I’m embarrassed to admit, I didn’t know what I wanted out of life. I rarely thought ahead of the next weekend. (See Mr. Magoo years.) As I have grown spiritually, I have discovered my strongest desire.
Now I wonder if it’s too late. I have to allow for the possibility that I missed my opportunity. The culture certainly reinforces that notion.
However, I take hope in the fact God is not bothered by minor details like timing. In fact, when we realize that we cannot achieve our desires ourselves, that we’ve missed our best opportunity, that we desperately need his help, and we ask God for assistance, then he just might come through.
Abraham was 75 when he heard God’s call, and he was 100 when he had Isaac. Moses didn’t take up ministry until he was 80. There is precedent for God to use anyone at any time.
Maybe I’ve misunderstood my calling
This is a little trickier. I may desire to serve in areas for which I am not well equipped.
There’s really only one way to find out if this is the case: try it. I would rather have lived my life trying to fulfill my earnest desires than get to the end of life with the realization that I gave up.
That is easy to say and quite hard to do. I’m trying to try. It sounds silly, but to break out of ‘business as usual’ is difficult. Who knows, maybe God will give me skill and experiences that will fill in what I had previously lacked.
God’s Call: Learn to overcome the negative voices.
If I have dealt with the first two possibilities and am still convinced that my desire is from God, then I must learn to conquer the negativity in my head.
Don’t listen to yourself; talk to yourself.
The only way I know to do this is to constantly fill my head with God’s Word. God’s Word is true. It will not lead me to places that I cannot go. It can be misunderstood, but with a sincere desire to hear from God it is trustworthy.
When I have prayed or recited God’s Word, my thinking becomes sharper and more positive. Then I can see more clearly if my desire is God’s call. If so, God’s Word also gives me courage to continue to pursue my strongest desire.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something that you now wish you had done? It might not be too late.
Your words — accompanied by that photo — are spot on. Just try it. Thanks for the encouragement. As you know, I’ve talked myself out of new creative work with that negative talk for too long. Just try it. Yes. And pray through it. God will bless the work of our hands, the words of our mouths, the silent sighs, the prayers, the smiles, the tears — all in ways we cannot even know or see. Thank you for joining me in this!
Our conversation was the inspiration for this post, Beth. Just try it… and pray!
You are speaking directly to me this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I’m too often talking myself out of what I feel called to out of fear of failure or fear of not liking it once I get into it.
You’re quite welcome:) Glad you found encouragement to listen to your calling and not your doubts. Thanks for your comments, Cathy!
“Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something that you now wish you had done?”
Well, of course. I could write a book on this subject, going back to the time I refused to give my life to Jesus when I was twelve years old and then up to now. But I take comfort in what Paul wrote: “… But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Let’s just keep pressing on.
That is the perfect verse for this topic, Larry. Like you, I have way too many could have and should have moments, but it really does give me hope that God is only interested in today. Thanks for reminding me to press on!
Funny you should use that scripture. It is the scripture God gave me for my business of marriage coaching which is the very thing I am struggling with pursuing! God just spoke to me twice through this blog!
Very thought provoking and a struggle for most of us. We are blessed to have many opportunities to make a difference. At any age but especially as we get older we realize many people need to feel our compassion, our spirit, and yes just our friendship. Of course, as Director of Community Bible Study you know this better than most of us. Sometimes we have the desire for recognition, but as you know when we get that call for help – someone needed your guidance, needed to feel your spiritual comfort and direction, maybe just needed to feel your love- we or at least I understand my purpose. You are that light to many driven by God’s word and compassion. Thank you! I appreciate your reference to Abraham and Moses; a great reminder our mission our purpose may yet to be fulfilled.
Barb, You have a tremendous purpose giving of yourself in friendship and compassion, and you are uniquely gifted to do just that. I don’t think we always think of purpose or calling in those terms, but you are exactly right. Our purposes may be in our relationships and not so much in our work or service. Thanks Barb, and I am so glad you are my friend:)