The cliffhanger I left in my last blog is over! This one is where the rubber meets the road: the how and why of cultivating your calling.
Because I know, as much as I love to know God’s truth about anything in my business (and life), what I REALLY love to know is how to apply what His truth teaches me!
With all our talk about how God defines and directs calling last week, I bet you’re asking, “how do I walk out my calling with discipline, and how does the Holy Spirit develop me along the way?” Let’s dig to how and why we cultivate in with our 4 Keys framework (if you don’t already have your copy, download it at https://erinharrigan.com/4Keys ).
So how do I cultivate my calling, Erin?
This discipline is threefold;
Seek God first.
Here’s the deal: discipline is all about daily decisions. Decisions to build the muscles of seeking God first, then obeying Him, and doing this consistently.
Seek God First
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Matthew 6:33
If God gives the flowers and the sparrows everything they need, how much more does He give us? Yet we’re often looking elsewhere for what we think we need: the next book, the next guru, the next surefire way to get your client roster full and sell out your offer. (It’s ok, you’re not alone). When we are instructed to seek God first and let Him direct us and provide for us. How often are you seeking elsewhere or leaning on your own strength and plans to “make things happen?”
Seeking is a discipline and it takes daily commitment to do so. And disciplined seeking means not only asking for God’s to show you how to cultivate that calling, but it also means asking within His will and being surrendered to His plan and outcomes.
You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2b-3
We want it our way, don’t we? The levels we reach, the income, the way our calling is used in the marketplace. But when we seek God from a place of our own understanding and desires, we ask with the wrong motives. Then we wonder why we’re stuck. Interesting, isn’t it? To properly cultivate, we must seek Him first.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22
Seeking is great. But then what? We’ve got to be disciplined to listen and obey. Because we’re still responsible for taking the action He’s instructed us to take. Yet how often do we not follow through or only go half-way? Partial obedience is disobedience. Cultivating your calling takes a discipline of obedience, even when God’s commission looks nothing like you planned.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV
Paul writes from prison to his beloved mentee Timothy to encourage him to keep going. Keep preaching the gospel, don’t give up. Keep walking in your calling, Timothy!
In his Life Principles Bible, NKJV, Dr. Charles Stanley says, “God never takes away our spiritual gifts.
In other words, God never takes your calling, but it can lose effectiveness through neglect and misuse. If you don’t cultivate your calling it can become stale and lifeless through neglect. Don’t let that happen, friend! Let us cultivate our callings with tenacity: never giving up and persevering because we have no idea whose life may be impacted by our tenacity to keep going! And this is WHY cultivating matters!
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2, NKJV
Our last key in cultivating is develop, and in order to be developed we must be pruned. It’s how God shapes us and molds us into who He’s made us to be. And that takes breaking up some soil and replanting sometimes.
Have you ever felt like things were going smoothly and then God made a turn you weren’t expecting? Maybe He passed the exit you planned and took you in a different direction. Guess what? He could have been breaking up your soil to cultivate deeper roots or making room for new seeds to be planted. Maybe He’s preparing you for a new harvest coming. Are you going to join Him where He’s working or try to keep your plan, your soil, intact for your purpose or what the world tells you?
When we tune out the world and tune into God’s truth, we can better hear His voice. When we develop our keen hearing to listen for His voice, we grow confident in the calling He’s given us. Sometimes all that pruning is Him trying to get our attention to take us in a new direction, to a new commission where our calling is needed.
He could be breaking up your soil to cultivate deeper roots for new seeds to be planted or for a new harvest that’s coming. And He develops you in the waiting.
Lastly, if you’re still not entirely sure what your God-given calling is, think about where your passion and gifts come together with this exercise:
- Pray and ask God to show you where your passions and gifts come together: list what brings you joy in interacting with people, what ways you love to serve, what work you love so much that time flies by while doing it, and even what people tell you you’re so good at doing/how you make them feel.
- Share this list with a trusted friend and ask them to listen then share their thoughts on:
- What else comes to mind when they think of you operating in those passions and talents.
- What types of work or in what places could they see you doing these things
- Take their ideas to God and pray for His clarity and direction on what aligns to His commissions for you, and ask how He desires to develop you for His plans.
As an example, you might say “I love to encourage people.” You friend may say, “I see that, because you’re a great listener. You create a safe space for people to open up about their challenges, and you’re thoughtful in helping them see solutions for those challenges.”
The point is, you can only see your calling from your angle, but it’s so much broader than that. And in His development of you, He often uses people to help expand your view.
I pray our walk-through God’s truth about calling has brought you clarity vs. the world’s definitions that cause fog! If you found this helpful today, share it with a friend, and let me know with a DM on LinkedIn @erinharrigan or Instagram @erindharrigan
If your outward success is warring with your faith and priorities, I hear you. I see you. And it doesn’t have to be this way. God made you to be ambitious, but He didn’t make you to work the world’s way. I’m the coach that can help! Schedule a call to explore working with me: https://erinharrigan.com/discoverycall