How do I quickly prepare to answer the calling on my life

Say hello…I am Barry Skaaland

Where are you from? Madison WI and moved to Fulton IL

What led you to join Connect? Finish videos for Short Course on Apolegetics

How do you hope to contribute? Support and communicate with others who are have a call to share the Gospel

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Welcome Barry, from the beautiful mountains of WV.
Quickly can be challenging, and daunting, six months after giving my heart to Jesus I was in full time ministry. My best advice pray, pray, pray, pray, and pray some more, then study, study, His word and most of all trust Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Then continue praying, and studying and never think you are there. That’s from many mistakes along the way my brother. Take care and stay focused.
Mike

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Thanks for your reply Mike, have a blessed day my friend!

Barry

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Hi @Bearcat,

Welcome!

I don’t think there is any shortcut to preparing to serve God and his calling. However, we can mature into it by responding to God’s grace in our lives through time with him in prayer, worship, and Bible study, and then obedience to what we learn from our time with him. I also think it is so important to be in relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ in a church home and have the guidance of a local pastor. I also hope that you will find Connect to be a nurturing environment!

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I don’t know your situation however some great options when faced with need for preparation are always extending time spent with God, in scripture and prayer.

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Good afternoon, @Bearcat - you may be glad to know that you’re already prepared, right this very moment, for the next step of God’s calling on your life. If you’ll just do step by step what He wants you to do in the present, you’ll have no problem fulfilling your life’s great destiny. Psalm 37:23 - the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.

But now, big question here: do you think you already know what God’s calling on your life is, and you’re just wondering how to prepare for it - or do you have no clue what God’s calling for you is, and you’re wanting to get some direction?

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Welcome aboard @Bearcat. I love having my Wisconsite friends joining connect. I went to Madison for 1 year in 1980. Finished in Oshkosh and ended up in Michigan since 1985. But, I am still a huge Packer fan. And, I love the Lord. A Packer Christian. I just made that up just now. :slight_smile: Glad you have joined us thanks for coming alongside connect. God-bless you and your journey.

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Hello @Bearcat, if I may, (not 'cause I’m qualified by any means :)) I think Romans 12 is your guide, key verse 2. The progression of a good understanding of chapters 1-8, particularly 4&5, the foundation of a new identity “in Christ”!

Our Lord Jesus’ own ministry did not begin for what…30 years? The great apostle Paul was at least 3 years early on in Arabia, prepared and taught by the Lord for his.

I also like what @jlyons said, reminding me of Jesus’ teaching delivered in Luke 16’s parable - of being faithful in the little to be entrusted with more.

I agree true ministry is an outflow of one’s own personal relationship with God, our loving Father, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, dependent wholly upon the power and leading of the Holy Spirit in study of His Word. Eph 3:7.
In essence, this is the only way to prepare, as they’ve all said. :slight_smile:

God bless and guide you, make you usable and use you for His Glory and Church! The harvest is plentiful, the laborers few.

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Welcome Barry @Bearcat, glad you are here. I’m so glad you feel that calling and excitement as a follower of Christ. I want to say few things. Witnessing what God has done in your life is something you definitely can do at this very instant. That can help and draw many to come to Christ, but don’t forget or rush to teach necessarily. The reason I say that is you need to teach yourself what you know and what you dont know by thorough bible study, having a mentor, pastor/priest, and living the life of a Christian. It’s important to say I dont know the answer for something and going and finding it out. The more questions you ask the better you get and dont take things face value. Try to investigate and try to understand the context. The bible as you know even though it talks to us even today, it is was written almost 2000 years ago. So context is key.

Final thing I will say is the more we learn and understand the true Christianity, the less number of denominations we will have. Premature zeal and drive to share the gospel sometimes leads to premature disagreements and then opps there goes a new church and denomination. That leads to more separation, false teachings, and confusion to the outside world. Jesus is the shepard. As the representative of Christ, we need to really know and understand him and his ways before we represent him. I encourage you to take more courses as well, RZIM is great.

God Bless you.

Hi @Bearcat Can be a possibility, maybe by divine intervention.

John 2:4
“Jesus said to her, woman, what is that to you and to me? My time has not yet come.”

-From my own experience with help and encountering of the Holy Spirit you must go through the process and journey before you get an answer for your calling.

You have to spend time alone with yourself and the Holy Spirit to know yourself with the talents or God-given gift the Lord blessed you with. Read the Gospel’s and keep your eyes focused on Jesus.

Find your talent and God-given Gift to serve

Like the parable of the talents in
Matthew 25:14-15 “For it is like a man who was about to take a long journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, and one of each in proportion to his own ability. Then he departed and left the country.”

-When you read the rest of the verse from 16-29 you will find that two of them invested in there talent while one of them just buried it and did nothing to invest in it(talent). God has blessed us with Talents and God-given gifts for the sake of his kingdom, Once you have found your talent or God-given gifts through the help of the Holy Spirit. You will have to invest in it with the Word of God, Training in the ministry from spiritual leaders, books to read to refine your talent and gift always remember to consult the Holy Spirit while in the process preparing yourself for the call. It may take months or a year but the lord will speak to you directly in spirit to tell you when you are ready for your call, You must remember that the talent and gift is not what makes the best of you. It’s always the Christ in you. Now you will have to find your ”purpose” Which is your calling in this world to serve your talent or gift for the sake of the kingdom of God.

The “calling”.

Now Jesus went to call fisherman as his disciples
Matthew 4:19 Then he said to them, “follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

-Like I said earlier keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, just like how he called his disciples to follow him and serve. Same as how he calls us now to serve. In order to serve you you must follow the example of Jesus and his disciples to find your calling where ever the lord will place you. As you can see it’s a journey and process where Jesus trains his disciples.

The “Will Of God”
Luke 22:42
saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

-The will of God is powerful! In calling sometimes we want God to do our will, In places we want to go and when should we start ministering or as you can say the fastest way to answer to your calling. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me it’s always the Will of God that comes to pass. You have to also “acknowledge” and have “obedience“ to the Will Of God. Once you ask for the Will of God it’s not going to be easy.
Matthew 16:24-26. 24“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?
-I’m 22 years old and I used to minister to youths in the Fiji Islands. Wasn’t easy faced situation where lost friends people talked behind my back but it was the process and the journey. Now I’m a resident in New Zealand I preparing myself reach out here and be a missionary by spread the Gospel to other countries. Once you get your calling going to have a shift in your life! But it will be amazing!

Just to sum up! The main thing is your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And your daily encounter with the Holy Spirit. Read the word of God, prayer, fasting and worship.
Just remember it’s always the Christ in you which is the hope of Glory. Glory always goes back to God.

Blessed journey with answering your call to serve :slightly_smiling_face: God Bless.

Thank you Dan, I appreciate your wisdom, thoughtfulness and heartfelt words Brother!

Barry

Thank you Vilikesa! You have much to say and I appreciate all of it! Thank you for your encouragement and advice. You words on the parable of the talents especially spoke to my heart! Thank you, God bless you and your family!
Barry

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@jlyons, great points here. I agree: We are all already prepared for the next step, and that step prepares us for the one after, and that for the next one. I once heard a family counselor say that she sees many pregnant mothers worried about having to raise a 2-year-old, or a 6-year-old, or a teenager. She always tells them, “Of course you don’t know how to raise a 2-year-old. But you’ll raise an infant, then a 1-year-old—and then you WILL know how to raise a 2-year-old.” Life works like that. :wink:

jlyons’ disambiguation is also apt: It’s one thing to figure out your calling, and quite another to prepare for it. I mean, there are some things you’d do in both states—pray and spend time in silence with God—but especially in the latter case, what the calling is makes a big difference to your preparation.

If you are in the first stage, I would encourage you to look at literature on discerning one’s calling. I have used these resources in the past and found them to be wonderful:

Gallagher, T. M. (2007). Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for the Greater Discernment of Spirits.

Gallagher, T. M. (2009). Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making.

Gallagher, T. M. (2012). The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living.

(Father Timothy Gallagher is known to be the leading expert on discernment of vocation in the Catholic world. He also has videos you should be able to find with Google.)

Placher, W. C. (2005). Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocations.

I also find the works of Parker Palmer particularly helpful for this, especially “Let Your Life Speak” and “A Hidden Wholeness”.

And here’s a very practical TEDx talk that pulls a lot of ideas from the above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m5Ek34BROE&t=16s

My favorite quote on calling/vocation is from Frederick Buechner, who said, “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide.” I think that highlights nicely that God calls us to vocations not only to teach us to sacrifice for others and serve His purposes, but also to fulfill us and give us joy. We are “more us”, more closely who God made us to be, when we are in the right vocation.

All that being said, there is a common understanding of vocation in some Christian circles that we are called to one vocation for our entire life. I have spoken to many people about vocation and don’t think that’s true. Vocation can change. We may be called to one place and task at one time, and to another later on. So keep that in mind as you discern (if you are discerning).

Now, if you already know what the calling is, then I suggest talking to others who are already doing that vocation and ask them what you can do to prepare.

Either way, I wish you all God’s blessings on your journey! :slight_smile: