Originally published Friday, 12 May 2017.
As a child, I didn’t enjoy fishing however it was my chance to see the wide open countryside. My dad taught us (me and my siblings) how to drop a line and set a hook. His tackle box bulged with memories boasting juicy stories of countless fish that got away. Dad would pick his spot and quickly command the bait from our hands. We followed his lead, baiting the hook and sat. This is the part where I wanted to shout out into the clear blue sky but my dad threatened me with silence! As if the fish could hear us! They don’t have ears, do they?
Believe it – Fish DO have ears.
If you have gone fishing then you KNOW the number one rule is you MUST be very quiet when fishing. My dad scolded as I yelled loudly; shouting was my natural response to fresh air. My dad’s natural reaction urged and shushed me into silence. The problem was my behavior didn’t lend itself to match my big personality and childlike lungs. What I know now was developed at the water’s edge.
I practiced listening.
God’s calling on your life is like fishing in a way. You can’t prematurely birth it to come. My dad’s dedication taught me to never stop risking for your passion. The greater catch is the faith caught in gaining patience in the wait. That doesn’t mean you sit idle and wait for God to drop your purpose and calling in nice neat FedEx box on your porch. The calling for your life bubbles up with practice, submission to the process, and hooked by a high cost of surrender.
Faithfully serve “now” and cast your “hows” upon God.
1. Set your focus to dare greatly.
2. Practice your skill; learn all you can.
3. Exhibit courage and never give up.
4. Be faithful to the process.
The Bible gives some practical advice when it comes to steps to your calling. Paul encouraged his career-mined friends with urgency to “…live a life worthy of your calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1- 2) In today’s fisher of men translation: Friends, know what you’re good at, now devote yourself to the process. Be teachable, open to new ways, and be a good student. Be patient with yourself, one day it will fall into place and be mindful of those who have gone before you. Remember, He is FOR you and is Sovereign over your life. Even Esther had to go through a stringent training to be the queen, a whole year of beautification preparation before stepping into royalty.
God’s plan and purpose are worth patiently waiting for as your skill unites with His will!
The discipline of listening will develop your habits to match His calling and passions will come out instinctively. God knows you and what makes your heart come alive. It’s possible your life will look completely different than thought but remember God works in the character development department! (His thoughts for you are higher than you can visualize). Stay focused on the vision; God has given you the ability to stay the course. Cling to it with laser-focus on the plan!
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light for my path.” The greater reward is the seed of faith. You don’t have to have enough faith to finish but only to start. Faith urges you forward and grows you through His Word, positive people, encouraging influences, life’s circumstances and conversation with Him. With every one of God’s promises comes a provision, promotion, and a territory attached.
So how about you, is it time for you to start listening to God? What is He calling you to?