Calling and Vocation

Discerning God's Leading

Keith Johnson

from the Beyond booklet

God sometimes leads in dramatic ways, like Paul’s calling to be an apostle. On the other hand, the example of Nehemiah reflects the ordinary experience of many believers (Nehemiah 1:1–11).

While working for the King of Persia, Nehemiah hears that his home city of Jerusalem lies in ruins and he becomes deeply burdened. After praying about this need over several months’ time, Nehemiah requests permission from the King of Persia to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1–8). He never received a dramatic vision telling him to leave his “secular” job and help his people.

Nevertheless, he believed that God was leading him to take action and this leading apparently came through ordinary means (extended prayer and scriptural reflection on the plight of his people).

Questions to Ask as You Discern God’s Leading

Am I willing to go where God wants me to go and do what God wants me to do?

This posture of surrender is the starting point for discerning God’s will (Romans 12:1–3). Our view of God plays a key role in our willingness to surrender to his purposes (like seeing God as a loving Father whom we can trust with our future).

What perspective does God’s Word bring to my decision?

  • How should the things that matter most to God (his glory, his mission) shape my decision?
  • What aspects of God’s character should shape my decision?
  • Write down verses that provide perspective on your decision and pray over them.

What do I gain from the counsel of others?

Proverbs tells us there is wisdom in the counsel of others (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22).

  • Who can I invite to pray with me and speak into my decision?
  • What do those who know me well see as my best contribution?
  • Do they have any concerns?
  • Do they feel that I currently have the character and maturity needed to serve God in this way?

How do my ministry experiences affirm God’s leading?

Many Cru staff will tell you that seeing God use them in ministry played a key role in discerning God’s leading to serve with Cru.

  • How has God used me in the lives of others?
  • What kind of ministry do I enjoy doing?

Where do my vision, desires and strengths align with Cru’s vision and strengths?

Seek to understand the mission, vision, values, ministry distinctives, etc. of the group you sense God may be leading you to join.

  • Do my gifts, strengths, and ministry philosophy indicate that I will fit well with the ministry focus of the organization?

  • What opportunities to serve does Cru currently offer which are in line with my gifts, strengths, and ministry philosophy?

  • What do I still need to know about these options in order to make a decision?

What is God asking me to do?

  • What things do I know or suspect God is leading me to do?
  • How do my circumstances affirm God’s leading?

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