(Stop, Look, Listen, & Obey)
What do we do when we doubt our calling? As a Christian blogger (not for profit), it seems I have spent weeks struggling with doubt and discouragement, wondering if what I’m doing is following God’s calling, a selfish desire of my own heart, or even a response to a deception on Satan’s part disguised to throw me off track.
As I write this, my heart is overwhelmed with feelings of negativity: doubt, fear, disillusionment. There are so many things I want to say and so many things I want to do but I have no idea where to start. My mind is filled with questions: Can I do this? Should I do this? Why am I doing this? Is this a “God” thing or my own wishful thinking? More questions follow: How do I do this? When do I do this? And what am I hoping to accomplish by doing this? Even more questions arise: I’m not computer savvy, so how do I write posts that will reach people and speak to their hearts? How can anyone relate to a person who is totally confused at times, and so sure of herself at other times? Someone who can express themselves somewhat coherently in writing but is tongue-tied when speaking in person?
With all this confusion, can I truly say that God has called me to write posts for a Christian blog? If it is truly a “calling,” shouldn’t I be more confident, more motivated, more devoted to spending time looking at the world through rose-colored, “Christian” blogger glasses and sharing the upside of living the Christ-centered life? Shouldn’t I desire to spend more time learning all the ins and outs of the blogging world so that I can have an eye-catching, compelling, Nobel peace prize-winning blog? Instead, I find myself doubting my worthiness, feeling totally inadequate in comparison to all the other smart, savvy, attention-getting posts out in the blogging world. All this negativity is enough to drag a well-intentioned, not-so-self-confident, imperfect, seeking-to-serve Christian down.
What is a servant who truly desires to follow Her Lord’s directives supposed to do? As I see it, the only thing to do is “stop, look, and listen” to what God is trying to tell me about what I am trying to do. And once I receive that message, it is up to me to do it.
- Stop. Stop the madness. Stop the confusion. Stop the doubt. Don’t get caught up in trying to do what everyone else is doing. Be still before God and wait on Him to tell you what to do.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5 (NIV)
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
- Look. Seek God’s wisdom. Try to understand what He is leading you to do. Visualize how you will do it. Visualize what it will look like. Focus on what He is telling you to do and don’t compare what you are doing to what others are doing.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
- Listen. Listen to what God is telling you. Pay attention to what you are hearing Him say. Seek godly counsel, but do not let others lead you away from doing what God is leading you to do.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away. Isaiah 50:5 (NLT)
We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
- Obey. Once we feel confident in what God has told us to do, we need to do it. If we give in to fear, doubt, or inconsistency, we are being disobedient. And we are not showing others that our trust is in our Holy Father.
And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. Luke 8:15 (NLT)
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 (NIV)
This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’ Jeremiah 7:23 (NIV)
How about you? Do you ever get confused on your calling? Do you ever doubt if you are truly doing what the Lord is telling you to do? Don’t let Satan distract you with so much activity that you can’t (or don’t) hear what He has for you to do. Stop, look and listen for yourself. Then do whatever it is you feel He is telling you to do, i.e., obey.