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I’m tired of the question, “Where is God calling you?” because I believe we already have the answer to this question.

Where is God calling you? What is God’s will for your life?

I believe God has a unique assignment for each one of us — some way He wants us to bring His healing and His peace to those on earth.

It can be confusing, can’t it? You want to follow God, but there are all kinds of voices, especially Christian voices, telling you which path to take. I’m growing tired of Christians making a ministry job the sign of a certain holiness that the practicing doctor hasn’t obtained.

I’m tired of the question, “Where is God calling you?” because I believe we already have the answer to this question.

Sometimes the word “calling” feels like an excuse to float through life. Other times, I’ve heard it used by people who, in some way, feel like they need to defend their high-paying job to Christian peers. 

I really struggled with these questions when I moved home from China. I didn’t have a clue what God was “calling me” to and I prayed and begged for nearly two years — a prayer that quickly turned into, “What do you want me to do?? I’ll do whatever you tell me — just tell me something!”

Have you ever felt that way?

Here are six common misconceptions about choosing a career path that I wish I knew long before last year:

1. God’s will is a labyrinth.

You need to make sure you don’t mess up and make the wrong decision.

I’ve received messages from college students paralyzed with fear over their career path because, as one girl said, “I just don’t want to choose the wrong path!” Here’s the truth: If your heart desires to follow God and you are seeking His will, you can’t go wrong. He gives wisdom and direction generously. (James 1:5)

Remember, He is a good Dad not a cruel taskmaster waiting for you to make the wrong decision.

2. There is only one right path/decision/career.

If you need to make a decision, sometimes God doesn’t speak clearly and we are left frustrated. Confused.

Michael faced this when deciding to move home from Germany. He prayed without ceasing, but after several months still didn’t know what God wanted for his next step.

In these situations, God gives us wisdom to choose. Choose something! Don’t live in fear of making the wrong decision, because it’s not always that clear cut.

Often times, God’s will is allowing us to choose.

Ruthie Dean is a book marketer at Harper Collins Christian by day and a dreamer and writer by night. She and her mustache-enthusiast husband call Nashville home. Their relationship book, Real Men Don’t Text, will hit bookstores in September of 2013. You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter.

More from Ruthie Dean or visit Ruthie at

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  • Gerbrand van Schalkwyk

    Very true. good points were raised. some time back another good article mentioned why is it so difficult to know God’s will?
    Because even more than our obedience, God is wanting us to search His will so that we can keep in constant comunication with Him. He wants us to read the Bible seeking answers. He wants us praying continiously. He wants us to act so that we can experiance how He works with us and through us so that we can experiance Him. As we experience Him our faith grows because now He is not just a God on paper but a Loving Father Who takes care of us.
    Don’t be scared to step out and do. Only by acting can you gain experiance and gain more knowledge of God.
    Its ok to be scared, but dont allow being scared to stop you from acting. God is in control. He will protect you. If you chose wrong you will receive sanctification and become a better person. if you chose right, God will use you accourding to His will.
    If He really wants you to be somewhere, He will make sure you are there.
    Whatever the case. God loves you, protect you and He is in control. He will never give you something you cannot handle

  • Bob Campbell

    Sound advice! Someone has said you can’t steer a boat that is not underway, and in the same way, God directs our paths while we are walking, not while we are standing still, paralyzed by indecision. I’ve learned that if the entire path ahead isn’t always clear, the next step always is.

    • olufemiOlojo

      Bob Campbell’s comment is in line with the biblical injunction in Isaiah 30:21 which says “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left”. This passage presupposes that we aren’t at a stand still.

  • RevAlan

    Great article! Thanks, good wisdom that I need to share with my son who is graduating HS in a few months…

  • AZRanger

    I believe some people get a “laser-pointed” path from God. For most of us however, He allows us to choose. He gave us inate desires and passions and as we work in those directions He shows the right way. One author I read years ago said, “Do what you want!” If you are living for Jesus, deciding which job, which city, etc. may truly fall on your own desires and those are necessarily selfish, if we are living within the God given desires of our hearts.

    • azranger

      Should have read “NOT” necessarily selfish… ooops.

  • k

    Thank you. I was struggling with this yesterday – well, for the past month, when my ministry job ended and the only jobs that opened up to interview with were secular. After working full time in a church since 2007, I’m returning to the newsroom. It sounds like I’m stepping backwards, and I’m running from the ministry, but I’m not.

    Yesterday, after I accepted the offer, I kept thinking i know I have peace from God, please let me be following his will. The move when it’s official, will move me within an hour of 90 percent of my family and friends. It changes my ministry path only that I’ll be a volunteer rather than leader.

    Thanks for giving me some clarification this morning, and honestly, something to ponder.
    God is good.

  • Genesis Berrios

    We need to understand that the Kingdom of God is not defined by church involvement in all its capacities, the kingdom involves my entire life if I have a kingdom mentality then when I’m on the job I’m working for the kingdom. The 5 fold minister is not working for the kingdom anymore than the nurse who has a kingdom mindset. The Lord showed me some weeks ago that I already am in full time ministry even though I work for a “secular” company. We as His children are deployed not employed to do the work of the kingdom, in whatever capacity that is.

  • Debbie

    Most of us have already received our calling. Now we are on a MISSION! We can’t proclaim the good news of the coming Kingdom if we don’t know it ourselves. God has given us power to go to all the earth and spread his message while “no weapon formed against us will prosper.” Seek first His knowledge and will. Pray, pray and then pray some more. It’s like calling home every day. Don’t ask what your calling is, but ask what your mission is. Our Lord has already told us all; to love one another just as He did and does! That’s your calling. That’s your mission. Get stated!

  • archie pennington

    One of the most Godly men I know was a missionary for New Tribes in Papa New Guinea. He came back to the states and became a truck driver for the last 2 decades. He is an Elder in our church but is on the road almost 6 days of the week. He gives generously to the church and missions and teaches a great SS class. He is definitely in the will of God! He is my mentor and I am the Pastor of the church.

  • Ken Qualls

    Some good points and some misleading points. I believe that we can make wrong decisions that displease God and cause us to miss his will and for which we may suffer.

    But, even then it is not hopeless. I agree that Christians give some of the worst and dumbest advice. I have learned that some of the worst advice I have received has come from the people I percieved as the most godly and wise. Often their advice was self-serving and sometimes they were just babling because they didn’t really have a clue.

    I have learned that where you are is where God wants you for the moment. Don’t become so comfortable where you are doing what you are doing that you can’t recognize when God is ready to move you. Also, don’t always be looking for something better, more exciting or more “spiritual” or more Christian. God does most and some of his greatest work in the mundane minutia and in the menial things of life.

    I believe that God’s will can be found in the talents and abilities he has given you and in the opportunities he gives you as well as in the desires and dreams he has planted in your mind.
    Neither wealth or the lack of it is in and of itself wrong. I believe that poverty or wealth only magnify what is inside us.

  • Old n’ Rich

    “Decisionmaking and The Will of God”, Dr. Gary Friesen, circa 1980, Multnomah Press. Pretty good debunking of the “bulls eye” theory of Divine guidance.

  • Rich Jones

    Come on. The love of money is the root of “all kinds” of evil. Please stop promoting this misconception. It is difficult to determine God’s will at times. Think Elijah enjoyed spending 3 years living with a widow & her son while he waited for the next word? Saul/Paul spent 14 years figuring out his next move. My watch word has been, “Be still and know that I am God”.

  • Sola

    I read your article with rapt attention. I agree with some of your points but some of them are completely misleading , the don’t have biblical support. Personal experience, no matter how strong they may be is not enough to build a biblical principle. For Christian, there is no line between sacred and secular, every Christian must carry out their work with the fears God. The Lord Jesus Christ never did anything without asking God (check the scriptures), hence no serious minded believer will endeavour to step out without securing clarification from God. Friend, you are not free to pursue any job (highly or poorly paid), you are only free to pursue what God has called you to do. If accidentally or ignorantly, you made a wrong decision, jump out and pursue the Lord’s perfection Will for your life. Please, as we send out informations through our pen, let us me led by the Holy Spirit as we may send ignorant people down a wrong path which may be tragic now or later.

  • JTwales

    I love this post Mark, I’m with you 100% with it. may it have wide circulation!!

  • Tod Thompson

    My belief is that we are all called into “ministry”. Being a banker can never replace being in ministry. Paul made tents, but he didn’t say “I used to be a missionary, but now I’m a tent maker. God needs tent makers, too, after all.” Even if your ministry isn’t “full time” you can still do missionary service both here and abroad. I think it is correct to say that whether we are involved in banking, tent making, fishing, preaching or teaching, all should be done to glorify The Lord.

  • Grateful leper

    James 4:13-17 teaches that many people make their decisions based upon a “profit” or gain. They will move to this city or another because of profit. Sadly, few James says, enquire if it is God’s Will or not. They assume because its “more money” it must be God’s Will. Seems “financial reasons” determine “God’s Will” more than praying and seeking the confirmation of His Spirit.

  • Shawn

    The Greatest quote I have ever heard about Gods will is that “98% of Gods will for you is about who you are” not so much about what we do, but what we are, our character while we do what we do!

  • Keith

    Know wonder The Apostle Paul didn’t allow women to speak in church.

    • Anon


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