How do I discern my calling?

“Let the favor the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 (ESV)

A student once asked, “If God doesn’t use an audible voice to tell me what to do, how in the world can I have confidence to make the right decision?” This is a reasonable question, right?

The truth of the matter is that we can only know God’s will with certainty as we look back at his faithfulness along the way, but that shouldn’t stop us from moving forward in wisdom and confidence as we discern our calling.

So what are some steps to discerning God’s calling on our lives with confidence? First, pray for wisdom in discerning your calling that best enables you to love and serve God and neighbor (Ps 25:5; Rom 12:1-2).

Then ponder (and journal) the following questions: What are the needs and opportunities that resonate with you? What experiences in the past might God be using to point you toward a particular calling? How has God designed and gifted you, including desires, passions, interests, strengths. Who are the wise counselors who can help you process (Prov 12:15, 13:20, 15:22)? What’s the next best step to take at this moment?

And in those moments when you lack confidence in making the right decision, remember you can have full confidence God is your heavenly father who cares about your well-being, is in control of the past, present, and future, and calls you to simply take the next best step in faith. So wrestle, decide, and rest. After all, it’s just the next big decision.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are a perfect and faithful heavenly father. Please grant me wisdom in discerning your calling, that I would have eyes to see what best allows me to love and serve you and neighbor. Help me process questions, and surround me with the community that I need in order to walk faithfully in your calling.

Topics: Calling and Career Choice, Christian Life, Meaning in Our Work

About the Author

Chad Donohoe serves as the executive director of the Oread Center in Lawrence, Kansas.