Think "miscellaneous" when you scan this page. Or better yet think of this page as our "attic." In other words there is a lot of cool stuff in here but organization is not the strong point. So come on in and wander around. When it comes to additional miscellaneous pieces of information that might help you figure out this guidance stuff, there is something here for everyone.
Preparing Your Heart
God has created you with unique gifts, ideas, and passions, and longs for you to connect with His redemptive purpose. The path of discovering God's purpose for your life begins within your heart transforming your life from the inside out. If you feel God is calling you to connect your passions with His purpose then let's embark on a journey of faith and obedience by:
Authentically Love God
You nurture a deep passion for God through worship, prayer, and spiritual disciplines. Flowing out of a transformed life, your love for the Father is the wellspring out of which all ministry flows.
As you seek to connect your passions with God's purpose, know that His calling blossoms in fellowship. God's calling is not complete without the input and formation of the Body of Christ. We are called first and foremost to a Person–Jesus Christ and it is in His Body that the calling is confirmed. The feet would not move apart from the head, nerves, limbs–you get the picture.
Nurturing a passion for God is foundational. This is the “on” switch, the power button, the bottom line. Jesus said: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38).
Intimacy with God means a “Greatest Commandment” lifestyle. It comes down to the pursuit of God consistently in worship and prayer. It means EMBRACING CHRIST, allowing Him to transform your character from the inside out.
What does it look like to intimately love God?
- Pursuing of God in worship and prayer consistently.
- Reading, studying, and memorizing of His Word with a focus on application.
- Resting in Him and trusting Him in a way that brings peace beyond understanding.
- Living out a life of holiness. Love is expressed by obedience—“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
Authentically Love Others
The love of God flows through your life in sincere and gracious concern for others.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:39–40).
If we first embrace Christ and love God intimately, we can then engage His mission in the loving of others. The adverb “authentically” is intentional, because there are many varieties of counterfeit, self-serving love. Authentic love, described in 1 Corinthians 13, is not religious. It is rooted in Christ's love in and through us. True love is demonstrated by putting others first.
What does authentic love for others look like?
- Living a Great Commission lifestyle—sharing your faith. If you truly love others, you care about their spiritual condition and their eternal destiny.
- Modeling Christlike behavior in relationships.
- Expressing love for others consistently, demonstrating the ability to love people of other races and cultures—even enemies. Living a lifestyle of worship in the context of Christian community.
Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
No effective work can be accomplished apart from the controlling work of the Holy Spirit. Whatever you do or wherever you go, it means yielding to His will and work in your life.
Look up and be aware. One of our core distinctives in the C&MA is that we believe in the filling of the Holy Spirit as a crisis of faith subsequent to conversion. We are saved by faith and filled by faith. It is a crisis that brings us to the end of ourselves, a death to self, realizing the impossibility of following Christ but by His very life in us. It is through awareness of our lostness that we recognize the need for a Savior, and it is by deeper awareness of our poorness in spirit and lack of power that we recognize the need for a Sanctifier. Ephesians 5:15–20 says,
Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bend your knees and be submitted. Prayerfully realize that being filled with the Spirit is a command (Ephesians 5:18). We are commanded to live in submission to God, under the control of the Holy Spirit. Ministry that honors God and glorifies Him is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, done by His leading.
Clasp your hands in prayer and be hungry. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the righteousness of Christ by the Holy Spirit. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15–17).
Open your hands toward heaven and be a receiver.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9–13)
Go forth and be a blessing. Acts 1:8 reveals the reason that we receive the power of the Holy Spirit: to be witnesses. As children of Abraham, we are blessed in order to be a blessing.
See related article: How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit, by A. W. Tozer
There is a consistency between your inner life and your public person. You confess your sins and are transformed from the inside out, becoming more like Jesus
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” Paul said (Galatians 2:20). How do you know if you are clothed in Christ? It is a cloak of holiness that is not sewn together from religious fabric or the fig leaves of my own quest for significance but is the very quilt of many colors provided by God himself.
The authentic Christ-life, the deeper Christian life, the normal and real walk of the true Christian, is a life of holiness as Christ lives in and through you. Living this way is what develops faith and Christ-confidence, positioning you to connect your passions with God's purpose.
God is the provider, but you must put on His garments of praise by living according to the truth that is within you. Furthermore, the pursuit of holiness gives tangible opportunities to show God the depth of your love and commitment to Him. What does it look like?
- It is not about religious activity that whitewashes the outside. Instead, it is authentic living worked out from a heart in love with God (Matthew 23:27).
- It is about putting others first and avoiding anything that will cause people to stumble (Romans 14).
- It is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).
- It is about looking more like Jesus (Romans 8:28–29).
Embrace God's Truth
You get firsthand nourishment from the unchanging, enduring, and living Word of God. Your worldview is grounded in a proper understanding of Scripture.
In our postmodern, relativistic world, we must know the Bible. It is God's Word that is living and active, sharp enough to penetrate the hearts of people. We might have rich experiences to share, deep insights to offer, and great stories to tell, but only that which is biblical, unchanging truth can be effectively passed on to a new generation. People must get firsthand nourishment from the Word of God in order to be healthy. Getting connected with God's will and purpose must be deeply rooted in Scripture.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14–17).
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” (1 Corinthians 2:13).
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:103–105).
Live a “Missional” Life
You actively engage culture, allowing Christ to transform lives, change communities, and impact the world for God's glory.
So far we have been describing what we are as the Christian Alliance. The second half of our name is MISSIONARY Alliance. We are intentional about serving now–reaching our neighbors next door, across the street, throughout our community, and to the ends of the earth. There are several reasons we must be missional (outward focused) in our thinking:
- God is a missional Father.
- Jesus is a missional Savior.
- The Spirit is a missional Counselor.
- The Bible is a missional book.
- Jesus' command is our first missional concern (Matthew 28).
- The Church is to be made of missional people.
This is not entirely about our future. It is not about training to become evangelistic once we are in ministry. It is crucial for our spiritual health and experience of God for us to be missional in our thinking and behavior NOW. Ask not what you can do for God in the future—ask what you can do for His Kingdom today.
Commit to a body of Believers
Serving God requires cooperation and participation in Christ's Church. Fellow believers will recognize and appreciate the talents and gifts of those who are called by God.
As you seek to connect your passions with God's purpose, know that His calling blossoms in fellowship. God's calling is not complete without the input and formation of the Body of Christ. We are called first and foremost to a Person—Jesus Christ—and it is in His Body that the calling is confirmed. The feet would not move apart from the head, nerves, limbs—you get the picture.
It is important to be active in ministry in the local church, the visible expression of the Body of Christ. If you are considering vocational ministry or missions, it is in the local church where the essential components of equipping can be built into your life calling. Be active in ministry in a local church NOW. Try new things, and allow others you trust to evaluate your life as they see God working in and through you. The church is the family environment where we can sharpen our ministry skills.
See related article: What is the Call of God?
Understanding God's Call
Below are several resources that may help you understand God's calling:
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