Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You

Sometimes when I feel that I’m trying to be something I’m not, or pretending that I’m not something that I am, or when I’m losing a sense of clarity regarding what my identity and calling in Christ actually is, I will revisit questions like these. Not all of them will resonate with me at one time or another. But the ones that do provide a strong clue regarding what to pray about.

1. Creation and Re-creation (first and second birth)

  • With what temperament and natural talent did God create me?
  • What temperament and natural talents did God not give to me so that I must depend upon others?
  • What spiritual gifts has God given me?
  • What spiritual gifts do I wish I had but don’t and because of which I must let others minister to me?
 2. Providence (the circumstances of my life which become the stories that I have to share)
  • What stories have I been given to tell?
  • What stories do I have that I do not want and do not want to share?
  • What stories do I readily want to tell?
  • What stories do I wish I could tell but can’t?
  • What stories has God not given to me so that I must learn about Him in these kinds of circumstances from others?
  • In what places have I been put?
  • What places have I been but did not want?
  • What places have I wished for but have not received?
  • Where have I been that I relish?
  • What kind of season in my life is this? How does it compare to my previous season and contrast with the season that I wish I could have?
  • Which people living and dead have shaped my life positively? Negatively? What are their names? In God’s providence, what have they taught me or wanted me to believe?
  • What Biblical stories and persons seem most to mentor me in light of my own stories? Which Biblical characters do I wish I could resemble but don’t get to? What is it about the ones that resonate with my story that gives me thanks or makes me sad? (the life I want compared with the life I’ve been given or chosen)

3. Redemption (the story of His grace saving and training body and soul)

  • With what limits, weaknesses and sins do I particularly struggle?
  • What savior am I most tempted to trust instead of Jesus?
  • What provisions for my wholeness has God put into my life in Jesus?
  • Are their provisions of grace that I resist leaning upon?
  • Are there people whom God has put into my life to show his grace to me? Am I able to receive His grace through them? Are there people that I avoid? People for which praying is easy? difficult?
  • What about my body do I want to ignore or flatter these days?
  • Is there something about redemption in Jesus that I’ve been equipped to talk about but won’t? Something of his grace that I want to be able to talk about but can’t and must hear from others?
  • What beauty is in this place that I’m not noticing? What ugliness is in this place that I can’t stand?
  • What interruptions frustrate me right now? Is there something here that God wants to show me?

4. Consummation (our future in this life and the next)

  • What about my future am I impatiently trying to rush?
  • What about my future do I want to put off?
  • What about my future scares me? Gives me hope? What thoughts, imaginations or memories kill my hope?
What questions would you add or adjust?

Author: zeswine

Zack (Dr. Eswine) is often spoken of as a "Pastor to Pastors." He serves as Pastor of Riverside Church in Webster Groves Missouri and Director of Homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary. To learn more about his books and other resources, go to zackeswine.com

11 thoughts on “Clarifying Your Calling: Some Questions to Help You”

  1. How can I figure out God’s plan for me? I keep struggling with my personal attributes to figure out what my use is of importance to him. Because I want to apply myself to his plan and find my place in his plan.

    1. Hi Chris, I too experience the ups and downs associated with your good question. For what it is worth, I’ve begun to do two things amid this question. (1) Try to start with what I do know from God rather than with what I don’t yet know. (2) This leads me to change the question just a bit. I start now with, “How can I figure out God’s plan for us beyond just me. By looking at our Lord’s call for His people in community in general prior to asking what this means for me personally, oftentimes helps me a great deal. I think it is because the Lord has already revealed a great deal about His plan for us today in His written words to us. If I step in the direction of what He has shown me I have a good shot of learning what He has yet to show me when its time. So, for example, I know that He has called us to seek His loveliness and to respond with love to Him and I know that He has called us to seek what it means to love our neighbors today as ourselves. To start there today seeking Him for this double love in my day today offers a solid path on which to travel. I also know that in doing so I am fulfilling a large portion of my purpose because He clearly let us know that love for Him and others is the heart of our calling. Anyway, there is ongoing conversation to be had in relationship with such tender things. I welcome continuing dialogue more personally through email if you would like. Grace upon grace, Zack

  2. I think these are wise questions, and your comments about looking for God’s will for us in our community are insightful. Have you read Os Guinness “The Call”? I have agonized about my calling for many years, but he was helpful for me to realize that our primary calling is to Jesus. I have usually thought of calling as primarily about career choice, but that simply should not be primary. Sigh… training our hearts and minds is difficult, but quite freeing in the end don’t you think?
    B.J. Roland

    1. Yes! Difficult and worth it. Seems like most things that actually matter in life take a while. I too am grateful for Os Guiness’ book.
      Grateful to journey with you B.J.!
      Zack

  3. Thank you! A very helpful list that I look forward to going through these with my hubbie. I found this blog because I’m currently reading your book, Sensing Jesus, and finding it both challenging and refreshing.

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