God Prepares the Heart to Answer His Call
By Diane Pearson
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
I gave a speech at a church in Indianapolis where they requested one of my speeches titled, “You Want Me to Do What?! God’s Call and Your Response.”
I had not given that speech in several years, so it brought back many memories. It’s my story of when God called me 11 years ago to leave a teaching job that I loved to go into full-time Christian writing, speaking, and teaching.
When I first felt the call, I was in a total panic. I called my pastor in tears and said, “I think God wants me to leave my job! I don’t want to do that! I love my job!”
She calmed me with these words: “If you have no desire to leave your job right now, then I don’t think God is calling you to do that YET.”
I must be pretty slow on the uptake because that little word tacked on at the end of her sentence, YET, didn’t register. The dictionary definition of that three-letter word is: “at a future time.”
I pretended for months that I didn’t understand what that meant. After all, I told myself, I was certain God had called me to the teaching job I loved. (I’m still certain of that.) But slowly over the next nine months an amazing thing happened. God changed my heart. It was like the nine-month gestation period preparing a baby to be born. Eleven years ago I was literally an infant in Christ, not YET spiritually ready for such a drastic life change. But God graciously provided an incubation period to prepare me.
God showed me the perfect Bible passage to express this idea. The Apostle Paul addressed the church at Corinth with these words:
“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it.” 1 Cor. 3:1-2 NIV
There’s that little word again: YET. Paul was saying the church members at Corinth were still too attached to the world and not mature enough in their faith. Therefore, they needed to be fed like infants. They were not YET ready for solid food, but with the implied promise that they would be ready at a future time.
I still cried when I wrote my resignation letter. I grieved at leaving something I loved, but at the same time I experienced great joy. God changed my heart until I wanted what He wanted more than anything else in the world. Finally, I was ready to take solid food instead of infants’ milk.
His plan was for me to go in a new, different and exciting direction. In that process I discovered something wonderful: God’s call on your life can change. After all, Scripture promises:
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV
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DIANE PEARSON earned a master’s degree in education and taught at Ivy Tech State College in Lafayette, IN, for fourteen years. God called her to full-time Christian writing, speaking, and teaching in 1997. Diane is a published author with nine Devotion books and more than 500 articles in various newspapers, magazines, and books. She writes a weekly newspaper column for the religion page of The Times, Frankfort, IN, called “Real Life Devotions,” true stories of God working in people’s lives. Contact Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org or check her website at www.dianepearson.org.
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