Oftentimes we may think we know what God is calling us to do, whether it’s something major like starting a business or ministry, or something like writing a book or starting a YouTube channel.
We try doing these things wondering if we were purposely created to do them. But when we come up unfruitful, stagnate, and don’t even finish what we’re working on, we may ask ourselves “hmm, is this really something that God wants me to do in my life?”
The question we should really ask ourselves in this situation is “am I doing this because God called me to do it or am I doing it because I see everyone around me doing it?” This is where being influenced by others can mislead us into doing something that God didn’t even anoint us for.
Here’s the difference between “being influenced” and “being called.”
In the most general sense, being influenced means wanting to do something because you see someone else doing it and because it looks cool or trendy. People may influence us to work for a certain company or to write a book about something we want to put out to the world. But these moves may not necessarily be things that are in God’s will for us to do.
When we see so many other people of God making YouTube channels, writing books, or starting businesses, it can be easy for us to be influenced to do those same things because it seems like a trend. So many people want to follow trends and keep them consistent. But just because we’re influenced to do these kinds of things, it doesn’t mean that God wants you to do them.
Maybe what we really want is the feeling of accomplishment or self-importance. Or maybe you desire the popularity and financial prosperity that comes with it all.
But these are things that the flesh craves and it only craves things that displease God (”For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” ~1 John 2:16).
Being called is when God gives you a divine assignment to do His will on earth. This will include doing anything that builds His kingdom, brings others to salvation, glorifies Him, tells others about Him, and brings joy to others.
A calling will lie so heavily on your spirit that you just can’t seem to shake it. It practically scares you because you can’t stop thinking about it! (God is calling me to ministry, and it’s on my spirit every single day).
Whatever the Holy Spirit is leading you to do—whether it’s music, writing, ministry, business, teaching, etc.—it will stay on your mind constantly, even if it’s something you don’t want to do! But to gain that desire to do His will, we must live our lives for Him.
Only God can give us such a desire, we can’t just find it within ourselves (”For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” ~Philippians 2:13).
A calling may feel terrifying, yet exciting at the same time. You want so badly to flesh out this God-given vision, but it’s so big that you’re fearful of how the world will respond to it…and you.
This is how you know it’s from God. No one influenced you, no one told you to pursue it, but God gathered all the pieces together and held up the big picture right in front of your spiritual eyes. It’s like your calling is pulling you in constantly and your flesh just wants to resist it. Being influenced has a shallow affect while being called has an eternal effect.
They key to avoid earthly influence and finding your God-given calling is to stay led by the Holy Spirit! Resist the flesh and live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to God every single day.
God uses those who are living a life led by Him. Why would He use you if you are a lukewarm or part time believer?
Seek God’s direction above all. Be careful not to be blindly led by others who are doing big things. Stay in your track lane and don’t look onto anyone else’s or else you’ll stumble and fall and not even win your race.
Be careful not to think, “hmm, everyone else seems to be starting a ministry or a blog. Maybe I should too?” Nooo. Don’t be led by the majority. We must do those things only if the Holy Spirit leads us.
Sit at the feet of Jesus and ask Him what it is He wants you to do. Even if you’ve never seen anyone do it before! If God is leading you, you can trust that your obedience will only lead to peace and eternal rewards.
I want to leave you with this popular scripture: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2