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A Calling or Interest

I was coming off a nine-day vacation with the family, Nashville was in the rearview mirror, and we were headed back home to Virginia. It was my turn to drive. The family, exhausted from our adventures, were fast asleep, so I did what any out-numbered mama would do: I got to play what I wanted on the radio. I synced my phone to my car and hit play to my favorite podcast.

I was half listening to my podcast, captivated by the beauty of the winding mountain roads and distracted by my half-created to-do list dancing in my head. However, I heard loud and clear a question they were discussing, "Is it an interest or a calling?" but could not tell you what they were discussing. That question hit differently, and it had my full attention at that moment. The words felt like they fell from God's lips to my heart. Was anyone else supposed to listen to this podcast because it felt personally strategic? God had my attention, and I had the next four hours to process what the Lord asked me.

I listened as the show host described an interest as personally driven. We use our gifts, talents, and questions to fill a curiosity or wants we might have. An "interest" is within our ability and personal strength driven.

After listening to them define interest, I waited for the definition of calling. I was still figuring out clarity from the questions presented. It was not until I received the definition of calling that I realized what the Lord was asking me. Calling was described as an internal pull, not personally driven as an interest but internally driven. Calls are "God-decided and obedience-driven, "the host stated. At that moment, I was a student at the will of the teacher. "Liz, is this ministry an interest or a calling?" Now, that question I understood! My throat felt tight, and with tears streaming down my cheek, I said, "God, without a shadow of a doubt, this is your calling, but I have treated it as an interest." I knew the question's weight once I understood the definition of calling.

I instantly turned off the podcast as I knew God desired my full attention, and rightfully so, I had been treating His calling as an interest in my life. Love Remained Ministries was a calling the Lord had downloaded on my heart in the months where all I did was draw close to Him; I clung to His Word hours a day and desired to understand His character and personality. During those months, the Lord gave me this prayer in my quiet time and asked me to surrender these words to him daily: "Lord, put your wisdom in my heart, your words in my mouth, and send me to your people." For at least three years, I have prayed that prayer back to the Lord weekly, if not daily. My surrender of will gave complete clarity to His will for my life.

This trip back home was a physical one, but it felt like a metaphorical one. How quickly we can get wrapped up in what's happening around us that we forget to return home when we need direction, wisdom, and strength. I needed the reminder that an interest happens in our strength, but a calling happens in His strength. A calling is not something that belongs to us, but it's in the surrender of our will that His will is made complete. A calling has nothing to do with us but everything to do with Him. The calling is Him. From Him, everything else flows. All the way home, I sat with the Lord. I repented, and I got honest with the Lord.

"God, this road is unnavigated; the road seems long, and if I am honest, I am scared. Some of this calling comes naturally, but the rest is foreign. I am sorry for my lack of faith in my daily surrender. I give it back to you, and with the same breath, I take it back. Yet, God, your faithfulness, provisions, and protection come every time. Lord, I surrender and pray again. Put your words in my mouth, your wisdom in my heart, and send me to your people, whatever that may look like to you! Remind me that my strength comes from you and that you will provide when you call. I only need to be obedient, holding steadfast to faith and keeping my eyes on you, for all else will be added." (Join us as we dive into God's Word on our devotions page.)

I'm humbled you took the time to read this blog, and I hope it encouraged your heart today. Don't get distracted by the calling; get acquainted with the one who calls you. When we draw near to God, he draws near to us. Maybe today, you feel the heaviness of what's in front of you. I am confident in the promises of God that if He calls you to it, God will bring you through it. We may have to surrender our way for His will. Maybe you feel far from God; let me assure you God is still there, and sometimes we just need to turn around.

Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be added to you."

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