by Blair Strong
For many, the transition from school to university is the biggest test of faith that they will face. People are dropped into self-reliance, a new found freedom to explore and experiment, and surrounded by an army of people who have the potential to drive their relationship with God, or replace Him. I went into this experience with my eyes open, and God blessed me with the enablers I’ve needed to stay standing.
Now, 5 years on, the next transition is upon me. The question is to where. The workplace? Mission? Spending 5 years on a degree makes for a serious motivator to use it. But if one is called to mission, won’t everything else be unfulfilling? I feel God has been pointing me in one particular direction, but I want to share what Gods pointing looks like to me, and how I can be sure.
For years, questions such as “What is my destiny”, and “is this where God wants me to be?” echoed through my internal dialog. I wasn’t sure if I’d picked my degree out of selfish ambition, or because our King had inspired a passion in my heart. It’s always hard to tell, and the enemy loves to cause inner turmoil. God, faithful as he always is, answered my questions lavishly with confirmation that I was in step with Him. I started my studies in order to live on mission, which at the time looked like working abroad with organisations such as WaterAid, and actually have a useful skill set to contribute to the cause. God rested my hearts worries in this by organising an entire module with the briefing to provide a solution to a sub-Saharan water crisis; a perfect reflection of the picture I had when seeking Him about what to study. This communication from him wasn’t verbal, it wasn’t a feeling. It was practical. Real. It established peace in a battlefield, and it established security in a place of vulnerability – not knowing if you’re serving yourself or serving your King is a disconcerting place to be, and he squashed that insecurity.
Other situations are a lot less readable when it comes to interpreting what He wants. One of the methods I use to determine what His plan is, is to push doors and see what opens. If I’m still not sure, I’ll do what my heart is passionate about and ask God to close that opportunity if it does not resonate with my destiny in Him. After all, He gave us our passions for a reason, right?!
Part of the degree course was an industrial placement. I moved to a small village and set up base there for a year. I wasn’t sure of the place or the placement. Gods provision prevailed, which I took as a sign of agreement. I was due to start the placement on the Monday, and I ended up meeting a landlord, viewing the house and moving in within a time span of 12 hours, and all the day before the placement started. He doesn’t operate according to our calendars, but I wanted the placement and stood in faith for it.
God also seems to communicate to me through my imagination. A shape will begin to form, and will be sculpted into something specific. The most notable time this was from God was when at a meeting, I was praying for a lady and got this virtual image, or impression, of a flamingos head. I went for it, and shared with this nice lady who I’d never met, that I could see this flamboyant bird in my mind’s eye. Eyes closed, I continued to share a few other things I felt I could see for her. When I’d drained what I felt God has said, I sheepishly opened my eyes, and this lady was beaming. Apparently, she claimed she was almost always wearing pink. She said she was sceptical about God and prayer, but as soon as she heard the flamingo, she knew it wasn’t just a hoax knew God had something to say.
As mentioned, my dream has always been to live on mission. Recently though, I’ve been challenged on what mission actually means. Through conversations with several people, revelation and reading inputs, God has planted an idea in my spirit: the act of living on mission is much more mind-set orientated than geographically. The mission field is not necessarily a far off land, it does not mean uprooting to a new society in need of support, learning a new language and meeting a new culture. To me, it means waking up every morning and giving the day to God. Its means knowing that the goal of the day is it serve His kingdom. It means walking into work and focusing on what can be done to bring glory to Him. It means relationship and obedience in the seemingly mundane.
That is what I feel God is pointing me towards. Where is he pointing you?