I received this email recently, which is quite typical of the questions I often get:
I’ve done a lot of speaking at women’s events in my church and other local events, and have always been very well received. I’m comfortable leading and teaching women, often using stories from my own life, what God’s teaching me through the messes I’ve made, and just the challenges of everyday life. My kids are grown and I want to use my time and talents to minister, as you say on your website, strategically.
What’s holding me back is that I’m wondering if the Lord should confirm this desire through an opportunity or invitation, as He has in the past, or if I should move forward and start making things happen, myself? A mentor of mine, who has published a couple of books and speaks/ministers widely himself, once said that he has always allowed the Lord to open doors to ministry.
Waiting on the Lord for direction is foundational, but I also believe I’ll be called to account for the talents I’ve been entrusted with, however great or small they may be…would you have any insights to share with me on this?
Here’s my quick answer:
That’s a tough one, and I know where you’re coming from. I guess the way that I’d think about it is this:
If God has seriously given you a message to share, then He wants you to share it. And you can’t share it unless people know about you. So you have to get the word out.
Should God be solely responsible for getting the word out? If we leave it entirely to Him, then it’s as if we’re saying, “I don’t really want to participate with You in this, Lord. You have to do all the work, or else I won’t step out in faith.”
So you’re basically doing a Gideon thing, asking God to prove Himself. But if God has really called you, then He wants you to go forward.
God has opened many doors for me, but they have usually come after I have also stepped forward in faith that this is what God is calling me to. When I received a book contract, for instance, it was only after approaching an agent, writing a book proposal, and praying a lot. I didn’t wait for a publisher to come to me.
I understand people who say that God should open all doors, and that is the way that it works for some. But in my experience, we also should play a role. God wants us to step forward in faith, and if He has a message for you to share, He wants you to share it.
What do you think? Let’s talk!