A gracEmail reader says: “I understand that every Christian has some kind of ministry. How can I discern what mine is supposed to be? I want to make sure I am listening to God, and not just to my own desires.”
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That is a wise question and a holy ambition. God does not expect you or me to do everything that needs to be done. He has many people through whom to work, and he uses each one as he sees fit (Rom. 12:4-8). But God has prepared good works for each one of us, even before we came to know him as our Savior and Lord (Eph. 2:10).
As a general rule, we can recognize a divinely-given ministry when three things come together at the same time: a holy longing to serve God in some specific way (Phil. 2:13); a giftedness or empowerment from God to perform that particular service (1 Pet. 4:10-11); and a clear opportunity to exercise that specific gift (Col. 4:3). In other words, God makes us willing, gives us an ability and provides the occasion. When those all coincide in answer to sincere prayer, we can usually conclude that God is at work.
Other verifications of divinely-appointed ministry are that it blesses those who receive it (1 Cor. 12:7); it brings glory to God (1 Pet. 4:11); and it spiritually refreshes the person doing it (Jude 20). There is no greater joy in life than doing what God appoints by his Spirit and anoints with his power and blessing. Keep praying and watching. God will be faithful to guide you (Prov. 3:5-6).