I was living my life as normal, serving the Lord, providing for my family, and serving His Church. Then came "The Call." That fateful call. When "The Call" comes it always rocks my world. Many times it seems that it's the Lord reminding me He knows I'm still alive. Other times it's clear there is much more to it and I am supposed to spend extra quality time with Him.
I have always strived to follow God's will, no strings attached. It didn't matter the size of the congregation, the climate, or the remuneration. I simply obey. That's the way my wife, Joni, and I live our lives. God is good, and we simply walk where He leads. I have clung to Jeremiah 29:11: "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord . . ." And Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (NKJV).
Serving Jesus leads to an amazing life and incredible journey. It's an amazing life and an incredible journey serving Jesus. We are so glad we served in North Dakota because we discovered Mandan was a wonderful place. God's will is always the best place for your life.
We had enjoyed great years of ministry-growth, a building addition, and a church plant. We were flying high. When the call came about Hutchinson, Kansas, it hadn't been the first call to go elsewhere, but the Lord made it obvious that we needed to pray hard, fast more, and depend on Him for complete direction. That's what we did. It was all in His hands. Here are the steps that I go through when seeking God's will.
1. Pray! Pray! Pray! Going to the Lord should be the first step. Call out to Him. He will answer.
2. Seek God's Word. God's Word will help confirm, affirm, and give much needed direction on the decision. He will give you several promises to claim for yourself. Ask Him to speak His Word directly to you.
3. Seek godly counsel. Look to individuals in your life who are further along in their walk in the Lord than you are and without bias. They will not only give you godly advice but also pray on your behalf. You need these people praying for you.
4. Open and closed doors. Look around and see when God has opened or closed a door. Don't read into it anymore than God allows.
5. Evaluate the pulse. Evaluate the pulse of your current church-would you leave well? Evaluate the pulse of the church calling you-would you be a good fit? Do you have gifts and graces you recognize God pointing out that would benefit the prospective church?
6. Pray! Pray! Pray! God is not a God of confusion. He will make the way clear to you.
Through these steps, allow the voice of the Lord to affirm what direction He is leading you. Depend on Jesus. He will speak to you and your life will never be the same.
Douglas S. Wyatt is senior pastor of Hutchinson, Kansas, First Church of the Nazarene. He transitioned to this assignment in May from Mandan, North Dakota, Church of the Nazarene where he was senior pastor.
Holiness Today, November/December 2009