During a YouLead Leadership Training breakout, one of the leaders asked the question, “I am so busy doing all the things God has called me to do. How do I fit God into my life?” Perhaps I should have been shocked at the question, but I wasn’t. The murmuring that took place reinforced the reality she wasn’t the only woman in the room who was struggling with keeping her calling in the right sequence. That can often be the biggest pit fall of life and ministry. We allow the demands of life and ministry to cloud the priority and distinction of our primary calling—a calling to God Himself. When we do this, we quickly lose our passion and our power.
In The Call, Os Guinness says, “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”
Our primary calling is not to a ministry, but to a Person—Jesus Christ—and a personal relationship with God the Father through Him (John 1:12). This relationship is one that requires time to get to know Him more and more, to transform our way of thinking to His, to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit directing our steps as He leads us to live in fellowship every day with the Master (1 Cor. 1:9), and to be conformed to His image through holy living (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Peter 1:15). But, Satan takes great delight in clouding this reality and distracting us with the work we believe God has called us to do.
God may change how He is ministering through us (being a wife, a mother, a grandparent, a marketplace whiz, or an occupational ministry leader) but our first calling is to Him, and that never changes no matter how long we have been on the journey. There has to be a constant Father/daughter time in order for us to experience His presence and His power. This sounds so basic, and yet answering His call daily to “come” can easily be overrun with doing.
So let me encourage you as this new year begins, make sure you don’t become distracted from your primary calling—to live out of your real identity as God’s daughter. Daily ask Him to reignite in you a deep yearning to be with Him. Even if in the beginning it seems like more of a routine than a longing, God will reward your discipline with the joy of His presence. God really wants time where He has you all to Himself.
Here are five basic ideas that are important in intentional Father/daughter time:
1. Don’t rush into His presence. Come into His presence with an attitude of, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.” Play praise music. Sing. Just be still.
2. Ask your Heavenly Father to still your mind and ignite your Spirit.
3. Give thanks for what your Heavenly Father did yesterday. Note that word, “yesterday.” It helps to reflect each day on how God is really involved in your daily life.
- Ask Him what He wants you to do today. Yes, go ahead and make your list if you want. Just practice prioritizing and believe you will get everything done that God wants done. Don’t fixate on the undone, but feel good that with Him you accomplished what He was asking of you. He will begin to help you shave away the excess.
- Ask Him who you should be interceding for and what to pray. If your mind begins to wander, rebuke Satan and with a “Thank you, Jesus” continue your conversation.
5. Stay in His presence until you feel released.
God really does want to do the outrageous and impossible in your life and ministry. But the only way that is going to happen is to understand your primary call is to the Person of Jesus Christ. Reread what Os Guinness says about calling. It is the sequence of service. God doesn’t give us work to do and then settle for us fitting Him in. He calls us to Himself and then He resources the work He summons us to do.
Remember, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—as important as living in fellowship every day with the Master. That is our primary calling.
Sheila has been involved in women’s ministry for over 25 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church. She is presently on staff at Heritage Community Church, Fruitland Park, Florida as Director of Spiritual Growth and Ministry Mobilization and Women’s Ministry Coordinator. She is the founder of Real Living Ministries, a speaking, teaching, and leadership development ministry to women. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two and proud grandparents of seven.