How to Know if an Opportunity is God’s Will

Recently I was praying and making promises to God, “Lord, I’m going to quit getting so distracted and start working on my book again.” Just then the phone rang. Our church does an amazing women’s retreat, and the person on the phone was asking if I would help plan it.

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Oh I wanted to so badly! Just last weekend they’d stood up in church to announce the retreat was coming up, and I thought, “I wish I’d helped with that last time.” Here was my opportunity!

“We meet every Sunday in October from two to five in the afternoon,” the woman on the phone was telling me. I remembered the meetings were held an hour’s drive from where I lived. That would mean five hours every Sunday in October would be dedicated to preparation for this weekend retreat, which was a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday event.

I could do this. Some of my other duties would be wrapping up at the beginning of October, which would make time. But then it struck me…the prayer I had just finished praying when the phone rang. “Lord, I’m going to quit getting so distracted and start working on my book again.”

You see, this book is what I’ve heard God calling me to do for three years now. It’s a fictional story he has put on my heart about an epic evil attack that can only be survived through prayer. (Click here to be notified when it’s released!)

I’ve been trying to arrange my life so I can finish the rough draft before the end of the year, but one thing after another keeps popping up to distract me. Was this another distraction? Could an opportunity this good and amazing really be distracting me from what God was calling me to do?

When I took it to prayer, I found the answer was yes. Because the truth is, we can’t do all the good things people ask us to do…if we want to do the one thing God is calling us to do.

Sadly, I had to tell the woman I couldn’t help with the retreat this time. Even though it was an amazing opportunity, it wasn’t what God was calling me to at this moment.

Instead, I recommitted myself to finishing my book and resolved to use the hours on Sunday afternoons for writing rather than retreat planning. It’s not always easy to follow God’s calling, and there will no doubt be many distractions along the way. However, through prayer, we can persevere.

 

full headshot 2Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Surprising Ways He Already Is. Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their daily prayer time at Genuflected.com.

 

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5 Comments

  1. God is so good! This post is perfectly timed for me in that I received to requests to take on additional work projects and I asked my bible study group to pray with me about whether I should take them. I’m still praying but this is a strong push in the direction of refusing at least one of the opportunities. Thank you.

  2. Excellent! I needed to hear this. I ALWAYS wonder if what I’m doing is in line with God’s will. I have to admit that I don’t have the clarity you do, which truly disturbs me. But reading your words gave me much to think about an opportunity arises. So in the meantime, I feel like I’m just standing still. Which also disturbs me. Lol. Thank you.

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