Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 1 Timothy 4:14 (NIV)
The ability to discern what God is saying to us individually and together is crucial to our usefulness. Here are three green lights to look for as you discern the call of God on your life.
1. Inner Desire. If God is calling you, He will give you an intense desire to do it. It will be on your heart and in your mind, and you won’t be able to shake it off. This is not always the first sign of God’s call. Other people may see what you should be doing before you do. If your heart is not in what you are doing, God may be preparing you for another assignment.
2. Outward Confirmation. Timothy’s call to ministry was more than a personal desire. His gifts and calling were recognized by the church at Lystra when the elders laid their hands on him. Somebody spoke in the ordination service, and everybody knew what had been said was from the Lord. The church affirmed his calling.
Who do you know who may be a modern-day Timothy? Jesus told us to pray for laborers to be sent out into the harvest (Matt. 9:38). If you are praying like that, then you will be looking around for people who have a good reputation and a ready spirit and whose ministry has the imprint of God on it. Don’t just wait to see who volunteers; ask God to give you discernment to identify those He may be calling for some special assignment.
3. Open Door. In Timothy’s case, this came when Paul arrived at Lystra. Timothy was serving faithfully in the local church and then suddenly Paul turns up and asks, “What about becoming my apprentice?” What an opportunity!
Are you trying to discern God’s will in some area of your life? Ideally, look for all three tests to line up. Do you see any green lights (yes)? Yellow lights (not yet)? Red lights (no)?