Side view of UHaul TruckWhen I was in youth group a thousand years ago, I remember going to Ridgecrest for summer camp. One of the most popular sessions of the week was always, “How to Find the Will of God” or some similar title. It seems we’re always searching, looking to know if we’re in the right place. Or if we’re not, how do we know when we should make a move.

Last night I read “The Next Thing: Five Ways to Know When God is Calling You Out“, and it reminded me of an email I received from Lester Wooldridge, a successful small business owner and a  good friend, right about the time I was considering leaving a job that I loved, working for the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce. Lester received the info from a pastor (Roger Roller), who attributed the points from a Chuck Swindoll sermon in 1992.

Five Ways to Know God is Dealing with You About a Change

  1. An increasing uneasiness with your current situation. In my own situation, I loved the people I worked with: fellow employees and volunteers. When I first started working at the Chamber, I remember telling my boss frequently, “I love my job.” And I meant it. But after 6 years, there were certain aspects of my job that were no longer fulfilling. I was restless.
  2. A heightened curiosity about a new challenge. I remember talking to my boss several months before I ended up leaving. “I feel sort of like Abram, in the land of Ur. God is saying, ‘Go to a land I will show you.’” There was something out there. I could sense it…I just couldn’t see it clearly.
  3. A decreasing attachment to tangible securities and creature comforts. Security has always been a pretty important motivation for me. Maybe that stems from the years I spent as a single mom, and wanting to provide for my children. Eventually, however, the thought of a regular paycheck became less and less of a motivator. God even moved in Peter’s heart in this area – which was HUGE!
  4. A growing desire to obey God at all costs. I remember the day I turned in my resignation. That morning I was supposed to have my annual review. I spent an inordinate amount of time that morning in my quiet time. I wrestled and cried (no surprise there). The clincher for me was when I called Peter and he said, “If God is calling you, you have to say yes.” Whew!
  5. An inability to turn the thought off. I would guess that every day of the last six months of my time at the Chamber, I thought of what it would be like to do the “new thing,” even though I had no clue what it looked like.

Taking a leap of faith, following God, is never easy. I’m not sure there is a cookie cutter approach that applies consistently for everyone, in every situation. But I believe Lester’s email came at just the right time to help me process God’s leading. Two months later, I turned in my resignation.

How about you?
How have you sensed God leading you to something new? And do any of these things speak to where you are, at this moment?

Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Florian.