How do you know?
What are the basic ingredients that make up a genuine call?
Is there any way of testing what you feel?
How do you go
about discerning what is just
your own idea and what is the
genuine pull of God upon
Here are certain key ideas that crop up again and again.
Circumstances play a large part. Quite often the Lord changes circumstances or rearranges them, so that you are brought into a position where going to College is no longer an impossibility. He frees you from responsibilities that would otherwise have been a hindrance.
His Word comes at you from different angles, with an insistent and regular emphasis. This is more than opening your Bible at random and indulging in ‘bible bingo’. Whole passages as well as single texts speak directly into your circumstances. Sermons that you comfortably thought were meant for others leave you in no doubt that ‘that Word was for me’.
Other people usually have some input. When a number of different people on different occasions begin to suggest that you should be thinking seriously about Bible College, then their advice and insight are not to be discarded. Sometimes other Christians can see our gifts and potential more clearly than we can.
Information is essential. It is very unlikely that God would ever call you to a College you had never heard of. The Holy Spirit does not work in a mystical vacuum. If there is any awareness of a call at all, then it is your responsibility to begin to explore the areas where the Lord might be able to make that call a reality. That means finding out, reading up, praying over and thinking through all the available literature.
Finance is a factor. God's seal on a call often comes by way of resources being made available unexpectedly. That does not mean that every penny is immediately placed in your hand. But sufficient is provided to make you realise that He can be trusted in these very necessary practicalities. God’s will carried out in God's way never lacks God's supply.
See yourself at College. Dreaming dreams and seeing visions is one way the Lord brings us to the point of recognising that this is more than just ‘my idea’. The Lord often allows us to feel comfortable with the idea and eventually long for it with an intensity that will not leave us until we say yes to His evident will for us.
Prayer is vital, and vitalising. At every stage of testing a call an attitude of prayer is to be maintained. In prayer His will becomes clear and His direction is confirmed. The more we pray about it, the more He arranges circumstances, speaks through His Word, provides information, advises us through others and provides resources.