Welcome to Week Three of the Follow Your Call Series!
Kelly Baker has a powerful message to share with you today. I love her heart and her passion to seek fully after God's will. She has powerful patience as she waited on God's timing to begin something extraordinary. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Blogger Voices Network, the seed that she has nurtured into a powerful community of encouragement. I hope you'll find encouragement in her story today!
As followers of Jesus, we sometimes feel called by God but don’t know the answer to the ever-famous question: when is this calling going to happen? We desire to follow our call in God’s timing, but the process for determining that isn’t written in black-and-white.
There’s no chart in the Bible breaking down for each one of us by name the specific type and timing of God’s call in our lives. Wouldn’t that be great, though?
Whenever I sense God talking to me about something new in regard to my calling, I seek trusted counsel.
I remember the day I paced the carpet in my bedroom one afternoon two years ago, praying with an eager reaching and pleading to God. The innovative idea He’d laid on my heart in the weeks prior burned in my heart with anticipation. I wanted to start a network, birthed as a tiny seed in prayer, something I don’t claim credit for dreaming up.
Knowing the recklessness of moving forward with any major endeavor without talking to my husband first, I asked him to join me there away from distractions to share the vision of the calling. But what I painted to him was full of so many holes, you’d think a kid used it for a pinata. And I wanted to start it right then, blindsided by eagerness.
Somehow I knew what he was going to say. In short: it’s not God’s timing yet. God will often team you up with someone who will balance you out. My husband is pragmatic; I wanted to have started yesterday. But hindsight has made me appreciate his caution. Even though I knew this, I sat on the footlocker at the end of our bed like a deflated balloon.
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:25 NASB
I allowed a feeling that I was tardier than God’s timing (I wasn’t) to propel me to prepare for what was coming. Skills, knowledge, and experience are necessary for our calling. Working hard isn’t a problem; it’s how I’m wired.
So I used that to my advantage and plunged into whatever training I could find, including blog posts, courses, ebooks, and research. In time, different parts of the vision I wrote down clicked and connected in my head.
To follow our call in God’s timing, preparation is necessary. Without it, it’s like someone trying to be a lifeguard that hasn’t learned how to swim.
Even as God aligns every step and lays the path in front of us in the natural, we can’t sidestep the spiritual maturity He is working in us for our calling to be fruitful.
“The assignment for which God is calling us will go unrealized unless we are convinced of the spiritual chops He has given us to accomplish it.” —Priscilla Shirer
That’s going to take time.
Remember Joseph in the Bible? He began having dreams in his youth. But it wasn’t until he went from the pit to the prison to the palace—and grew wise from them—that he was ready. And the timing was perfect. He needed to experience those trials first so God could use them to shape him into a leader.
Looking for Confirmations
I asked God specific questions about certain aspects of the vision. He stirred my heart during Daily Time with Him. The Holy Spirit illuminated a certain passage in Scripture, key to the vision of the network. I scribbled thoughts, impressions, ideas, and plans whenever it seemed God was speaking. And He did, even through the ordinary.
As the weeks and months passed, I was eager to launch. Yet doubt pestered—and hindered. Thoughts dripping with doubt frequented my subconscious, even in my dreams. My heart felt like an ongoing ping pong match.
Finally, I happened to be studying the life of Gideon—and saw myself. It had been too easy to shrink back in dread of rejection and intimidation. Diving into that study time, I learned I needed to shift with God. I was reminded that you can be shaking in the physical but be standing firm in the spirit.
The opposition from forces of darkness and fear can’t dictate the call in God’s timing. The devil will attack because he sees what’s on the horizon. He wants you to quit before you get started. Sweet Natalie reminded me of that.
Spiritual warfare is needed.
I wrote out everything I felt God laid on my heart to do regarding starting a network and listed targeted verses to cover it in prayer. Prayer is always key.
Even this was confirmed when my pastor closed a service by asking us if we were “looking for evidence with our five senses or standing in faith despite what it looks like?” When he asked that, I sensed God near and felt my heart pounding with the word “network” engraved on it.
The Breakthrough of God’s Timing
Then I tried moving forward with preliminary instructions God laid on my heart. What I tried to line up seemed to not come together properly.
I wanted the security of leaders in place for the network. I dragged my feet waiting on people.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me through Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” It was God that I needed to be my security, not people.
I woke one Sunday morning last spring to a dream in which I was saying to my friend, “God’s telling me to go ahead and start and I don’t even have all my people yet.” That morning my pastor preached on the “one thing God has been calling you to do that you’ve put off.” I knew God was making it clear that the time is now!
But I was still afraid I was going to do it wrong or see it all fall apart at the outset. God had a response for that too! (Oh, how He is patient!)
I’m a worship leader, and I like to listen to worship music while I write. I had YouTube rolling with anointed tunes pumping through my earbuds. The autoplay changed songs and the next thing I knew, God was speaking through Kim Walker-Smith about no fear of failure or making mistakes. There was breakthrough in my life that day.
Through all of these events, God broke down the barriers in the spirit realm—and in my heart. I was finally able to stop waiting on people and serve them instead. That’s when we launched the Blogger Voices Network because the timing was right.
The Blogger Voices Network is for Christian women. Our heart is to “with one voice glorify God” (Romans 15:5-7) while we practice contentment and collaborate together. Interested? We’d love for you to join us.
Kelly R. Baker is a Bible study teacher, writer, mentor, and the founder of the Blogger Voices Network. She serves with her husband in leading the worship ministry at their church. You will probably find her sneaking a bite (or more) of organic dark chocolate in between wrangling her four homeschooled kids. Her greatest passion is helping women thrive in Christ. Connect with her at www.kellyrbaker.com.