Currissa Alsobrooks 7014 Montroff Circle Indianapolis, IN 46256 317.913.9657 firstname.lastname@example.org
SAY WHAT?!? Hearing and Accepting Godâ€™s Call by Currissa P Alsobrooks, MD
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Forward This started out as a different project. I was so clear on what I was to write – that was until I actually started writing. God began to speak to me about some of the mental challenges that I created – yes, I created them – regarding whether or not the awesome vision that God had given me was really for me. I questioned my worthiness and my fitness to perform and be a part of something great. And I realized that in and of myself I am not worthy of this or even a fit candidate for it. But I am not in or of myself. I am God’s exclusively. He justifies me as both worthy and fit. Period. Realizing this gives me the confidence to move forward in my calling. Coming to this realization has certainly not been easy. It is a process. I had to remind myself of who put me up to the task and the fact that God has all power to make this happen. I only have to do my part and trust God to do the rest. I was given the opportunity on several occasions to share this realization with others. It became clear to me that others needed to hear about a doctor’s struggles with accepting God’s vision for her and how she overcame them.
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 3 Chapter One: The Call – Did I Hear You Correctly, Lord?
Say what?!? This was not the response that God wanted from me – of this I am sure. It just seemed so easy to agree in prayer – yes, lord… have your way, Lord – but the mind, if left to itself, will question anything. This is where doubt has the opportunity to enter in if you let it. Perplexed is the word I’d use to describe it. I was perplexed. How do you know that you are called to e a physician but not undermine the healing power of God in your actions? I’ve always been an analytical person – sometimes to a fault. But this was different in my mind. I wanted to make sure that I was honoring God in all that I did. Were the critics right? Was being a physician a slap in the face of God and His healing powers? Of course not. God calls doctors to do His work just as he calls others. As I searched for justification of the answer given me, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance all of the times that God had opened doors for me in my medical training and how he kept me through all of the trials. It certainly was not my own abilities that got me through. He even reminded me of the call He’d placed on my life to help me along the way and all of the people I’d helped since. This could be no mistake. And it was only the beginning. God not only showed me that He would accomplish His purpose for me using the education an experience that He had blessed me with, but also that I could help others perplexed by the call and the critics. Romans 11:29 says “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” This means that as long as you know that God has called you to do a thing, pursue it with all diligence in full confidence that the Lord will order your steps and prepare your way. So how do you
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 4 know that you’ve been called by God? Though each individual’s experience may be different, there are some commonalities to God’s callings. 1.
God’s call will always line up with the Word of God. Nothing ordained by God would violate any of His established principles. God’s Word is the rule by which we should measure our lives. We must know His word in order to abide by it. This is the reason why taking the time to study and meditate on the Word of God is so important. Just as it was important to study medical concepts and keep them before us in medical practice, it also holds true for the principles.
2. God’s call will be something that you need His divine power to accomplish / perform. God is not so much interested in what you can do. He wants to demonstrate what He can do through you. I encountered a woman once that when asked about her ultimate purpose said that she was to give people rides to church if they requested one. While this was probably well within God’s will for her, my spirit knew that this was not all there was to her ultimate purpose. She had limited herself to what she could do and forgot to look to God for what He wanted to do through her. Seeking God, she learned that He was preparing her for evangelic work – reaching out to lost souls for the purpose of building God’s kingdom. 3. God will confirm His call with signs and wonders. Maybe you’ve brushed off the prophetic word that came to you regarding your call. Perhaps the financial blessing that allowed you to complete you training was overlooked as a sign. Maybe even the witness of divine healing didn’t get your attention. Wake up and take notice! These are sins and wonders confirming your call. This walk with God is not a series of coincidences that
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 5 create a final outcome. Ephesians 2:10 reveals that God has prepared paths for us ahead of time. What we may think is coincidence is actually a divine setup. 4. You have the responsibility to get into agreement with God and accept your calling. My mother was asked on many occasions “how did you get your child to become a doctor?” to which my mom replied, “It’s not something that I got her to do; it was her choice”. We must choose to follow God’s plan for us. Often times, others will have dreams, goals and plans for you, but God’s plans for you are the only ones that can’t fail. Isaiah 14:27 says “For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” God’s plans can’t be stopped; however man’s plans don’t have that same guarantee. Take this opportunity to evaluate your call. Make sure that this is what the Lord has called you to do. Look for signs and wonders that you may have overlooked in the past. Look for more to come as you move forward. Know the word of God and spend time in study. This is often where I find new revelation regarding my calling. Once you know that God has called you, don’t look back. You have all of the support and provision you need from the owner and creator of it all – God.
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 6 Chapter Two: The Critics Do you really think you can do that?
God’s plans are never small. He’s a big God and He’s looking to demonstrate Himself in big ways. He’s only limited by our faith in Him. I’ve found that often times, when we are alone with God, we release the limitations ad see into the realm of possibility that God provides for us. We let go of earthly hindrances and release God to work in us and through us as He wills. It is only when we remove our focus from God that we begin to introduce doubt.
Keeping a godly focus also requires vigilance regarding godly counsel. Even some unlikely culprits may negatively impact our focus on god’s plan for us. It may be necessary to separate yourself from well meaning family and friends in order to keep your efforts concentrated on God’s plan for you. Be especially careful of those that have been known to attempt to derail you. Remember to line up what you hear with God’s word: what’s been revealed to you through His spirit as well as written biblical principles. If it doesn’t line up – regardless of the source – eliminate it from your thoughts.
Keeping outsiders from hindering you is very importation to remember. But don’t forget the biggest culprit of unfulfilled purpose and unfinished plans – rationalization. God is not rational. Forgiving yes. Loving, yes. All-knowing, of course. But rational He is not – especially not when rationalized through our finite understanding. God often gives us instruction that goes against reason. Supernatural action does not follow natural logic. We
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 7 cannot apply our thought process to God and His way. We must connect with God through our spirit, not our mind, as He is a spiritual being.
So how do we combat rationalization and negative influences? We get into agreement with God. Sounds simple, right? Actually, it is. All it takes is two words – Yes, Lord. Agreement with God constitutes an act of faith that activates a covenant partnership with God. Furthermore, it sends a message to your whole self (mind, body and spirit), that God’s plan is The Plan, and resistance is futile. Every time that doubt tries to creep in or every time your mind tries to alter God’s instruction to suit what it thinks you need, reaffirm your agreement with God’s plan. 1. Write it down. Trying to follow instructions from memory doesn’t always yield the results you want. I’ve tried this before with cooking – a swing and a miss on many occasions. The same is true for God’s instructions for us. Writing down the instructions serves as a reference for you to consult over and over again. It also serves as a reminder when influences seek to derail you. 2. Eliminate negative influences. This means you. It also means family, friends or foes that may influence you to do things that may pull your focus away from your goal. Influence is powerful. That’s why we should carefully choose who and what we allow to influence us. This means guarding yourself against those without similar vision and purpose. Think about what sacrifices you’ve made or are willing to make to fulfill your God-given purpose. Are those you surround yourself with on the same page? Are they as committed (or more) to their own God-given purpose? If not, find a better influence. Remember
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 8 that the enemy knows that the most crafty of distractions is not obvious. And we cannot be ignorant of his devices. Something overtly wrong will likely be avoided, but something that doesn’t seem so bad could be very dangerous. Saying things like “just this once” or “I’ll only do this / be there / try a little bit” are red flags for things that can bring unwanted consequences. 3. Seek godly counsel. Now that you’ve identified potentially harmful influences, seek out those that will provide godly counsel. In order to provide godly counsel, one must know the Word of God. A prerequisite of one who provides godly counsel is one who studies God’s word. Conventional wisdom and cliché church sayings may sound good, but sometimes they just don’t line up with the Word of God – the ultimate rule and guide. Forget about relying on what you’ve heard in the past and look to the Word of God for yourself for guidance. When I am looking for answers, full emersion in the Word is key. I read, listen to sermons, study the bible, pray (especially in tongues) – anything to prompt a move of the Holy Spirit who knows all things. 4. Thank God. He loves thanks and praise so much that He makes Himself immediately available to those that offer it to Him. Even when you can’t do anything else and don’t know what to pray, you can always praise. God hangs out in the atmosphere of His praise. And when God shows up, anything not like Him must go. This is why praise is so important. This is why we should offer God praise continually – it literally gives no opportunity for the enemy to work in our lives. So think about your call and the steps you have taken or are willing to take to fulfill the call God has for you. Now make sure each of the influences in your life supports that course of
Authorâ€™s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 9 action. Anything that does not line up must be eliminated from the realm of things that can influence you.
But what about your family? You canâ€™t choose your family. Correct. But you can choose the environments that you allow yourself to be in, the conversations that you participate in and even those whose influence you will let affect you. Not even God Himself makes you do anything. No one has that power over you unless you allow it. In order for things to happen in your life, you must give them permission. Take responsibility for the influences you allow in your life. Then take control of the influences you allow in your life.
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 10 Chapter Three: Truth & Consequences
I love the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. Every time I read it, there is a new angle of the story to focus on, something new to learn. The lesson about preparation and consequences highlights the importance of recognizing your purpose and making the proper preparations so that you have the expected outcome. The story points out a few truths: 1. You’ve got to know what you’re doing all of this for. The ten virgins knew they were waiting for the bridegroom. They knew it was a major opportunity – the opportunity of a lifetime even. Your purpose is your opportunity of a lifetime. Every bit of your energy should be put forth towards its fulfillment. 2. Preparation is a personal responsibility. In the parable, the foolish virgins asked for oil from the wise virgins. It was not the obligation of those who properly prepared to subsidize the efforts (or lack thereof) for those that did not properly prepare. In my teaching days, I encountered some students that were less prepared than others for some of the coursework I assigned. When asked about how they planned to complete the class (and earn the grade they wanted), those students often referred to things they wanted me, the instructor, to do for them. It was my duty to remind them that I had already earned my education, evidenced by the fact that I was a qualified instructor and they were they students. This education was theirs for the learning and not mine. Their focus had to be shifted to what they needed to do for themselves and not what I could do for them. 3. Life changing opportunities can be lost due to poor preparation. Missed opportunities can be the most disappointing of setbacks. The good news is that nothing is over until
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 11 God says it’s over. But just as the parable of the ten virgins illustrates, no one knows when that will be. So we must get ready and stay ready. I remember and incident regarding a missed investment opportunity. I was a student and had just heard about how to start building your investment portfolio. It just so happened that I saw and IPO (initial public offering) for a restaurant that I absolutely adored. It didn’t cost much at all to invest, not even for a student with a very meager income. I knew it was a great opportunity, but I hesitated. I rationalized that I could learn more about it and invest a little later on. But I got busy and didn’t even remember to check on the stock until about six months later when the price skyrocketed. I began seeing these restaurants all over the country. I soon realized that I had missed a great opportunity due to rationalization. Now I’m certainly not suggesting that you invest in every opportunity that you think might be good. I’m simply saying to learn to recognize God’s voice so that you don’t miss an opportunity due to a delay caused by an attempt to let your intellect catch up to God’s infinite wisdom.
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 12 Chapter Four: The Burden
Years ago, I created a mantra that I hung on my wall that read something like this: Do not drive compliance by force. Make the [system] so user friendly that compliance is the easiest option. My team supported an electronic medical record. Our jobs were the convergence of medical practice, compliance, finance and electronics. At any given time, we could have been managing issues in any of those realms. We were often tasked with keeping things on track so that all of the users performed as expected so that the organization could achieve its common goals. In order to reach the goals, all parties had to put forth a concerted effort not only to get their respective jobs done, but also to do them in the right way. The Body of Christ is much like this example. God does not force His way upon us, but He does make His way user friendly, so that we can comply without difficulty and achieve the goals that He has set forth for the Body of Christ. Matthew 11:30 states, “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. God wants to give you His easy way and light load in exchange for what you struggle with on your own.
Notice what Matthew 11:30 did not say. It does not say that the burdens won’t exist when you follow God’s way. They will. But God will handle them. There is no need to handle them on your own. Even in the natural, when I tell my children that I will handle something for them, they turn it over to me wholeheartedly. They know that I will handle it better than they could, and they don’t even consider taking ownership of the task after I’ve agreed to handle it. They go on with their lives considering it already done. That is how God wants us to leave our burdens
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 13 with Him. A great example of this happened one day after a trip to the grocery store. My five year old son wanted to help me carry some of the bags. He grabbed a bag containing a couple of heavy orange juice bottles from the back of the car, and he attempted to lift it. When I saw him struggling to get the bag out of the trunk, I offered him to bag containing the two loaves of bread in exchange for the bag containing the orange juice. He quickly took the bread bag from the car to the kitchen. He never looked back. Too often we expect to have to do the heavy lifting, trying to do things on our own. God is offering us a better way, but instead of us exchanging our heavy load for His light one, we sometimes refuse to let go of the heavy load. Sometimes we let go momentarily and then pick up the load again. Or we even attempt to “help” God carry it. Just think about how foolish it would seem for my young son to “help” me carry a heavy load. I am sure that his “assistance” would be more like a hindrance, slowing my progress as compared with me handling it alone. God wants us to let Him be our father. He wants to take care of us. Be He will not force us into submission.
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 14 Chapter Five: Making the Adjustment
Now that you’ve learned to recognize the call, the critics and the consequences, and now that you realize that God will take on your burdens once you commit to His way, it’s time to execute the plan. In order to live your life of purpose you must become the CEO of your calling. Choose to follow God. Eliminate negativity and distractions. Organize your resources and efforts. Choosing to follow God is the first step. This not only involves recognizing what God wants you to do, but also changing your mindset to focus on that goal. The change, or renewing, of your mind through the Word of God is what begins the transformation. This marks the beginning of the journey to the fulfillment of purpose. The Amplified translation of Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s own handiwork, created again through Christ, designed to take paths prepared ahead of tie so that we can do the good works God predestined for us to live a good life prearranged by Him. It’s like God has stacked the deck in your favor and all you have to do is go along with His plan. Since this choice will require some sacrifice, your determination to adhere to God’s plan for you is absolutely essential. Ask God for help in areas where you may be weak in faith.
Eliminating negativity and distractions first requires that you identify them. Ask yourself, has this person, place, thing or action propelled me toward my purpose or hindered me? Does this person, place, thing or action line up with the Word of God? If the answer to either question is
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 15 “no”, then eliminate it from your area of influence. Recovering alcoholics may not be able to eliminate all of the alcohol in the world, but they can certainly make sure that they aren’t in the company of any. Distance yourself from any toxic “friends” or family members. This doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. You just love yourself enough not to impede the fulfillment of your purpose any longer. Don’t forget to examine your actions. Even things that you don’t believe hurt anyone need to be measured against the Word of God. And if it hinders you from fulfilling your purpose, it does hurt someone – you. Eliminating things from your life is much like a gardener’s pruning process. A few flowers may need to be eliminated for the benefit of the whole plant. And where one flower is pruned, even more appear in its place. With God, you never lose. He will always give you more than you sacrifice for the sake of His work.
Organizing your resources and efforts is how you get the ball rolling down the track to your purpose. This process gets everything you own and everything you do working together with laser-like focus and concentration on bringing to fruition the word that God spoke to you regarding your calling. Regarding your resources, make sure that all of the following are focused on achieving your purpose: finances, belongings, influence, friends, relationships, family. Allow God to direct you in your efforts to align your resources with your purpose. Often things that may seem foolish in the natural realm have a diving supernatural purpose that yield a much better outcome than any rational planning could. Allow God to direct your efforts for your job / career, your studies, your volunteer activities, your ministry work and your extracurricular activities as well. Focus on God’s instruction and not any money, influence or promotion that you think you might gain through your own plans. Rely on the all-knowing God to
Author’s Last Name / 1-2 Words from Title / 16 supernaturally direct you to your greatest good so that you can live the good life that He’s already arranged for you.
God loves you and wants the best for you – so much so that He has already set up a good life for you, mapped out the road to it and equipped you with everything you need for the journey. Accept God’s word and His promises for you. They are yours for the taking.