When I was a young preschool kid, I used to like it when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. At the time, I was heavily influenced by my then-role-models — my parents and siblings. So, I would tell anyone who asked that I wanted to be a dressmaker.
In primary school, I set my sights somewhere else entirely, due to a three-month hospitalization that I had experienced prior. Because of this battle with my health, my focus shifted to the point that I aspired instead to be a nurse or health worker.
Fast-forward to my high school years, and my career goals had changed again. This time — under the influence of my peers — I chose to consider teaching as a temporary solution.
Yet, through a deeper reading of the Bible and counsel from God-fearing individuals, I eventually found myself in the teaching career – permanently. I have never regretted my choice to this day. What I find most rewarding about my preferred career is the fact that I am touching lives every day and influencing them for God’s Kingdom.
God has a special plan for all of us, and while the way God leads each of us on our career journeys may differ, He chooses to do so just the same.
Here are some of the following ways that He does:
1. God leads us through the Bible.
From reading the Bible, we learn to hear God’s voice calling us to our chosen careers. God also works through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) and prophetic writings (i.e. – Ellen White’s writings) to guide us.
2. God speaks to us through godly counsel.
A good example of this can be found in the story of Joshua. In Deuteronomy 1, God calls Joshua to a leadership position that was made possible because of Moses (Deuteronomy 1:38; 31:3). Elisha’s appointment as a prophet also rose out of Elijah’s journey (1 Kings 19:16,19). Our greater calling can often be found in connection with the people God has placed in our lives.
3. God speaks to us through divine circumstances.
Esther was called to the office of a queen through a series of divine circumstances. (Esther 4:13-14)
She did not deliberately plan to be a queen. Only after she was taken to the palace and chosen to be the queen that Mordecai exclaimed: “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Joseph was also called to leadership in Egypt through a set of circumstances. After being sold to Egypt as a slave, falsely accused and then sent to jail, God raised him from the prison to the palace: “…as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50: 20).
4. God communicates through messages, dreams or visions.
Two good examples to illustrate this point are Moses and Paul. God first called Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-12). God also met Saul (Paul) in a vision on the road to Damascus. In this case, Paul was clear about his talents and abilities but did not know what God wanted him to do with those abilities. He was serving in the wrong career until he met God. (Acts 9: 5-6)
God has a plan and a place for each person to work in His field. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God’s plan for us is as certain as the mansions He has prepared in heaven for us. In Christ’s Object Lessons, Ellen White states: “Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God.”
In conclusion, effective Christian career guidance should involve helping learners understand God’s plan for them.