For the past 33 years, I have worked as the manager of an entertainer, speaker, and author. I have served as a consultant to countless others in those fields.
Due to this, many people for some reason assume that I know what I’m doing and ask me for input regarding a book they are hoping to publish or a career they are hoping to launch in speaking or entertainment.
After years and years of hearing people describe their dream to me, I’ve noticed something odd—nearly EVERYONE thinks they’re doing what they’re doing because it’s what God wants them to do…yet very few of them actually succeed at doing it.
We all aspire to do God’s will in our lives, but how do we actually know for sure? Is there a way to tell? And why are SO many people convinced they actually are doing God’s will?
My only way of answering those questions is to write what I have learned from over 50 years of seeking God’s will on a daily basis. I begin the day crying out and wanting to serve God in hopes that, at the end of the day, I hear, “Well done.” By seeking to do that every day, I’m hoping to hear the ultimate “well done” at the end of my life.
What American Idol Teaches Us About God’s Will
Who hasn’t seen American Idol? Every year, hundreds of thousands of people who are feeling called by God to perform seek out those auditions…and fall flat on their face. Many of them are people who have never performed, never taken a voice lesson, and never learned to read music or play an instrument.
Apparently, they have sought God’s will on their hands and knees without ever having practiced following God’s will. This is the problem I have observed in 99% of people attempting to live out God’s will for their lives. Everyone is guilty of this at some point, including me.
So often, we assume God’s will based only on our own desires. We feel called to do something based on what we can do, how we want to help people, how we want to inspire people…yet there is no track record of us helping, serving, or inspiring ANYONE!
So how do you get around this problem?
- If you want to serve God by following His will for your life, start by serving those in your family first. Those are the hardest people in your world to serve and love. God gave you them to practice on. Honor and cherish them. Ask yourself how you can add massive value to their lives, and then DO it.
- Once you get good at loving and serving your family, expand. Ask yourself what can you do to serve your friends. Besides helping them move, ask questions, be the first to initiate a dinner request, write them notes of encouragement, etc. When you get good at that, expand again.
- Confirm that you are seeking God’s will and not your own by testing the water. If you suddenly feel that God is willing you to sing, don’t let auditioning for American Idol be the first thing you do. Sing at church, sing for your small group, go sing and perform at places that need someone. Work until you master the fundamentals—stage presence, performance, singing in tune, etc.
The same applies to anyone who feels inspired by God to write a book. Do not immediately assume that means you are destined to write the next bestseller. Instead of spending the next year writing something that you have no evidence anyone will want to read, start by testing the water. Start a blog and see if your writing resonates with people. See what the reactions are.
The first book I ever wrote was based on an email I sent to 48 people on the subject of living life with intense purpose and awareness of time. When all 48 sent sincere, heartfelt responses, I had a clue that maybe I was onto something. I spent the next two years actively living the concepts in that email before deciding to write the book.
And that’s not mentioning the fact that I’d sent tens of thousands of emails before writing one that was able to get such a strong reaction from all the recipients.
Find Your Answer by Looking Backward
Hindsight is beyond 20/20 when you are trying to determine if God or your own desires have been leading you. Things seem to make sense when you look backward. Most people are looking into the future without ever having any verification that they are on the right track.
If you feel that God wants you to do something, look backward and see if there is past evidence. Do you already have a history of doing what He’s asking you to do on a much smaller scale? Have you put in the practice? If not, it’s time to START the practice. It’s time to start doing the little things that lead to affecting the masses.
Before jumping on the biggest possible stage, create evidence that you are following God’s will on a smaller scale.
When you can look back at all the little things you have done successfully along the way—lives that have been touched, hearts that have been transformed—you will have a tremendous sense of confirmation that you are indeed following the path God has laid out for you.
Look to the past for total verification. Seek to hear, “Well done,” in all you do.