My Calling: A testimony from Captain Joshua Hinson
Sitting in my hotel room alone at a young adult retreat, I found myself searching through Scripture to find direction in my life. The previous year at the same event, in the same hotel I surrendered my life to God and accepted the invitation to follow Jesus. This time I was seeking God in a different way. My last semester had just begun, and I hoped God would reveal His will as I approached the transition to life after college.
While I poured through Scripture, I landed on the fifth verse of the first chapter of James. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When I read these words, I cried out to God, “It’s me! I lack wisdom. Lord, please show me what You want me to do with my life.” In that moment I felt the Spirit of God respond that I was called to be a Salvation Army officer.
I was shocked. Officership was not on my mind. So, I continued to look to Scripture. I came to Romans 12: 2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” I felt God was saying I should take some time to confirm this calling in my life, and so I kept this calling to myself.
Over the next several months God confirmed my calling to officership through my work at the Boys & Girls Club, my involvement with my corps, and conversations with trusted mentors. On the weekend of my graduation from college, I went out to dinner with my dad and finally shared the calling God placed on my life. I was expecting him to share my excitement, but instead he responded, “Make sure you are really called. If you aren’t, you will be miserable. But if you really are called, you will be miserable doing anything else.”
I took these words to heart and have continually sought God’s confirmation of my calling. Repeatedly God has confirmed that I am serving right where He wants me to serve. However, I think serving in the right place is only part of God’s call. How we serve matters. God is calling each of us to be transformed more into His likeness. Os Guinness in his book, The Call, says it this way, “Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet but are called by God to be.”
If anyone is searching for direction in their own life the way I was, then first, I would suggest you should ask God for clarity. God is faithful. God is generous. God will carry you through. But more important than finding the right place to serve is seeking to serve in the right way. God is calling each of us to ever increasing holiness, that we might be filled with the full measure of Him who calls us. Seek after His kingdom and His presence, and the rest will take care of itself.