Answer the Call
By Terri Savelle Foy
When you die, there will be a tombstone with your full name on it. Your birth date will be on the left side and the date that you died on the right side. But it’s that little dash in the middle that determines what you did with your life. That little dash determines everything. Did you fulfill God’s plan for your life or fulfill Satan’s plan for your life?
One of my favorite verses is John 17:4 (Message) – “I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do.”
I truly believe you are here on Earth by assignment, and God is fully expecting you to carry something out during your lifetime. Years ago, I heard the Lord say these words, “your calling is calling”. You don’t have time to waste any longer. Your life is precious. Every single day you live is a day recorded in history never to be relived again. David actually wrote, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered and that my life is fleeing away.” It’s time to pursue God’s calling all the way.
#1 PICK UP THE CALL!
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t answer my phone much. OK, hardly at all! I would much rather send a text message than talk! And I never answer my house phone! In fact, when people are over and the phone rings, they’ll say, “Aren’t you gonna get it?” The truth is, I don’t even hear it anymore. Why? Because I’ve ignored it for so long.
You may have ignored God’s calling on your life for so long that you don’t even hear Him calling anymore. Other people may see gifts and potential in you and they’re saying, “Aren’t you going to do something with that?” But you don’t even see it anymore.
Don’t let your past keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let other people keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let finances keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let past failures keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let satan talk you out of answering the call.
Don’t let “busy-ness” keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let shame and guilt keep you from answering the call.
Don’t let insecurity keep you from answering the call.
My cell phone has a little button I can push when it’s ringing that says, “BUSY”. My old phone said, “IGNORE”. Don’t ignore God’s call anymore. Determine to not be too busy to take the call of your life! Your decision to ignore God’s plan or pursue it affects you forever. And you are the only one who can make this decision. The first step in pursuing God’s plan for your life is to DECIDE today that you will “pick up the call” and not ignore it any longer.
Someone once said, “Don’t prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.” If you want to fulfill the very purpose you have for being born you have to make time with God the #1 priority of your life! Time with the Lord is THE VERY THING that has brought the most healing to my life. It’s built my confidence where I was terribly insecure and inferior. It’s healed my heart where I was so brokenhearted. It is the most precious thing in my life, and it’s the easiest thing to neglect! Unless you make it a priority and actually SCHEDULE ALONE TIME WITH GOD, you just won’t do it! Spending time alone with God (just you and Him) is the #1 way to discover His next step for your life. Paul spent time alone . . . after the Damascus Road experience. Moses spent time alone on the backside of a desert. Joseph spent time alone in prison. Jesus spent time alone in the wilderness before He ever launched his earthly ministry. Jerry Savelle (Dad) spent 8 hours a day for 3 months in his guest bedroom studying the Word before he ever stepped out in ministry. Keep in mind, when you pursue God, you are pursuing your dreams!
Whether it’s 8 hours or 10 minutes a day, the key is in consistency. Don’t feel bad if you only spend 5 minutes a day. Stick to those 5 minutes and watch what God will do in your life. Spending quiet time with God will cause you to get closer to Him, more comfortable with Him and more sensitive to His voice.
Bobby Knight said, “The will to succeed is important, but what’s even more important is the will to prepare.” What are you doing right now to prepare for what you believe God has called you to do? Are you researching? Are you reading books about it? Are you taking any lessons? Are you attending a class? Are you saving money for it?
Preparation takes effort! You have to invest in your future. Make time to learn, to grow, to expand your thinking. Get on a quest to feed your faith more today than you did yesterday. Success isn’t something you arrive at – it’s something you prepare for! You have solutions and opportunities at your fingertips. You just need to expose yourself to new things, new people, new books, and new places. Your calling won’t just happen. You have to go after it!
John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” My dad said that back in the early 1970s when he was working for Kenneth Copeland, the Lord told him to “prepare” because the day would come when Mr. Copeland would ask him to preach with him. So, he did. He prepared messages, he prayed over the people who would “one day” come hear him preach . . . and he was ready. Months and months went by, but one day, his phone rang in that little hotel room in Jacksonville Beach, FL and Mr. Copeland was on the other end saying, “Are you ready?” And he was. He prepared for his calling and when the opportunity came, he was able to seize it.
Answering God’s calling is not an event, a one time moment, a special occasion, someone laying hands on you, it’s a daily choice and it shows up in your daily routine. Prepare now for tomorrow.
#4 PLEASE GOD – NOT MAN!
When it comes to your calling, you have to decide whose voice is the loudest. Remember, Satan works through people to drag you out of God’s plan for your life. He doesn’t come in a red costume and pitchfork. He comes “disguised” as an angel of light. He smells good, looks good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good! And he can be very convincing and manipulating in his efforts to get you to forfeit the plan of God for your life.
You have to make up your mind that you are going on with God no matter what. Always keep in mind that you will stand before God on Judgment Day and give an account for your life – not their life. You have to do what is right for you!
Col. 3:22 says, basically – don’t be a man pleaser but a God pleaser! Realize the seriousness of “your calling”. Determine that if there are attachments that you need to let go of, then you will develop the inner strength to do it. Don’t go another week, month, or year being held back by wrong relationships or ungodly influences. Determine that pleasing God is a life and death matter to you . . . because it is.
#5 PENCIL YOUR DREAMS!
Habakkuk 2:2 says for us to write the vision, make it plain upon paper so you can run when you read it. Write the vision. Write the vision. Write the vision. It’s been said that dreams not written down are just wishes! I feel so strongly about this. It’s been proven that people who write their dreams and goals are more successful than those who don’t. You must put pen to paper. Don’t keep your dreams in your head.
Imagine building a house without blueprints. You don’t just see it in your head and build it. You have to write it out. You have to see where you’re headed. When you stop dreaming, you stop living. The average person who retires dies within 3 years after retirement. Why? They stopped dreaming. If you don’t have a vision in your heart – then you are just existing. God wants you to dream. Determine that you are not going to waste another year of your life wandering and wondering what to do. Think, pray, read, listen and then write down what you have in your heart. You cannot underestimate the power of writing your vision. Yes, it may change over time . . . that’s why I said, “PENCIL your dreams.” The point is: write it down.
For some reason, I think we have this idea that once we discover the true purpose of God for our lives that everything will kind of fall into place. If we’re in the will of God and we’re not running from God, then shouldn’t it just work out? Shouldn’t we just have “that peace”? I’ve discovered in my own life that you better learn to fight for your dreams! Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, “A dream comes about with much business and painful effort.”
Don’t get it in your head that success or walking in your calling will be easy! If it were easy, everyone would be successful! Peter Daniels says, “Success is the willingness to bear pain.” Just because a door is closed, don’t assume it must be God closing the door! Daniels says, “Kick it open!” He tells the story of a guy who wanted a loan for his dream. He went to one bank and was turned down. He went to another bank and was turned down. Ninety-eight banks later, somebody believed in his dream! Now, he’s made over a billion dollars! How many of us would have gone to 4 banks, been denied and said, “It must not be God! I guess I missed it!” Your calling is calling! You don’t have time to waste! Persevere! Fight for your dreams!
#7 PROPHESY YOUR FUTURE!
What’s coming out of your mouth has everything to do with what happens in your future! Proverbs 18:21 says, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.”
Think about David facing Goliath. He prophesied Goliath’s defeat and his own destiny before he ever released the stone. In 1 Sam. 17:42 we see the story of David coming up against the greatest barrier or obstacle of his life and everyone made fun of him and said he couldn’t do it. Verse 44 says, “The Philistine (which represents Satan) said to David. . .” In other words, SATAN TALKS TO US! It goes on to say, “Then David said to Goliath . . .” In essence, you need to TALK BACK TO THE DEVIL!
You need to do it out loud! You need to declare what you are believing for out of your mouth! Some things will not happen in your life until you begin speaking them out loud. Yes, you will feel ridiculous. I have faith goals that I spoke out loud just this morning as I walked around my house and they look absolutely impossible. But that’s exactly how God spoke this entire world into existence – with the words of his mouth. Faith is the substance of things you hope for; it is the evidence of the things you do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Remember, anything God wants you to do will be impossible. If it were possible, then it wouldn’t require faith.
#8 PROCRASTINATE NO MORE!
You can be your own worst enemy by procrastinating on your calling. Evangelist Dwight L. Moody was asked which people gave him the most trouble. His response was, “I’ve had more trouble with Dwight L. Moody than any other man alive.”
Sometimes, we tend to think that there’s a perfect time to do everything – so we wait. If you wait for the perfect timing, you’ll wait forever. If you’re waiting for all the money before you step out, if you’re waiting until you feel anointed, if you’re waiting until you feel forgiven, you’ll wait and wait and wait and ultimately, miss out on God’s plan for your life. Don’t wait for the 1st day of the month to start reading that book. Do it now. Don’t wait for your birthday to start the workout plan. Do it now. Don’t wait for 2 more semesters before you take that class. Do it now. Don’t wait until all the conditions are perfect! Do it now!
We’re talking about your future. Your calling. Your dreams. Don’t let another year go by without doing something to pursue your calling. Time is going by. Days are going by and you’ve got much to accomplish. Someone once said, “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.” Your calling is calling.” I’m pretty sure you hear it.
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For years, Terri Savelle Foy’s life was average. She had no dreams to pursue. Each passing day was just a repeat of the day before. Finally, with a marriage in trouble and her life falling apart, Terri made a change. She began to pursue God like never before, develop a new routine and discovered the power of having a dream and purpose.
As Terri started to recognize her own dreams and goals, she simply wrote them down and reviewed them consistently. This written vision became a roadmap to drive her life. As a result, those dreams are now a reality.
Terri has become the CEO of an international Christian ministry. She is an author, a conference speaker, and a success coach to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Her best-selling books Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, and Imagine Big have helped people discover how to overcome the hurts of the past and see the possibilities of a limitless future. Her weekly podcast is a lifeline of hope and inspiration to people around the world.
Terri Savelle Foy is a cheerleader of dreams and is convinced that “if you can dream it, God can do it.” She is known across the globe as a world-class motivator of hope and success through her transparent and humorous teaching style. Terri’s unique ability to communicate success strategies in a simple and practical way has awakened the dreams of the young and old alike.
Terri shares from personal experience the biblical concepts of using the gift of the imagination to reach full potential in Jesus Christ. From stay-at-home moms to business executives, Terri consistently inspires others to go after their dreams. With step-by-step instruction and the inspiration to follow through, people are fueled with the passion to complete their life assignment down to the last detail (see John 17:4).
Terri and her husband, Rodney Foy, have been married since 1991, and are the parents of a beautiful redheaded daughter, Kassidi Cherie. They live near Dallas, Texas. For more information about Terri, go to www.terri.com.