God calls each of His children for a special purpose. As Christians, we are all called to serve God and share the good news of the gospel. However, some believers feel an extra sense of calling from the Lord for a specific mission or ministry. How do you know if God has set you apart for something great? Here are some signs to look for.
God has a plan for each of our lives – one that will bring glory to His name. For some, that plan involves being set apart by God for a unique calling or assignment. This does not mean God loves us any more than other believers, but that He has ordained our steps in advance to fulfill His purposes (Psalm 37:23). Being set apart by God is not always comfortable or easy, but it’s vitally important. Here are key signs that God may be setting you apart for His glory.
- God speaks to your spirit through prayer, dreams, visions, and His Word
- You have a burning passion and vision for a specific mission or calling
- God opens and closes doors to guide your path toward His purpose
- You are willing to sacrifice and suffer for God’s call on your life
- The Holy Spirit empowers and equips you through spiritual gifts
- God sends people and resources to confirm His calling
- You boldly obey God even when others don’t understand
- Your ministry bears lasting fruit and impacts lives for Christ
1. God Speaks to Your Spirit
One of the clearest signs of being set apart by God is that He begins speaking to you directly about His plans. God may speak through prayer, dreams, visions, prophecies, or directly through His Word (Jeremiah 33:3). For example, the Apostle Paul knew he was called to the Gentiles after receiving a vision of a Macedonian man pleading for help (Acts 16:9-10).
Pay attention to the things God speaks to your spirit about consistently. If He keeps highlighting a specific calling or ministry focus, it likely means He wants you to pursue it. Be ready to step out in bold faith when God says move. As you draw near to the Lord, He will make His voice clearer.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV)
2. You Have a Holy Passion and Vision
When God sets you apart, He plants a holy passion and vision in your spirit. You cannot get rid of this compelling dream no matter how hard you try. It is a divine calling that energizes and motivates you daily.
Many of the heroes of faith experienced this. Noah was consumed with a vision to build an ark when it had never rained (Genesis 6-9). Nehemiah was overwhelmed by a burden to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls which laid in ruin (Nehemiah 2:11-18). The Apostle Paul said a necessity was laid upon Him to preach the gospel no matter the cost (1 Corinthians 9:16).
If God is setting you apart, you likely have a growing vision burning in your soul for a specific assignment. This passion will override other pursuits and purposes. You may try to run from it for a time like Jonah, but the Lord will keep drawing you back. Let this holy vision propel you forward in God’s calling.
“Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”” (Isaiah 6:8 NKJV)
3. God Opens and Closes Doors
Another sign of being set apart is that God will open and close doors to guide you. These “divine appointments” order your steps perfectly as you follow His plan.
For example, God opened the door for Paul to preach the gospel in Troas with a vision of a man in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). But then He closed the door to Asia and Bithynia when Paul sought to go there instead. This redirecting shaped the spread of early Christianity immensely.
Pay close attention to the opportunities God presents you. Listen for His voice directing your next steps. He will selectively open doors He wants you to walk through in pursuit of your calling. And He may firmly close others that are distractions from His plan. Trust in His leading and timing above all else.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)
4. You Are Willing to Sacrifice
In many ways, answering God’s call on your life requires sacrifice. He will call you out of your comfort zone and familiar routines. You may need to let go of worldly success and treasures to pursue His purposes wholeheartedly.
But when your eyes are fixed on the eternal prize, sacrifice becomes easier (Hebrews 12:2). Paul considered everything as rubbish compared to the surpassing glory of following Christ (Philippians 3:8). Moses chose to suffer with God’s people rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). Even Jesus endured the shame of the cross for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:2).
Don’t run from discomfort or difficulty in answering God’s call. He uses it for our sanctification. Make whatever sacrifices He asks you to make in order to fulfill His purposes. They are worth it all in light of eternity.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 NKJV)
5. The Holy Spirit Empowers You
You cannot accomplish what God has called you to in your own strength. The Holy Spirit must empower you through His gifts and leading. Relying on human wisdom or talents will only lead to burnout and failure.
The disciples did not begin boldly preaching Christ and performing miracles until they received power from the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2). Even Jesus waited decades before starting His public ministry until He was anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-23).
As you pursue God’s calling, continually ask Him to fill and lead you through His Spirit. Seek His spiritual gifts such as teaching, prophecy, leadership, and evangelism. Draw near to Christ daily so you can bear His supernatural fruit.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
6. Confirmation from Others
Another sign of God setting you apart is that others will confirm and reinforce the calling. Fellow believers may prophesy over you or recognize the giftings and anointing on your life. Open doors and resources will come at just the right time. Even unbelievers will acknowledge the uniqueness of your ministry and calling.
For example, Ananias confirmed Paul’s calling with a prophecy and restored his sight (Acts 9:10-19). God provided Paul with financial support through early believers (Philippians 4:15). Eventually even mighty Roman rulers took notice of his special purpose (Acts 25-26).
Don’t despise external confirmation. It builds your faith and provides needed support. Remain humble, but understand that God intends to display His power through your life. Let confirmation spur you on in pursuing His calling.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 NKJV)
7. You Obey Even Without Understanding
Walking in your calling requires great faith. God does not always explain everything upfront. You must step out in bold obedience first before His purpose becomes clear.
Consider the faith of Noah. God told him to build a massive ark when it had never flooded before (Genesis 6:14-22). Noah obeyed even though the reason wasn’t fully clear yet. Because of his radical faith, Noah’s family was saved.
When God calls you to do something that seems unreasonable or pointless, obey anyways. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). What may not make sense now will make sense later as His plan unfolds. Keep stepping forward in faith.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
8. Your Ministry Bears Fruit
Perhaps the clearest sign you are walking in God’s special calling on your life is that your ministry will bear lasting spiritual fruit. People will come to faith in Christ, grow in maturity, and be equipped for service through your faithful service. Your church or ministry will grow stronger and make a global impact.
The Apostle Paul planted churches across the ancient world and trained countless leaders like Timothy and Titus. John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ and baptized thousands of new believers. The Lord will use you to make His name famous and multiply His church. Don’t give up until you see the fruit!
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16 NKJV)
God has an amazing plan to use each of us for His glory. While all believers have a holy calling, some may feel a special purpose or ministry God is setting them apart for. This is an exciting opportunity to experience God’s power in new ways!
If you feel God calling you for a particular assignment, look for these signs of confirmation. Draw near to Jesus, obey His voice, and wait for the Spirit’s empowerment. No matter what costs may come, pursue His call relentlessly. It will be worth it eternally as you fulfill the destiny God has prepared for you. May you boldly run the race set before you all for God’s glory!