How does the Lord "call" His followers?
I'm not referring to the original call to follow but to what is sometimes known as a prompting, a leading, or hearing from the Lord. Another common term is nudge.
This is on my mind because it seems different for different people.
What are all the possibilities?
Verbal communication from the Lord God Almighty
Visual communication, as in "visions"
A verse from the Bible
A teaching from another person
- - - - - -
Do we trust other people's visions and auditory messages from the Lord?
Do we trust our own?
I've heard of callings to move to different countries. To follow the Lord in a new way. To dress in different clothing or certain colors. I think we've all heard of callings to ministry and evangelic work and to becoming a professional Christian, such as Pastor or Monk.
Here are some ways I have felt "called" to make a change or go in a certain direction.
Sometimes I will have a feeling to do something like teaching a Bible class for example. Then an opportunity will soon come to me to do just that. I would say this is a common thing for me.
Another is turning to the same teaching in the Bible nearly every time I pick one up. When this happens constantly I pay attention. This has happened to me when I picked up new Bibles and worn ones. It becomes clear that the Lord is showing me something with "repetition" until I understand.
Another is to hear from other human beings. I have found on rare occasions that people will verbalize something and I hear it so very intensely that I know the words were for me even if they were spoken to another. You might think that the person would announce that they had a "word" from the Lord for me. That's not what happens. It's ordinary words spoken in an ordinary manner but they strike me with great importance.
Seeking the Lord's will seems to take a great deal of time and effort and I am wondering what other Christians perceive as a calling on their life.
We certainly hear the term "calling" often and I do hope we are not using it too lightly or making mistakes and coming to wrong conclusions. I write this because of how many Christian ladies that say they have a calling to modesty, for example, and yet they fret about it. They constantly ask other people about it. Clearly it was "their" calling--it ought to be clear to them, right?
How can we know and proceed with firm assurance that we have been called to something by the Lord and not our own imaginations?