By Christie Thadikonda
In the Bible, we find stories about heroes of faith, who answered God’s call by simply obeying. God called them to faithful service.
Sometimes we find it difficult to determine God’s will and calling for our lives. And when we don’t have a clear direction, it is really confusing. We need to step out in faith.
I believe God’s will is revealed to us in many ways. We need to be passionate and attentive just as we are with someone whom we love.
Prayer is a means of interaction with God. In order for God to speak to us, we need to be in God’s presence listening carefully. In my own quiet time, I pour out my heart to God and spend time listening to what God has to say. I often ask, “What’s on your heart?”
It was in January 2019 that God gave me a vision, clearly showing me God’s burden for the people in my community. God called me that day to do God’s kingdom work. I took a step in faith.
God affirms our calling through circumstances. I was at the CBF Seminarian Retreat in Atlanta, GA, in January 2020. We had a wonderful time of reflection, where I was reminded that, “Visioning is openness to hearing and seeing the dreams of God for you and for God’s world.” God was speaking to me through every word that was being shared.
The first day’s topic at the retreat was about Jesus calling His disciples. Simon Peter, James and John, left everything they had and did and followed Jesus. Fishing was their profession (their only source of livelihood), which they left when Jesus called them.
I could relate it to my own calling experience. My work at Capital One as an IT Engineer was my profession. I stopped working in March 2019, in response to the vision God showed me in January 2019.
God also speaks to us through others. When I was a kid, I remember reading in my first Bible (Gideon’s New Testament), the subtitles of Psalm 119. It did not make sense back then. But In January 2020, I was teaching Hebrew to my sons, Stephen (10) and Jonah (5). We had just finished studying the Hebrew alphabet. The Holy Spirit prompted me and I said to Jonah, “Can you go and get the Bible, and turn to Psalm 119.”
To our surprise, we saw that the subtitles of Psalm 119 were the Hebrew alphabets we just learned.
Fast forwarding in the story, I was in my first day of seminary in a class that was “Intro to Biblical Studies.” The professor, Dr. Robert Wafawanaka, introduced us to the different aspects of the Bible and came to a point where he asked, “What’s special about Psalm 119?”
I quickly raised my hand, since I had recently discovered that the subtitles of Psalm 119 were the Hebrew alphabets. I answered and the professor was impressed and explained that it was an acrostic poem. Each section under each alphabet has eight verses and every verse in that section starts with the alphabet same as the heading of that section. There are 22 alphabets in Hebrew. 22 X 8 = 176. Psalm 119 has 176 verses, which makes it the longest chapter in the Bible. I realized why I was in the seminary.
Now when I put all the things of my life together right from my childhood, it all weaves into such a beautiful pattern; God’s faithfulness, compassion, protection, my shortcomings, God’s grace and love. It develops into such a meaningful story!
Christie Bernard Thadikonda is a CBF Leadership Scholar, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Divinity (Biblical Studies and Theology) and Master of Arts in Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond. He is actively involved in Young Adults Ministry and Community Missions at Gayton Baptist Church, Richmond, VA.