3 Barriers to Living Out Your True Calling

Since the day I gave my heart to Jesus I’ve believed God has a plan for me. 

Not just any plan, but a good plan. 

As I began to seek out my future career, I learned that we have a divine calling from God and that this could be lived out in our careers as His plan.

But what about when our own desires become tangled with earnest seeking after God’s will? 

3 Barriers to Living Out Your True Calling

Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has “plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.”

This verse can be taken far from its true meaning.  Our culture has been saturated with the call to chase our passions and live for our own fulfillment.  With this in mind, we ask God to come into our lives and into our expectations and to answer prayers in the ways that we desire. 

But our desires are not always a part of our “calling”.  We must align our desires with God’s heart in order to find our true calling.  We must clear our hearts and minds of any barriers that stand in the way of answering God’s call in our life.

[bctt tweet="We must align our desires with God’s heart in order to find our true calling." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

Here are 3 barriers that stand in the way of living out God’s calling in your life NOW.

Barrier 1: Fear

While trying to discover the career path that God called me to, I thoroughly fleshed out my options.  I listed my passions and my skills and researched the possibilities everywhere in between. I applied for several jobs and graduate programs and I waited in response for God to open a door.

But when a door opened, I wondered, “Is this the best option God has for me?  Is this the right path?”

So I took time to pray.  I asked friends and family.  I sought after God’s plan and yet I was frozen with fear.  What if I took the wrong route?  What if this door isn’t the one that God wants me to walk through?

In the middle of my fear, I lost the very purpose that God calls me to.  I was frozen with the belief that God had one perfect route for me and yet we find that this is not the case.  God doesn’t always ask us to pursue one perfect career. 

Let’s be honest, there is no perfect career.  You may enjoy the pay or the hours, but oftentimes they trade off for the personal satisfaction of the work.

We stay stuck when we wait for a sense of perfect peace and affirmation that the open door before us is, in fact, the calling that God has for us. 

Sometimes, we just need to take a leap of faith.  If you’ve prayed and sought out Godly direction from friends or family, maybe it’s time to walk through that door.

God asks us to live for Him in our choices.  If you are choosing a path that can or will glorify God, it is the right path.

Barrier 2: Fulfillment

Another problem on the path to finding a calling is the long sought-after self-fulfillment.  The first step we often take in discovering God’s plan for our lives is to consider the passions He placed within us.  But, this can be taken too far.

When seeking fulfillment first and foremost, we place our own satisfaction above the glory of our God.  When we let that be our priority, we lose sight of our purpose.  And in this mess, we find confusion and an even greater ambiguity as to where we should go next.

[bctt tweet="When seeking fulfillment first, we place our own satisfaction above the glory of God." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

God will sometimes ask us to walk through a door that leads to suffering of some sort.  Whether it’s a smaller paycheck or a more trying job, sometimes the very place that God wants us to be is far from what we would consider fun or rewarding. 

God asks us to seek our fulfillment from Him alone.  In glorifying Him in your everyday life, you will receive the fulfillment you seek and be living out your calling.

Barrier 3: Feeling Forsaken

Finally, when we place anything as a priority before God, we are relying on the wrong god.  We are creating an idol. 

Are you looking for a career because of the money?  Are you hoping to work your way into a powerful position for a sense of control?  Are you hoping to help those in need for a feeling of justification?

These idols do not flash brightly as warnings, but they slither between the cracks of our hearts and weave their way into our hopes and desires.  When we let these idols creep into our motivations, the result is feeling forsaken by God.  After all, when God asks us to follow Him, He says to leave the world behind.

It is essential to take a hard, deep look at your motivations and honestly discover if there are any idols that are hidden beneath the surface.  Don’t turn away from God in your searching for a path.

The Ultimate Call 

God calls us to live for His glory each and every day.  Whether our jobs are influencing millions around the world or we have the impact of influencing just one other heart, God’s glory is revealed in us.

Don’t spend so long looking for a perfect plan that you fail to take action and live out God’s love now.  Take a risk, walk through an open door and place your heart in God’s hands.  Live fully for Him in whatever you do and you will be living out your purpose.

[bctt tweet="Don’t spend so long looking for a perfect plan that you fail to take action. " username="NicoleAKauffman"]

The smallest act of grace and kindness can bring about the profound glory of God.

Our calling isn’t in the perfect career, but in living for the glory of God in every moment of every day.


Find Your Calling Bundle


  1. These are all so true. For me, I seem to have the most trouble with fear. I used to think I just had fear of failure, but the more I soul searched it became much more. I have fear of pretty much everything. Failure, success, rejection.. You name it. Ha. But I know that He will give me hte power and strength to keep going. Thank you for sharing!

  2. “Nicole, you’ve written a wise message here. I particularly love, We must align our desires to God’s heart in order to find our true calling.” Coming to you from Purposeful Faith.

  3. Glad I found your post today! This is really helpful and gives me some things to think about as I consider something I think God is calling me to and how to move forward in it in the new year.

  4. Yesterday we took our granddaughters to see “Sing”. The highlight? “Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you love.” I think the main character read your post. When we are aligned to God’s purposes, it’s so much easier to trust Him through the fear, or feelings of being forsaken, or even that longing for fulfilment. Thanks and blessings from your neighbor at Crystal’s

  5. Loved this, Nicole. “We must align our desires with God’s heart in order to find our true calling.” Seeking our fulfillment from Him alone, amen. Thank you for sharing your heart. xoxo

  6. Hi Nicole,
    Oh your words have a hit the point that we don’t need to keep waiting and looking for a plan when we could be walking out God’s plans for us in our everyday lives at work, play and in our churches!

    1. Most definitely, Valerie! Sometimes we get caught up in searching for this perfect and concrete “plan” and it hinders our everyday calling. So glad you stopped by πŸ™‚

  7. Well stated Nicole. Thank you for this thought-provoking post. These are definitely barriers that can prevent or delay us from achieving God’s will for our lives. My mother quoted the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 when I awakened from my stroke in the hospital, I was quite groggy at the time but I have never forgotten that scripture as I seek to live for Jesus. When we seek God first, our heart becomes aligned with His will. He will give us the direction and confirmation we desire. When we have the feelings that you share (barriers) we must recognize those are not from God but the enemy Satan. I admit I am guilty of looking for the “perfect plan.”However,I am getting better at trusting my Savior and following His call for my life. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Have a fantastic weekend and may God bless you and yours.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful addition-that these thoughts and feelings come from our enemy. But God does come through when we truly seek Him. Glad to hear from you, Horace!

  8. “Don’t spend so long looking for a perfect plan that you fail to take action” – a great truth to remember. It’s easy to be paralyzed by pursuing perfection when God wants us to step out and trust Him with the details. Visiting from #coffeeforyourheart today πŸ™‚

    1. Definitely! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to take action for that reason. But God will meet us when we step out in faith. Great to hear from you again, Angela πŸ™‚

  9. “The smallest act of grace and kindness can bring about the profound glory of God.” I really love that statement. So true. Glad I found your blog today through Holley’s blog.

    1. Yes, what an encouragement that everything we do, no matter how small, makes a difference! Great to meet you, Melody!

  10. I love this post, Nicole! We were all created for a purpose, but sometimes we have a hard time discovering what that is! I love how you lead us back to God…. who knows best what we are created to do than the Creator Himself? Thanks for this encouraging post! Visiting from Testimony Tuesday.

    1. I’m so glad you found some encouragement here, Alisa! And I love that point, our Creator knows best! πŸ™‚

  11. This is so true. He has needed to make an adjustment on my desires many times. We must surrender our desires and motives to God in order to live for His glory. Glad to be able to visit your site today, Nicole! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for visiting, Kelly! Yes, it can be hard to surrender our desires to God. But I’m so glad we can be confident that He is working for our good! πŸ™‚

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