Tag Archives: used by God

Voices: Four things help us find God’s call in our lives

Reprinted from The Baptist Standard


I hesitated for a few weeks about posting an article I wrote for The Baptist Standard on my blog, mainly because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. However, today in my quiet time, the Lord impressed me to post it because it might just be what someone needs to read. My prayer is that it will touch someone’s heart today. God bless you.

After many years of working outside the home, I “retired.” With time to serve God more fully, I appealed to my heavenly Father and cried: “Lord, how can you use me? I don’t play the piano, and I don’t like hanging out at the gym.”

God said: “Patti, I have been preparing you all these years. I allowed you to grow up in a family that loved books. I surrounded you with books all the time. You have created your own library of prayer journals during 40-plus years. Now is the time to write a book and share with others what I have let you experience. This is your destiny.”

So, I penned my first prayer journal, and a new call in my life evolved, that of writing.

People all over the world ask the question, “Lord, how can you use me?”

Once we genuinely believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, we can ask God confidently what his will for our lives might be. Through our obedience in doing the small things, he will show us more ways we can serve him.

Four things help us find God’s call in our lives: (1) preparation, (2) practice, (3) prayer and (4) Bible reading.


I wanted to prepare myself for ministry. I needed God to direct my path and mold me to be used for his purpose. A series of books on spiritual maturity helped establish the foundation of my Christian beliefs. I also deepened my obedience to whatever God had in store.

All the while, I wondered how God could use someone like me—someone who failed my first English essay in college, was terrified of being called on in Bible study classes and was still learning sin had consequences. But God cared for me and was preparing me to be used for his glory, and I knew it.

The foundations of my faith grew through Christian books and my first two churches in the Baptist faith. God led me to University Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where I was baptized, and First Baptist Church in Houston, where my faith deepened beyond measure.

To know where God wants to use you, experiment in different gift areas, listen to what others think you do well, take a spiritual gifts inventory survey, read books that address the topic, and pray for God to show you where you fit in the body of Christ. Then practice what you have learned.

Everyone has at least one spiritual gift. Romans 12:6-8 gives us a partial list of spiritual gifts—prophecy (explaining Scripture), service, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading and mercy. You might consider these.

I read the Bible continually during my time of discernment, wanting to know more about God and how he could use me. I began to serve in little ways, such as writing notes, putting short Bible studies together and organizing biblical materials.

Reading materials written by solid Bible-believing authors opened the door to a deeper dependence on the Holy Spirit through prayer. The Bible and these books confirmed God loved me, and in his infinite wisdom, he had a spiritual plan for my life. God does for you, as well.


While I have read many books on prayer, it differs from carving out time daily to give praise and worship to our heavenly Father. God loves us as no one else can. He wants us to pay attention to him. Prayer gives a person time to think, meditate, confess sins and share burdens.

Sometimes we limit our call, believing only pastors and those in ministry can be used by God, but God wants everyone to seek his kingdom and to engage intimately in prayer with him.

Bible reading

The primary way God speaks to us occurs by reading the Bible. Through God’s word, we recognize what is right and wrong, what is honorable and what is not, and what he wants us to do or not do.

A new life of salvation, hope and trust opens for us when we continually read the word of God. God desires to show us his will and direction, and we can find that in his holy word.

Get Ready to be used by God

We are on a journey, and God has a purpose for us. Don’t allow fear, laziness or perfectionism to stop you from seeking God’s will.

While my passion for reading is what God uses to show me how he can use me, it may be different for you. God has given us all diverse backgrounds, passions, personalities, talents and quirks. Look at your experiences, hone your skills, prepare yourself, practice ministry, pray and read God’s word. Don’t expect to be good at everything at once. Wait for God’s timing.

When God revealed to me it was time to write a book, it occurred in my messy bedroom closet. Not only did he show me what to do, but he also confirmed it by prompting me to look at the top shelf to see my prayer journals.

That’s when he said: “Now is the time to write a book and share with others what I have let you experience. This is your destiny.”

What is your God-given destiny?

Patti Greene is a graduate of Baylor University and Dallas Baptist University, a member of Second Baptist Church in Houston, and the author of seven books. The views expressed are those of the author.

Purah: A Servant of Gideon

Purah: A Servant of Gideon

Do you have a “PURAH” in your life? For the sake of this article, a “PURAH” is the one person who is always loyal to you, who shows up just when you need him, and always wants the best for you.

As I was reading Judges 7:10, I ran across a man named Purah. He is mentioned only one time in the entire Bible, so most people would think of him as an insignificant person.

I decided to read more about this man. I have three reference books that are packed with entries about fascinating people in the Bible. I looked through all three books and there were NO ENTRIES for Purah. It looked like I was correct in my conclusion that he was indeed an insignificant figure in the Scriptures.  But when I re-read about Purah, he was significant — significant to Gideon, and significant to obtaining God’s desired outcome.

The Midianites were oppressing Israel while Israel was doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD. An angel of the LORD came to Gideon and told him that the LORD was with him. Then, after Gideon asked why all these bad things have happened to the Israelites, the LORD said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”

God called Gideon into the ministry of saving Israel. Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, then he asked for signs from God to be sure of his calling. When God reduced Gideon’s army of 22,000 men to only 300, the LORD said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped the water, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” That same night the LORD said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant.” Gideon went down with Purah , and defeated the Midianites. [Judges 7]

Have you ever been in a tough situation? Have you ever been fearful? Has God ever put that one special person in your path just to help you? This is what happened with Gideon.

Not only was Gideon called to do a work for the LORD, Purah was also called to be instrumental in getting God’s work done by being an encourager to Gideon. Both men were essential to the task at hand.

God knew Gideon was encountering fear. How would you feel if you had only 300 men to defeat an entire army? However, God loved Gideon and provided him with a strong wonderful man called Purah to offer encouragement, comfort, and protection. Purah was there for Gideon.

Many times those ministering for the LORD become discouraged, fearful, depressed, weak, and needy; when these times occur,  they need a PURAH. Are you available and in the right spiritual mindset to be used in that capacity? Maybe you are the PURAH someone else needs. Maybe you are the one called to work alongside someone going through a difficult or challenging situation.

Or maybe you need a PURAH today. God has called you to do an insurmountable task — one that seems too overwhelming to tackle on your own. Keep your eyes open for God to provide the encouragement to pursue it. God may provide help through a person who will comfort and encourage you to be all God wants you to be.

I have a friend for whom it seems I find myself there only during major crossroads in her life. We keep in touch occasionally, but I always seem to be around when she needs major help. Her beloved dog was being “put to sleep” one day – I felt so impressed to go with her and be with her through the ordeal. Another time, this same friend had surgery, and I was there to bring food and comfort her. I was her PURAH in those circumstances.  A PURAH bears one another’s burdens.

The LORD knew Gideon needed strength to fulfill God’s calling in his life. And God provided it through Purah.

But, why Purah?

In The Wisdom of Purah: Gideon’s Mentor ,¹ Writersfield states . . .

  1. Purah was more experienced, older in age and more mature than Gideon;
  2. Purah was loyal to Gideon; and
  3. Purah took pleasure in seeing Gideon get credit for what Purah had done.

When we find a friend like that, we have found a treasure!

How to be a PURAH

  • Keep yourself in God’s Word;
  • Pray for opportunities to be used by your Heavenly Father;
  • Ask God to let you recognize the signs to fulfill His will;
  • Be a loyal friend, family member, church member, and employee;
  • Be a confidant;
  • Be humble;
  • Don’t harbor jealousy;
  • Be available;
  • Be grateful;
  • Think of others before yourself.

God Bless,


Edited by E. Johnson

Bible Verses:

Read Judges 7: 1-18 ESV

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

That same night the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance. When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.” And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.”

As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the host of Midian into your hand.” And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’”


Oh Lord, make me an instrument to be used by You. Prepare me to be someone’s PURAH. The depths to which You can use me are enormous. I am scared. I feel unable. I feel unworthy. You can make my heart secure in what You want me to be and do, so I lay my trust upon You to make me everything You desire. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

¹ ¹ https://writersfield.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/the-wisdom-of-purah/

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