One important mark of a Christian is his or her desire to be used by God. As we begin our journey of faith, often that desire is met with vague ideas of how God wants us to serve him, but undoubtedly it will be a longing each Christian man and woman feels. And while thinking and praying over how God might use us is good, often it can leave us bogged down and overwhelmed trying to figure out the specifics. I believe God is much more focused on having us get our hearts right before him so that no matter what he calls us to, we will be ready.

Along those lines, mega-church pastor Rick Warren shares five requirements for being used by God. It’s a great checklist to make sure our hearts are in a place where we can willingly receive and embark on the ministries God has called us to, whatever they may be.

1. Keep your life clean. Fleeing sin and repenting when we do fail keeps our conscious clean and our heart focused on God’s grace.

2. Keep your eyes open. Warren writes, “We think of vision as prediction, but none of us can know the future the way God does. Vision is seeing God at work in your present situation and moving with Him. It’s about getting in on what God is doing in the world and being a part of it where He has placed you.”

3. Keep your heart grateful. I recently read that the most content people are those who are most grateful. An appreciative heart keeps us focused on the positives, a necessity to fight ministry burn-out.

4. Keep your purpose firm. “You were planned for God’s pleasure, formed for God’s family, created to become like Christ, shaped for service, and made for a mission!” writes Warren. Remembering our larger purpose keeps us hopeful when our day-to-day purpose seems less sure.

5. Keep your mind on Jesus. Focusing less on ourselves and more on our Savior is undoubtedly essential to being used by God. “Don’t give up when it gets tough,” writes Warren. “Go to Jesus. Keep your mind on Him!”

Greg Laurie shares similar thoughts in his article, The Person God Uses. Using the book of Joshua as a guideline, Laurie focuses on seven principles that apply to a person God uses. They are:

God uses people who realize they are weak.
God uses people who are faithful.
God uses people who study and live by His Word. 
God uses the person who is patient and waits on His timing. 
God uses the person who cares about lost souls.
God uses the person who sets himself or herself apart.
God uses the person who knows how to work with others.

What these two articles illustration is that being used by God doesn’t start with figuring out what God wants you to do. If you want to be used by the Lord, the most important qualification is a spirit focused on loving and serving God and others.  

What do you think are other important requirements for a Christian to be used by God?

Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.

Publication Date: March 3, 2014.