Resonating the Call: Seeking God's Will For Your Life
Many people remember the Looney Tunes episode where a large “Viking” woman sings an ear piercing opera causing every piece of glass in Bugs Bunny’s house to explode. Such a phenomenon is illustrating the physics concept known as resonance. Resonance, however, is not always destructive; without it we would not have radio, television, music or even swings in the playground.
The word resonance comes from the Latin “resonus” to resound or sound out together. When two things are in resonance it creates enormous energy, which then produces sound, heat, light, or another byproduct. Resonance occurs when an object begins to vibrate (oscillate) at what is commonly called its natural frequency. Objects favor only a few specific modes or patterns of vibrating. Favored modes (natural frequencies), or patterns of vibrating, are those that produce the highest or most intense vibrations with the least amount of in-put energy. Knowing this, objects are most easily forced into resonance when they are disturbed at vibrations associated with their natural frequencies.
All things possess a natural frequency. If we put energy into something at its natural frequency, the energy would continue to build to very high levels. For example, if you have two identical tuning forks and you sound one of them and slowly move it towards the other, the second will begin vibrating without the two needing to touch. The reason for this is the first tuning fork is already vibrating at the second tuning forks natural frequency. The sound waves from the first, force the second tuning fork to resound or resonate.
This principle of resonance illustrates the individual seeking to find God’s will for their life. Psalm 139 speaks of how intimately God knows each and everyone of us: “O LORD, you have searched me and know me…you perceive my thoughts from afar…you are familiar with all my ways…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before even one of them came to pass…” Even before our conception, our Creator had a specific plan for our lives. Each person was built with certain natural frequencies that resonate with the will and calling of God. As we seek to navigate through life each person comes into contact with certain aspects of God’s greater mission. As individuals begin delighting in the LORD and yielding their will to Him, God’s Word promises that His desires will become their desires (Psalm 37:4). When such an exchange takes place spiritual resonance begins to occur.
Every servant of the Most High is called to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15),yet each one’s specific calling may be different. For some, preaching the Word resonates within them like no other task they have set their heart to. For others, the thought of working with children in the inner city causes them to be gripped with a sense of purpose. Reaching out to the CEO of a big five-business corporation with the love of Jesus may be what resonates within the individual who is passionately working in the business world. There are those who feel their very soul moved when a missionary comes to speak at their church because there is something about what these visitors do that resonates within them. We are all called to one purpose; but we are all unique and individually valuable to the overall goal that is outlined in God’s Word. Being willing to explore and understand oneself, and the vast array of ministry opportunities available, is the first step in understanding one’s natural spiritual frequency and thus “Resonating the Call.”
Spiritual Applications of Resonance
In order for resonance to occur three conditions must be present:
An object must have a natural frequency: Every object has one or more natural frequencies at which resonance may occur. The name given to these points on stringed instruments are harmonics.
Spiritual Application: Many people buy into the myth that there is only one isolated thing they can do for God in order to have peace and be successful. The truth is that God is not out to play a treasure hunt with us for His entertainment. Obviously, what we do must line up with His Word and His Commandments. As we mature our God given desires may change and so may our current place in ministry. There may be several things that resonate within a person at different stages in their life. When we refuse to listen to what God is trying to say, we do not feel like we are resonating, and we question our purpose in life. We all need to be willing to change in order to resonate with God’s frequency.
In his book Step By Step (1999), James Petty put it this way:
Discerning your gifts and motivation for exercising them are important issues when you seek to do God’s will in your work, both in the church and in your secular vocation. God assigns these gifts for service, and he gives each believer different ones. Therefore, God certainly has individual preferences for our individual ministries. He wants us to discover our gifts and ministry—not by looking into his secret plan, or by following clues to understanding his ideal plan for our lives, but by exercising insight into our own design, and faith and wise judgment in our use of those abilities.
Some of us will discover this aspect of God’s will fairly early and will reap some of the blessings as a result. Others will try to minister or work outside their giftedness and calling, and experience frustration. Sometimes that slowness of discernment can be caused by fear, pride, or plain foolishness (not listening) (p108-109).
In summary, each person has several natural frequencies (points at which they know they are doing what they are called to do) that resonate with God—He designed us that way. Finding those places in our lives may mean making some changes, laying aside our thoughts and plans, or stepping out in faith to discover other avenues God may be calling us to.
A forcing function at the same frequency as the natural frequency: The function does work on the object it is being applied to. Since work is a form of energy transfer it causes energy to build up in the object.
Spiritual Application: God knows the desires of our heart (Psalm 20, 21, 37 & 139). He knows our needs, passions, and abilities. He knows how to exert the right amount of energy on us to get our spirits to resonate. When God does work on us are we willing to recognize the call? When we resonate with what God is doing in our lives the natural outcome is a build up of spiritual energy in us (passion).
A lack of damping or energy loss: An object will resonate as energy builds up in the object. Anything that removes this energy interferes with resonance. Long before the vibrations reach infinity one of three things happen: 1) the objects dynamics change. Therefore, the resonant frequency and forcing function no longer match, 2) the energy lost as heat, sound, or light becomes equal to the energy input, 3) the object breaks (as in the opera singer and the glass).
Spiritual Application: Just as there are natural enemies of resonance, there are natural enemies of spiritual resonance (passion). Fatigue, life circumstances, disappointment, and resource depletion are a few examples of spiritual damping. At the same time, this natural affect also illustrates how individuals go through spiritual changes as they seek to resonate God’s call. There are times as Christians when we resonate well with what God is doing. At other times we do not. It is during these times that we must allow God to change our configuration so we can once again line ourselves up with what he is wanting to do.
Resonating the Call at North Central
It is our vision at North Central University to prepare Pentecostal leaders to serve God in the church and in the world. Part of that preparation lies in embracing who we are as children of God and servants of the Kingdom.
Through the services of the Counseling & Career Development office students can come to a safe environment to explore the things that God is revealing to them. Resonation, by its very nature, is a “contagious” reaction. When one object begins to resonate objects around them begin to resonate, too. As students begin to learn and be challenged in the academic and spiritual world offered at North Central they will begin to experience the resonation taking place around them. The Counseling & Career Development office is a place for students to come and explore this experience without fear of being judged, shunned or looked down upon.
It is the hope of this office that as students begin to understand their calling they will begin to resonate with a contagious passion for Christian service. In turn, if a student body is resonating the call of God, what will that do to the city that surrounds and world beyond that?
Scientific information taken from The Physics Class Room and Mathsoft Engineering and Education, Inc.