I was guest preacher at a very fine mission church near my apartment this past Sunday. As always, it’s such a joy and privilege to share the Good News of God’s love for us in Christ! I talked about the possibility that our purpose in God can become clearer as we age, even as our life options become more narrow (jobs, time, health, whatever these options may be). I shared on the process of waiting, discerning, and reconciling with things, people, and places in our lives as steps toward fulfilling our callings.
As I continue in a time of discernment here in Southern California, I’m often reminded of this promise from the Book of Proverbs … it has been an encouragement to me all the way back to college days when I first memorized it:
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:6, KJV)
I use the King James because that’s how I first was introduced to scripture and I find it really does stick in my mind.
Do you ever find yourself feeling like you’re wandering – maybe, aimlessly – looking for a hint of what you’re supposed to do!? I have often felt that way since arriving in Southern California four months ago. It would be easy if God would just make it clear and loud – “THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!” – but, I find that God doesn’t speak to me that way.
I was thinking about it the other day: As a parent would I want my children, at any age, to constantly be asking me, “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, DAD?!” It would be sad to see a child grow up without the confidence to just BE and DO his or her best without fear or people-pleasing. I would want my own children to be confident in who they are and from whence they come. I would want them to know that their decisions and steps in this life will not be without risk and setbacks, but to know even more that they have all they need to move forward with boldness!
In my own walk with the Lord, I find that I need to claim more of who I am “in Christ”, a child of the King, beloved by God, infused with the strength and gifts of the Holy Spirit, equipped with the counsel of Scripture and upheld by so many good, faith-filled people! How can I fail with such a strength beneath my feet?!
Wherever you may be today … with the decisions, even the dilemmas that face you … right there, I believe “God is”. Right there, I know that if we “acknowledge Him”, giving honor, thanks, and praise, sharing our testimony, and receiving the promise of loving providence in our hearts, there will be nothing to separate us from that great Love that is guiding our steps – not dictating, but guiding. Still, we must take the steps. God will not do this for us.
I pray today for the confidence to act, the assurance to know and honor the image of God within my own life and person, to be free from people-pleasing or fear of failure, and to grow into the full stature of Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me. Oh, Lord, I move forward in You, and I thank you for guiding my steps. Amen.