Some people are born knowing what they will do for the rest of their lives. That was so not the case for me…I thought I’d be a Psychiatrist or Chistian Counselor when I graduated from high school. Then I got to college and felt called to full time ministry during one chapel service ‘wherever and however’ God chose -more of that specificity I was craving; while I was mulling around during my college years, choosing and changing majors, part of my process was consulting with spiritually mature people around me who might’ve been able to provide sage advice- of which there was no shortage at the time. For a few years, I participated in Evangelism Explosion -a ministry where we would pair up or go out in teams of 3 -4 people one weeknight and share the gospel with people that either asked for a home visit or that we happened upon. On one such evening, my team lead was the Minister of Music who we’ll call Min. M because I can see his face but have completely forgotten his name. The Ministers at the church I attended while away at college were really down-to-earth and good natured people. One evening, as we (me and one of my good friends from school) were riding around evangelizing with Minister M., I seized the opportunity to pick his brain about how to decide what I should do with the rest of my life. Ya know, just regular small talk. It came as no surprise that my friend, a Senior at the time, still had the same burning question. He said two things (in answer to two of my questions) that burrowed a hole in my spirit where they reside to this day and help me during moments of decision making.
How do I determine God’s purpose and will for my life?
Answer: When you don’t know what to do, do what you know TO do.
There it is. So simple yet so profound…truth. So simple we ignore it, so profound that we fail to get it. Yet the truth remains…
- SIMPLE –There is much of God’s will that is already revealed to us in His word. “What has God required of you but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8. “1Rejoice at all times. 17Pray without ceasing. 18Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” I Thessalonians 5: 15 – 17. “The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 “ Go, therefore, and make disciples of[b] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Matt 28:19 – 20. The list goes on and on. However, the hard truth is that these are often difficult things to do especially in our own strength. They are impossible. We have to learn to allow the Holy Spirit to bear fruit in our lives and help us do the things that are clear in God’s Word for us to do and that work, my friends, simply takes time. Often getting to God’s specific will means being faithful over time with His revealed will -the things in scripture that are clear and plainly the will of God for our lives.
- PROFOUND- We tend to look for God to speak to us in overtly monumental ways when He typically speaks to us in the mundane moments of life. Like Moses at the burning bush. He was out doing what he typically did, tending the sheep and God spoke to Him in a very ordinary place. The advice became clearer a little later in life, when I heard a sermon that said: Too often, we stop short; keep doing the last thing we heard God say until God tells us to do something else! 🤦🏾♀️ We often fail to simply be consistent with what God has already told us to do so He simply can’t give us step 2 because we haven’t even completed step 1 yet. What would’ve happened if Moses got sick of helping Jethro with the sheep and decided he’d skip going out that week. He wouldn’t have seen the burning bush through which God spoke to Him. I definitely get distracted easily -wondering what I’m supposed to be doing, while I am not even doing God’s revealed will but seeking something more specific. Which if I’m honest normally equates to seeking something more palatable, more convenient, easier, or socially acceptable.
When you don’t know what to do, do what you know TO do. Focus on what you know to do while you wait on and trust God to reveal the rest…knowing that learning to recognize God’s voice is a process that requires leaps of faith, time in His presence, time in His word, and faithful obedience on our part to do what we know to do.