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For the past year or so, I have been seeking God to what he wants me to do in the next five years of my life. I’m employed by a reformed denomination in the UK, and I will be coming into retirement from that particular ministry in 2023. Although I have something like 40 years of ministry behind me, I like to think that I still have lots of wonderful years to contribute to serving the Lord. I am young at heart and certainly not ready for retirement anytime soon, if at all. Like anything in life, it doesn’t just happen by itself, so I need to plan for the future. This poses questions as- How does God speak to you? How are you led by God? How do you know that it is God leading you and not your own imagination?
I’ve seen too many Christians seeking God’s will but never putting anything into action; then, many years down the track, they find themselves in the same place from when they started. I learned early in my years that hanging around doing nothing is not how to accomplish God’s will in my life; to the contrary, we are co-workers with Christ. God provides inspiration, and we provide the perspiration! Our Great creator will take care of quality if you take care of the quantity. In both the old and new Testaments, we see many examples of this principle at work. Understanding this, I began to pray and fast about my future and began working hard on various projects. Then, I saw things very slowly, at a snail pace, unfolding before me. I guess that’s why Lord says, James 1:3, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. It certainly takes faith and undoubtedly takes heaps of patience, not to mention endurance, to find out and to move into God’s will for one’s life. It’s not easy. But the discipleship walk in Christ isn’t easy, and God never promised it so.
How God speaks and leads me is that he always confirms the thing I am doing; what I feel in my heart to do is the right thing. I never used to, but I have learnt to always wait for confirmation. I learned a long time ago that rushing headlong into situations only leads to disaster; I got many T-shirts on that one! So, now I wait for confirmation because the Bible says that every word shall be established out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. 2 Corinthians 13:1 This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. You will find that this is a universal principle of God’s in the way he leads his people, unfolding his mind to us, so we can have the mind of Christ. When I get a few ideas and feel it’s how I should go, I set up some planner’s projects and goals, then I begin to beaver away at them. (I’m setting up a new planner YouTube channel and website, so watch this space) Some projects haven’t worked out, which eventually came to absolutely nothing despite the prayer and effort. However, other projects seem to be working fine. So, what to do? I simply cut off those things that are not working, refusing to agonise over them while I spend my time with the things that are.
I was making a pastoral phone call recently to a dear lady who recently had a bereavement. Due to the COVID lockdown, I cannot visit my Church members, so the telephone is the best way to care for others. Anyway, we were chatting when the conversation developed about finding God’s will in our lives and a few things that she said to me I knew that it was God speaking through her. How did I know it was God speaking through her? It was because she had confirmed something that I was already in my thoughts. In my 40year plus walk with the Lord, I have had a handful of dramatic supernatural experiences, but that is not the norm for everyday life. Sometimes I hear a small still voice, but more often, God speaks to me through my circumstances, other people, the Word of God. I know it is God speaking because of the peace I feel around it. God seems to plant an idea in my head, and it well it may even be my own idea, and very often I can’t determine which is me or which is God, but regardless, I wait and see if God confirms it. If so, I move forward and see where it leads. Those projects that seem to work, I feel that God is giving me further ideas to develop the project. And through the medium of research and learning from other people’s experience, I’m able to develop those projects into fruition. Then I do my best to tend and nurture to grow it, but ultimately it is up to God to bless it to make it flourish. Some sow, some reap, but God give the increase-
1 Corinthians 3:7 So neither they who plants or waters are anything, but only God who gives the growth.
The Lord may speak to you in a big booming voice from time to time, a handful of times in my life that is happened to me. However, if I wait for that sort of supernatural manifestation, I would be in the same place as I was 30 years ago. I would not have moved forward and accomplished what I have if I had waited for supernatural manifestations. The reality is that God wants us to work with him. Our Creator has given us a brain to use. If we need wisdom, we can ask God for some (I do every day). We all have been given natural talents, gifts, and abilities, and we need the wisdom to best use them. Also, we possess supernatural gifts, talents and abilities, and we are to use all those things to perform the will of God in our lives, so the kingdom can come into others’ lives.
Sometimes ideas don’t work out, that’s fine, but we don’t give up; we just keep moving forward. God speaks to me through my circumstances, 90% of the time. The word of God is illuminated to me, or somebody else’s words confirm what I already know. God will illuminate my path as his love light shined on the path ahead, so I know I’m heading in the right direction.
Over the years, I have found it imperative to write all my ideas, thoughts, and God words to me down. I sort then into goals and develop projects from them. From the project, I break it down into tasks so I can bring the project to life. I use many different tools for this, like the Kanban board system. This helps me to manage what I believe God is telling me to do. God won’t manage your life; that’s your job! God put Adam and Eve on this earth to care for it and subdue it, in other words, to manage it. God has given your life to care for and to be the manager of it. God is the leader and your cheerleader, but it is YOU who puts it all into practice.
START IN PRAYER
We are still early into 2021, and it’s not too late for you to set your goals and projects and set out your tasks. Where to start? I encourage you to start with prayer and, if necessary, fasting. Be diligent and set time aside; it might be half a day, one day, several days or a whole week. Whatever is suitable for you, make sure that you have a journal and write absolutely everything down that pops into your head. Jot it all down that is illuminated from Gods Word or that somebody says that resonates. If you write them down, you won’t forget them or misunderstand the concept, and you can see the pattern, the ebb a flow in them. We see God in the patterns and the movements of creation, and we can perceive God’s will in the movements and the patterns of our lives.
So, God bless you. I hope that sharing how God speaks to me has helped you in some small way. Let if this article has been helpful to you. Also, let me know how you seek God and what the outcomes where.
Until next time- Jesus loves you, so Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love,
Rev Paula 💕
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