I’m employed by a reformed Church denomination in the UK, and I will be coming into retirement from that particular ministry in June 2023. Although I have something like 40 years of ministry behind me, I like to think that I still have lots of wonderful years ahead 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.
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!
The Creator will take care of quality if I take care of the quantity. In both the old and new Testaments, we see many examples of this principle at work. So, understanding this, I began to pray and fast about my future, and over the last six months, particularly, I can see 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 patients to find out and to move into God’s will for one’s life. There are a few questions that come to mind, 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?
Well, for me, God always confirms what to do. I always wait for confirmation because I learned a long time ago that rushing into things only leads to disaster; I got many T-shirts on that one! 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.
Stop Wheel Spinning
When I get a few ideas and feel it’s the way to go, I set up some planner’s projects and goals, then I begin to beaver away at them. (I’m setting up a new YouTube channel and coaching website, so watch this space) And of course, life doesn’t as smoothly as we would like, so some projects just don’t work out, and try to work giving more time to them- but its like trying to raise a dead corpse! I might really love the project but I feel I have wasted so much time on because I really thought would fly! It’s frustrating, and very upsetting when my efforts eventually came to absolutely nothing. But then other projects seem to work very well. So, what to do? I stop spinning my wheels and simply cut off those things that are not working, then spend my time and energy with the things that are.
Listen to Others
I was making a pastoral phone call recently and a dear lady in support of her. Due to the COVID lockdown, the telephone is the best way to care for others, as I cannot visit my Church members. Anyway, we were chatting, the conversation develops 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 being led into. Sometimes I hear a small still voice, but more often, God speaks to me through my circumstances and the peace I fell 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 move forward and see where it leads. Those projects that seem to work, I feel that God is giving me the 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.
We Are All Different
We hear Gods voice differently from one another because we are unique individuals, with unique experiences. 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 move forward and accomplish the things that I have, achieved things in my life right now, and the success that I now enjoy 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. We all have been given natural talents, gifts, and abilities. Also, we possess supernatural gifts, talents and abilities and are to use all those things to perform the will of God in our lives, so others may be blessed.
Forwards not Backwards
Sometimes moving forward is not a ride in the park, but that’s fine, don’t give up, one step at a time 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 to me to 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 great for this, like a Kanban board. This helps me manage what 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 your life. God is the leader, but you put it into practice.
Planning, Goals and Projects
Its 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 can see the pattern and 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.
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Paula Rose Parish
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