And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)
What’s holding you back?
Too many times we believe the idea that we need to “level up” before God uses us. That we need to look a certain way first, make a certain amount of money first, figured out this or that first, get (insert a major goal of yours) first.
And trust me, I’ve been there, too. We live in a world that demands certain qualifications before the job, the school, the opportunity, the next step. We often base our value on our resumes or the amount of likes we get on Instagram.
In Part Two of the Trust Series we discussed key points to look for to identify God’s gifts in our lives–and how to learn what’s not of Him. When God moves, He reflects His character. Even in the midst of difficult decisions, God can provide clarity. He’s not a God of confusion!
In Part One of the series, we discussed how to abandon fear and hold onto faith when it comes to following God’s commands. When we’ve been seeking God, and He says “yes,” we can move forward knowing He’s with us every step of the way.
However, what happens if we go off track? What do we do when we realize we’re not on the course God has for us?
Today, in Part Three of the Trust Series we’re going back to basics.
There’s a key component in discovering God’s will for your life, and it’s as simple as this:
In Part One of the Trust Series, we discussed practical steps to take in order to follow God’s direction with confidence. By having the right perspective and obeying His Word, we can trust His lead when we follow His calling.
However, how do we identify God’s direction in the first place?
Seasons constantly change. New situations arise. New doors open. New dreams emerge. Oftentimes, when circumstances shift, it can be hard to tell whether open doors are just good or really God.
Nevertheless, God wants to provide the best for you, and He doesn’t want to hide His will from you. As you grow in your relationship with the Lord, you become better acquainted with His character. In Malachi 3:6, God declares, “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (NKJV). God moves in recognizable ways. He doesn’t alter who He is or His Word. So, His gifts will have His fingerprints on them.
In order to discern true gifts, we must know the One who gave them.
Today, In Part Two of the series, we’ll be discussing helpful ways to identify God’s gifts in our lives. It’s time to demystify the notion of God’s will. His will is practical, every day and secured by His grace. It doesn’t require perfection, but it requires willingness and humility. No matter the circumstance, God’s direction is not meant to be a mysterious set of rules but a clear purpose we live out daily that leads to freedom.
We often say we want God’s plan for our life. God’s best for us. God’s purpose for us. God’s blessing for us.
But when it comes to actually discerning His will, things can feel a little blurry.
We easily can fall into the trap of overthinking God’s plan. Feeling confidence one day about a new direction, then complete confusion the next. Asking countless questions without finding peace in answers. Being so hard on ourselves that we think we’re not good enough for what God has for us.
Whether we realize it or not, we may be approaching His will wrongly. Making it an option over a command. Making it a complicated mystery over a practical lifestyle. Making it about fearing irreversible mistakes over embracing growth and truth.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll learn how to understand and follow God’s path for our lives in the Trust Series. This three-part blog series will cover:
Having the courage to GO when God says, “Yes” (Part One)
Discerning God’s true gifts when they appear (Part Two)
Examining our lives to know whether we’re walking in obedience (Part Three)
Today, in Part One, we’re tackling the fear of taking steps of faith. This part is for those with the willing heart. Those who are ready for obedience and who are walking in it, ready for God to move.
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
(Psalm 104:24 NIV)
On Tuesday, January 23, I was in prayer during my morning quiet time. Just as I began praying, I felt a sudden chill. I was sitting near an open window, but I didn’t feel a draft whatsoever moments before.
Before I knew it, the sky darkened, and rain began pouring down. Heavy, hitting the cement in hard, rhythmic drops. Loud. Out of nowhere.
Within three minutes or less, the rain stopped. Silence all over again. The clouds parted slightly letting in some light back into the room.
Talk about a dramatic change.
It got me thinking about how miraculously God works. When God moves, He moves. It’s obvious, it’s clear. You know He’s present. You see His fingerprints. You see doors open. What might take a human years to do, God can do in the blink of an eye.
Now, almost two months later, Thursday, March 22, I was again reminded of this phenomenon. This time, my morning devotions didn’t involve a sudden shift in the weather. Instead, it involved a look into Psalm 104.
Life has different seasons. Times of joy, times of loss. Times of preparation, times of blessings. But what happens when our current season is tough? What is the purpose of difficulties and trials?
The Bible has a lot to say about seasons. In today’s YouTube video, I talk about how we can use God’s Word to identify our current season–and understand the beautiful transformation that can take place in our lives today!
Click below to watch!
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Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
You can’t stand, because the place you’re in is too narrow. You can only crawl. You can’t see up ahead, and there’s not enough space for you to turn around if you wanted to. The only direction to move is forward, even though you have no idea where you’re going.
Not ideal? Yeah, I know.
When I was in elementary school, I went to a science museum with my brothers, and we experienced the Touch Tunnel. Eighty feet of pitch-black darkness, and the only way to move through was to crawl. The purpose of the tunnel was to show the significance of sight in our experience of the world.
All we had now was ourselves and our ability to feel our way through a strange abyss.
I may or may not have been afraid of the dark, but one consolation was the employee’s voice that came through the speakers any time we stalled in the tunnel: “Stay to the left, the left, the left…”
(Try not to think of Beyoncé’s lyrics. Okay, now you’re thinking about them. Anyways…)
That was the key to escape: Keep left. There were alternate routes that could lead us off course, but because we listened to the voice, we were out in no time and free to enjoy the rest of our day at the museum.
Looking back, I knew I would escape (of course), but the feeling of being stuck in a cramped place was uncomfortable.
We like our freedom. We like to know we can move around whenever and wherever we want. We like to know we can show up when we want and leave as we please. We like the lights on to see, and we like to turn the lights off when we’re done.
When something comes in and restricts us or takes away what we always had, it’s not only shocking, it can be devastating.
Maybe your top university rejected your application or you didn’t get the job at the only company you could see yourself working. Perhaps you lost a relationship that was dear to you or experienced the death of a loved one. Your finances didn’t improve the way they needed to or an important event you were waiting on got canceled. You didn’t get the score to pass that exam or you weren’t qualified enough for that program.
Disappointments can come in many forms: rejection, betrayal, failure…you name it. Each case leaves the same feeling: You had a wonderful grasp on your future, and now it’s gone. The future fell far out of your hands before you could even reach out and rescue it.
You did your best. You’ve exhausted all your efforts. Now you don’t know where to go.
Today’s Feature is a sermon about how God communicates with us. A relationship with Him involves two way communication. As we speak to God, He speaks back to us. However, identifying His voice can often seem difficult. I came across this video several months ago, and it completely transformed and challenged how I listen to Him on a daily basis.
It’s a longer video but completely worth the watch. Click below to check it out!