I’ve gotten to talk with several members of my family this week about the Lord’s timing. Because of certain things that have happened in my life over the last few months, I’ve been having to re-evaluate what I originally saw as “the right direction.” You recognize that feeling, right? That seemingly elusive manner of thinking that we believe the Lord is going to magically lead us down. And don’t shake your head! I know you’ve thought about it at least once. Finding our way on this journey called life is way more intentional AND unintentional than we make it. Now I don’t have the perfect answer for this, but let me try to explain. I’m going to follow this with short snippets of lessons I’ve learned, from which you can hopefully glean something encouraging.
Seeking the Lord’s will comes through being intentional.
This can cover many things, such as:
Reading the Bible on a consistent basis.
- This is one of the things that I try to fit in the most because it gets my mind focused on God’s truth for the day. This can be as simple as reading a devotion, or more detailed, such as finding a commentary for a specific passage you are reading. I personally like choosing a favorite book of the Bible and reading through chapter by chapter. If you’d like somewhere to start, I recommend Philippians, John, Proverbs, or Romans.
Praying throughout the day, not just at church
This has helped me to evaluate things in life. Most of the times situations are not as urgent or even important as they initially appear. For example, whenever I am just going through my day I remember to thank the Lord for the little things. The sun, the birds, a quiet moment, a coworker’s smile. How much of this do we forget to thank the Lord for? Don’t forget to use those silent moments just to listen. What has God been trying to say to your spirit that you’ve been ignoring because you’re busy? Take that moment (Keep reading below!). Then when something really huge comes up, we can already be tuned in to Him.
Taking time to be by yourself, just to listen to the Lord
- This is when I learn: It’s not about me. God has many things to teach me, and it doesn’t usually have anything to do with my attitude or what I wish would happen! I can’t force God’s will to happen by “willing it” into existence (such as through meditation, etc.) God speaks to me better, however, when I am open to hear what he has to say. Otherwise, He usually just sends a wise person to lay out the truth. That usually hurts. When I’ve spent time in this sort of meditation, it has nothing to do with becoming one with the earth, or with myself, or anything like that. Rather, it is me allowing God to actually pour into me through the Holy Spirit, and allow me to understand more and more about His will. I will probably write another blog on this sometime.
Surrounding yourself with positive influences
- Can I just direct you attention to the meme below? I know that this is not a Bible verse or any other spiritual saying, but it is so accurate! You know those days that nothing seems to be going right, and you’ve fallen down so many times that you can’t remember which way is up, and yet you find a way to stand up and just stare the day in the face, refusing to be beaten? This saying is for you! Find people who can be encouraging in your life, and who (like the previous point) will speak truth to you–even when you don’t want to hear it.
- **I halfheartedly apologize for that huge run-on sentence! It needed to be there! 😉
Don’t listen to everyone (focus on the Lord)
- Bilbo Baggins was the everyday hero. If you’ve ever read The Hobbit (or seen the movie…well, just read the book anyways!) you’ll know what I’m talking about. He was a normal “hobbit.” He did what others expected of him and he was content to do so. But then one day, Gandalf challenged him to adventure to the Misty Mountains, and could not even guarantee his safety. Yet after many years, the adventure became Bilbo’s “new normal.” I think sometimes we get so caught up in what we’re comfortable with that we ignore when the Lord comes in to shake us up! Let’s remember that there is a great adventure out there waiting for us!
featured image by dirtbindesigns.blogspot.com