Discerning the Will of God
Twenty-four years ago, during the summer of 1999, I joined over a hundred college students from my state as summer missionaries. We received assignments for places all over the world. Mine landed me in Arizona.
A few days into our orientation, everyone received packets about their assignment. Many people had detailed itineraries and materials for preparation. My missions partner and I received a VBS backpack.
No welcome letter.
No idea where exactly we'd be serving other than Yavapai County (which I had looked up on a map after I received our assignment).
No information about what part of VBS they needed us to handle.
The missions director called us together about ten minutes later and commented that some of us had received a lot more information than others. He reminded us that we had answered God's call to the mission field for the summer. And God often doesn't give us detailed instructions for every step.
That's what faith is for.
Flash forward to 2023. Our Sunday School class has been studying the Holy Spirit through a book written by Francis Chan. This morning we discussed the difference between truly seeking the Holy Spirit's leading and asking Him to enhance what we're already doing.
It's tempting to zoom out and try to discern where God's work now is leading. This last year has been particularly trying. I've held on to the belief that God is using the difficulties I've encountered for a much larger mission. Believing this will all matter gives me just enough strength for another day.
Often in looking for God's will, we're tempted to keep our eyes on the end result, and we risk losing sight of what He's doing right in front of us.
I chose this week's verse as a reminder to myself to not skip over what God's doing today in an effort to predict what He's planning later.
The world tells us that our mission must be flashy and important and far-reaching, but God says the mission is wherever He has put us.
In our homes.
In our communities.
In our workplaces.
In our schools.
In our churches.
In our coffee shops.
In our everyday conversations.
When we stop focusing on the bigger picture, maybe we'll see the one little thing God has called us to do today.
I pray as we memorize this verse, we'll take a minute to examine our own thoughts.
How have we conformed to what the world believes we should be doing?
What does God's Word say is true?
How can we focus on one step at a time?
Use the images below as your phone's wallpaper or to share on social media as you memorize the verse this week.