Many of us can struggle trying to decide what God wants us to do. It is clear from Scripture that God has a purpose for each of us. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote:
11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NASV)
God has a plan for each of us. He has a future destiny laid out for you. But knowing God’s purpose for our lives can be a struggle and many times we find ourselves sitting and doing nothing waiting for a messenger from heaven to hand deliver our instructions.
I think that is a mistake. If you want to know God’s will for your life, get out of your chair and start moving. This is exactly the advice that King Solomon gave:
The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NASV)
We are told that we can make our plans, but God directs our steps. But the key to God guiding our steps is those plans we make. In fact for God to supervise our steps, we have to be walking, moving forward. If you are sitting in your chair wondering what God wants you to do, how can God direct your steps?
So what are your plans? What do you want to do? The Bible says that God will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).
What skills do you have?
Do you like writing? Then start a blog.
Do you want to teach the Bible? Then get involved in a home group or start a Bible study.
Start moving so God can direct your steps. This applies to secular as well as spiritual.
Even if you are not absolutely sure this is what your supposed to be doing, do it. I felt God wanted me to start OpentheWord.org, but if someone had asked, “Are you absolutely certain this is what God wants you to do?” — I couldn’t have answered that question with an unequivocal yes. But I did it anyway.
This is basically how we ended up with OpentheWord. I had a desire to write and provide Biblical teaching, so I started the site in 2007. In its early years, we were basically republishing articles, with permission, from other Christian websites.
I was moving.
But then God began to direct my steps and it wasn’t fun.
In 2012, we started having major issues on the site. Due to problems on the server that was hosting OpentheWord, we were unable to update our software resulting in major technical problems. This combined with the decision by our hosting company to close down its service, I was forced to completely shutdown OpentheWord.
It was a frustrating time and I started thinking that perhaps God was telling me to close down the website. But looking back I see this trouble was very much part of God’s way of directing my steps.
Sometimes when God is guiding our steps it is not a fun time. We can lose our job and look upon it as failure, but during this time of confusion we should be asking is God directing my steps?
As I wrestled with the decision on whether to permanently close, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying something completely different. He wanted to change how we ran the site.
Instead of republishing other people’s article, the Lord wanted us write our own articles. This was a major shift in direction.
Yet, without the trouble, I don’t think I would have made that change.
The difficulty we ran into was a large sign on the road reading: “Change of direction. Go this way.”
After being closed for several months, we relaunched OpentheWord in July 2013. Since we had not been operational for several months, I wasn’t sure how many people would return to the site and if they did would they appreciate the change in direction?
During the last six months of 2013 we had 4,022 people visit the site or just over 650 people a month. This was considerably down from the number of visitors we had before our closure.
But in recent months, we have seen a dramatic increase in visits. And today we can have nearly as many people visiting OpentheWord on a daily basis as we did in a month in 2013. Those these are not huge numbers in Internet terms, they are big for us.
But here is the key because I was moving forward, God could direct my steps.