Even mature Christians struggle with discerning the specific will of God at times. We know that prayer is the very heart of the will of God and that reading the Bible on a daily basis brings joy to our lives. We understand that tithing is God's plan when it comes to personal finances and we also firmly believe that serving others is part of God's plan for a believer this side of heaven.
But what do you do when you don't know what to do next? What do you do when you have prayed for clear direction concerning a specific decision and you find yourself still standing at the crossroads of "I Don't Know Boulevard" and "Which Way Should I Go Avenue"?
You do the next right thing. You put one foot in front of the other and take the next step of faith. If you need a new job then spend time volunteering at the church and give of your time and talents to those you can bless. If you need financial provision, give extra in the offering this week.
If you are praying that God would open significant doors of ministry for you, perhaps it begins by simply teaching the third grade Sunday school class. If you are asking God for a baby, offer to babysit for a couple that needs a night off.
What is the next right thing that God is calling you to do? My husband and I have been in full-time pastoral ministry for the past 38 years. This Sunday, we are turning the church over to a young couple who has been a spiritual son and daughter to us. As we ponder what is next for us in this rich season of life, Craig is partnering with a missions organization to take the Gospel around the world. I am writing another book and continuing to teach the Word of God to anyone who will listen! We don't know specifically what God has for us in this new season of life and so every day we just determine what is the next right thing to do and then we do it.
We are engaging our neighbors in conversation and in leading them to the Lord.
We are praying for the people who have blessed us over the years.
We are putting our house on the market in order to prepare for an unknown future.
We are meeting with people who are praying for us and who have the ability to speak words of wisdom into our lives.
We are mowing the lawn, cleaning out the basement, and training up the next generation of leaders.
We are enjoying the grandchildren, taking care of our mothers and planning missions trips.
I am submitting new book proposals, writing new Bible studies and praying for open doors.
We are doing the next right thing every day. The miracle that happens when you simply decide to do "the next right thing" is that your life becomes a Petrie dish of provision, of ministry and of opportunities!
If you are questioning God today or if you are wondering what God's will for your life is, just do the next right thing. I can guarantee you that God will meet you there!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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