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Are you desperately searching for God’s will for your life? Do you find yourself in the midst of decision-making, not knowing which way to turn?
I wrote the following post as I emerged from a heavy fog of depression.
Two kids leaving for college at the same time had me floored.
This is how I worked through the next phase of life and discovered God’s definite leading. At the time, I was babysitting Sawyer (number one grandson) almost daily.
Have you noticed that life is one continuously changing phase after another? We wonder what God would have us do in this new place.
We ponder. We pray. We obsess. We anxiously worry.
>passing of family members
>loss of friends through death or a severed relationship
>new life phase (such as empty nest, in my case).
Transitions in life seem overwhelming, even seemingly positive changes can be perceived in a negative light.
We’re uncertain of the next move.
Fill in the blank:
Now that __________, what is my role? How do I handle this? What’s the next step?
We want a definite answer.
Written instructions–preferably via air mail from heaven.
We need answers during transitions. How to find God's will for your life. Click To Tweet
God tells us in His Word what to do. I’ve searched earnestly and found answers.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus for you.” ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Here’s how to know the will of God:
If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you already have the number one reason to rejoice.
Christ died for your sins to wipe your slate clean, and give you a new lease on life:
1.) freedom from sin and it’s grip
2.) power through God to overcome and learn from through His Word and other believers
3.) eternal life with God in heaven someday
And he didn’t stay dead – He came back to life, ministered to many here on earth, then ascended to heaven so that ultimately, you can have life with Christ and God forever in heaven with all believers (I Corinthians 15:3-8).
But there’s more.
Rejoice in the big things, rejoice in the small things, take joy in every blessing you receive!
Rejoice: to feel or show great joy or delight.
synonyms: happiness, pleasure, joy, gladness, delight, elation, celebration, revelry, merrymaking.
What if I don’t feel like rejoicing? What if my heart is heavy? What if it’s all I can do to get up in the morning?
This verse shows that God does not wish a sad countenance for us.
And if Paul could do this, even though persecuted, in jail and in deplorable conditions, he must have known something about how to rejoice.
one time a day
one time a week
One time a year.
What was his secret?
Paul lived a life largely of imprisonment and persecution. What was his secret to joy? Click To Tweet
Pray without ceasing
>>people facing hard times
>>your own family
>>your own needs
And we don’t have to be on our knees the whole time because there is no way we could perform all of our responsibilities this way!
(Although fervent knee prayer is an essential element to communion with God.)
I pray when I’m alone in the car in the mornings on the way to pick up Sawyer.
It’s quiet, there’s nothing going on, just me and God communing.
But there are many other opportunities for prayer.
While I’m folding laundry, cleaning house, even fixing dinner.
I could keep a prayer list in my kitchen window. On my car dash. Even the bathroom mirror.
Praying without ceasing is acknowledging God’s presence continually.
Psalms 139:7, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?”
God is with us, even if we forget.
To pray without ceasing is to remember.
And to remember is to bring hope.
And to have hope, is to have joy.
Give thanks in everything
>breath of life
>beautiful fall leaves
>the kindness of a stranger
>the color yellow
There is nothing too small for which we can not give thanks, even in the dimmest of circumstances.
God never lets everything be terrible at once, have you noticed?
I have friends who regularly practice this. Friends in very low places now.
And yet, they choose to thank. And do you know what a regular practice of thankfulness produces?
In her book, One thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp took up a challenge to list one thousand things of thanks.
It transformed her, realizing she didn’t have to wait until life was just so to be thankful.
She was thankful in
>>the hard places.
>>the slow places
>>the heavy places
>>the every day
I took up the challenge too.
Mourning from losing two kids at once right out of the nest, I began to make thankfulness a habit.
“Thank you, God, for grass that needs cut. Thank you that my husband has to leave me for work, because that means he still has a job. Thank you that my kids grew to mature adults and left home, and are thriving and succeeding on their own. Thank you for toys strewn all over my house, because now I have Sawyer (number one grandson). Thank you that I have the strength to get up at 6:00AM to go pick him up for the day. Thank you, God, for those leaves out there on my deck, the ones that I have to sweep every day in the fall. Because it means there was life – a transformation of beauty in the dying of those leaves – and that mattered to You.”
I slowly returned to joy.
It took a while – the habit to thank and be joyful.
But it did come. And when it came, I caught a glimpse of God’s will.
A light shone on the pathway, a step at a time. And God showed me what He wanted me to do.
What was God’s will?
No longer homeschooling, all my kids gone except one.
I didn’t know my purpose in life.
I needed something that mattered.
And in His time, God placed me in a place to care for my grandson.
He showed me what was right in front of me. The kids were gone, I had learned joy, my mourning had lessened, and it was time to pick up and move on.
begin writing again.
I had stopped, because my heart was heavy.
Then one day, a friend missed my blog.
“I don’t know if I can even write anymore.”
Every time I pondered it during my low period, I just felt empty – like there was nothing to write. Nothing to encourage or bring a smile.
But I decided to try.
And I found that I still had words. And the more I wrote, the more words I had.
Pretty soon, the blog posts began rolling out again.
And then: more joy. More peace. Like I was supposed to be doing this.
Because I am.
God has shown me this already; this was God’s will for my life.
It was right there in front of me, but I had forgotten.
Find God’s will for your life
And so, my friend, I challenge you to do the same.
And then claim joy again. Look at what is right in front of you. Seek wise counsel.
God will show you His will, in His time.
Just keep rejoicing, praying, and thanking, keep doing the will of God, as outlined in His Word – His guidelines.
Because that is what’s most important to Him.
Then, He will show you the rest.
And sometimes, it’s right in front of you.
“That you may be filled with the knowledge of HIS WILL in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who as qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14
Postscript: Since making the decision to commit to blogging regularly, God directed me to a godly Christian blogger mentor, who started a Christian Blogger’s Bootcamp, which lead to a whole new passel of friends with the same goals! I learned, applied, and built my own, brand spankin’ new blog site. (Which you are now viewing.)
Iron sharpens iron. When God calls you to do something, He does not leave you without support. He carefully places godly people in your path to help you along. This is how God works, for He said in I Corinthians 12:27 that we are all members of one body, working toward the goal of glorifying Him and reaching others for Him.
God is working in your life too, friend. But just remember, meeting our goals is not the aim of God’s will.
It’s capturing joy in the journey.
PS Are you desperately seeking God’s will for your life? I’d love to know your experience in the comments below!
Can’t control your temper?
In Count to Nine, moms discover a Scripturally sound, methodical approach for taming the temper. Ruthie Gray, mother of four and grandparent of two, gently guides frazzled mothers of all ages toward God’s Word, His view on anger, and the nine steps to overcoming wrath.
In this ebook, you will learn
*The surprising reasons behind your anger
*The mind-blowing truth of God’s view on anger
*One eye-opening tactic for changing your reactions
*How the staggering power of unbelief can keep you from change
*How to triumph through one key attitude adjustment
*How to gain victory over a life-long stronghold
*And much, much more!
The author, Ruthie Gray, transparently shares her own motherhood struggles, instantly connecting with moms through her “been there” approach. Moms will find victory, new hope, and support through this encouraging method of actionable Scripture verses and Scripture prayers.
Dear mom, isn’t it time for you to Count to Nine?