Most days I’m up before the sun. In part, because I love mornings! There’s just something about waking up to the reality that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:21-24). These days, though, it’s also because of my puppy, JJ (yes, after JJ Watt and my daughter’s obsession with him). Early morning licks click on my brain, and I might was well just get up.
Once my first cup of coffee is brewed, I find myself stealthily maneuvering through the dark to curl up with God in what I call my cozy corner in my office. JJ comes too. He loves my oversized chair and ottoman just as much as I do. It’s our snuggle time.
The other morning, as I made my way in the pitch black, java in one hand and iPad in the other, the screen’s slight glow dimly lit my way.
I have just enough light for my next step, and that’s it, I thought. Lord, I feel like that’s how You are leading me right now.
My thoughts immediately turned to my daughter, too. It’s her senior year, and it troubles her to have no idea what she wants to do with her life. She’s acutely aware of her passion to make a difference in the lives of girls who are victims of sex trafficking, and I encourage her to see this passion as a huge piece of the puzzle God’s revealing in His purpose for her. But she wants a plan – a walk-it-out, make-a-life vision that guides her choice of college, major, internships, volunteer work, jobs, etc.
Sometimes God leads us with just enough light for our very next step. Tweet this!
But God’s giving her just enough glow to take the very next step. And as she does, He continues to give her clues: glow for her the next step after that.
Her job at a fast food restaurant is showing her that she doesn’t want a career where the work is repetitive. Her volunteer work at a local non-profit is confirming her need to make a difference in hurting lives. Her work for our company has made it clear that she’s a no-nonsense get-it-done kind of gal who’s going to find the most efficient, effective and productive means to an end.
Each clue is being manifested in the dim glow of God’s light.
Sometimes God uses clues instead of detailed plans. Tweet this!
So she’s learning trust. Because if we see it all and can make a plan for our purpose on our own, we don’t need God as much, do we? The Bible tells us that without faith it’s impossible to please God. So wouldn’t it make sense, then, that whatever God has for us to please Him is going to require faith? And what requires more faith than walking where we can’t see?
The Bible tells us His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). God lights the way! The thing is, He gets to choose the brightness, preciseness and distance of the light. Sometimes it’s a laser beam – a distinct, red line defining the exact path and end point. Other times, it’s a spotlight, giving us a definite end point with a bit broader line of sight along the way. Sometimes, it’s like the sun, and we can see everything everywhere. But then, it might be the slightest dim glow with just enough light for the very next step.
God is teaching my daughter and I this lesson together, and maybe you’re right there with us. Waiting for a wider or longer view of His plans can be unsettling and frustrating, but here’s what God is showing us: when you’re unsure of where God is leading you, simply do the next thing God has right in front of you. For my daughter, it’s finishing high school. That’s her job right now. And as she does, I know God will continue to shine His light on what she needs to know to make her next decisions.
When you’re unsure of where God is leading you, simply do the next thing God has right in front of you.
For me, having just finished my new Bible study currently called 30 Days to Walk the Talk: Genuine Christian Living One STEP at a Time, it’s piloting the study with a few close friends and my women’s Bible study group. Beyond that, I have no idea what God’s plans are for this book, but I know He’s taught me everything in it, and I know the first step is to share it in a trial environment. So that’s what I’m doing. And I know that as I do – as I obey what He has shown me, He will show me what’s next according to His perfect timing.
Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs and assures us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Following Him by the whatever light He gives requires our TOTAL dependence on God:
Trust Him. He is faithful to His promises. He won’t leave us hanging, but He will do things according to His perfect plan and time. When we’re waiting for His direction, we can do so standing on His faithfulness.
Obey Him. We may not know what’s next, but I dare say we know what we’re supposed to be doing right now. Whatever it is, do it and as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). If in doubt, focus on what His word tells us to do as His children as a whole. Pick something and do it! Obedience may be the very thing that flips the switch on God’s light for your path!
Turn to Him and toward His light. Don’t allow impatience to become a diversion that takes your eyes off God in search of something that feels more concrete in the moment. He doesn’t just have your answers, He is the answer, so even if He’s not giving you an answer, you have Him, and thus you have the Answer.
Ask God to guide you. Ask Him to fill you with knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9).
Listen for God to answer with a heart surrendered to His will. Sometimes if we don’t like the answer we get, we tell ourselves He’s not answering or we create confusion as we try to force an answer that’s more in line with what we want. His will is the safest and best place for us and our loved ones; learn to listen with a desire for His will above all.
As we trust God and He shows Himself trustworthy, we are able to trust more. He grows our faith. In trusting Him, we find Him, and when we find Him, we discover there’s nowhere else to turn. One step at a time, if we keep our eyes on the Son and allow Him to light the way, His glow will lead us where He wants us go.
Think about God’s faithfulness. What would you do if you truly believed He had everything under control and could trust Him without doubt or wavering?
Is there an area of your life where you feel like you’re in the dark?
Can you identify the very next step God wants you to take, even if it’s general to all His children and not specific to your situation?
What would it take for you to take that very next step?