~In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. ~
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV84)
Have you ever tried and tried to get something done, knowing it’s what you are supposed to be doing, but you just can’t seem to get it done? I find that usually means that I’ve gotten out of step with the Father. See it is not only His Plan and Vision that we are to surrender to, but His Course and Timing as well. Too often we hear a calling, decide we know the way to get there and set out on a path that we created, proudly proclaiming that we are fulfilling the Will of God for our lives.
It took me the longest time to even begin the depths of the fact that God doesn’t need my input. His plan is not contingent on my ideas. All God requires to act in my life is my invitation, my obedience, and my faith. Once I give Him control and surrender to His Will, all that’s left is for me to sit back and follow directions…right? Sounds simple enough, so what makes this such a difficult concept?
Feelings, transforming the mind, and all the other usual culprits aside…the one that I meet up with most often is finding balance. “Waiting on the Lord” won’t get you very far if your definition of wait is to sit back looking for someone else to do something. The word used for wait in the Old Testament means to wait, look for, hope, and expect. One of the definitions for wait on is to attend as a servant. All of these definitions are action words, things that must be done. Action is required. This is a fact. We have a part to play in God’s Plan. The question is, when to act and to what degree?
More often than not, I start out following the Holy Spirit and then go overboard with it. He tells me to do one thing in the plan and I do that one thing along with the three things that I think should come next. Then I wonder why nothing’s working out like it should and stress is creeping in when I’m “following the Will of God”! The realization of what’s going on usually hits me when the Holy Spirit leads me to do one of the “extras” I tried earlier and it miraculously works like clockwork. That’s always a fun moment!
So just in case anyone else out there has the tendency to get a bit too ambitious with the Will of God, here are some of the things I use to keep my perspective straight and my steps aligned:
1. Spend time every morning with the Father and ask what it is He desires you to do that day.
2. Take your “to-do” list to the Throne! You might be surprised what He considers to be yours to do and what He intends to take care of for you. (This is one of my favorites!)
3. At least once an hour, do a tension check. Take a deep breath and notice any places where your body is giving resistance. If you find any take it to God in prayer. Check to see if you’ve slipped of the path. Set a timer if you need to. It only takes a minute or two and it’s so worth it!
4. Whenever possible group tasks into categories and give each category a time block in your day. Then in between each block take time to release the previous activity, refuel with the Word, and prepare for the next activity. I know it sounds like a lot, but it can actually be done in 15 minutes or so if you plan for it.
5. Have a list of priorities handy at all times. Check your actions against that list. If you have to do things like give up time with God, neglect family responsibilities, etc. that takes calls for extra attention in prayer. Many of us aren’t defeated by the temptation to do “bad” things. Satan gets us by overloading our schedules with so many “good deeds” we “don’t have time” to do those things specifically required of us.
As time goes on, you become more and more in tune with the promptings of the Holy Spirit and rhythm God has set for your life. I am convinced, however, this is one of those learns you never stop learning! Praise God for His patience, guidance, and love! He is truly on the side of the righteous who seek Him! His love is immeasurable! Be blessed!
Surrendered to Him~
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