God, what is it that you want me to do? I asked that question nearly 2 years ago and referred to it as “the most important question of 2018.” I was seeking God’s direction in my life for what He wanted me to do and for how He wanted me to devote my time in ministry and in the work of the church. I had been leading a weekly Young Adults ministry which I truly enjoyed with young adults who I love. After putting thought, prayer and counsel into the decision, the Young Adults ministry came to an end and I became involved in a ministry which was in need of volunteers. This new ministry was not one that I felt particularly called to, but I chose to make the change because of the need for leaders. God has certainly brought about plenty of blessings as a result.
Now with 2020 just around the corner, the most important question to be asked hasn’t changed. It’s still: “God, what do You want me to do?” We’ll all have decisions to make and important questions to ask of ourselves. What is it that God is leading me to do? Will I sincerely seek Him in prayer, asking for His guidance and direction? How will my decisions impact others? Will I seek advice and counsel from the godly? Will I get my advice from those who will be honest with me or only from those who tell me what I want to hear? If I only follow advice given by those who tend to tell me what I want to hear, I can be assured of having limited growth and will likely not be stretched or challenged to improve.
As our sons were growing up (and as proud parents who dearly love them and think highly of them), we encouraged and affirmed and supported them in their pursuits and interests and talents. We also though realized the importance of being direct and honest with them about their shortcomings. Sometimes it caused hurt feelings, sometimes it wasn’t very well received, but we knew that truly loving our sons meant that unpleasant discussions were sometimes necessary. It was up to us as loving parents to give honest advice and counsel to the best of our ability without just making it easy on ourselves by telling them what we knew they wanted to hear. It’s funny now that as our sons are in their 30s, they sometimes advise me. Yes, I respect, appreciate and give consideration to their advice and counsel. Every now and then, I’ll hear one of them say, “Moooommmm…” I’m definitely aware that I fall short of knowing everything, and that from time to time I need to rely on a little nudge from others to be redirected. It’s a great blessing to have wise and godly friends and family. It has been to my benefit when I’ve been willing to “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you [I] may gain wisdom in the future” (Proverbs 19:20).
In just a few days, 2020 will be here. A new year. A time when many of us look at making changes and improvements. If we’re wise, we’ll seek God for direction and we’ll accept guidance from an abundance of counselors (Proverbs 11:14). What changes do we need to make? What can we do to improve? How can we be more of a blessing to others? Are we to do what’s easy? Are we to do what’s safe? Are we to do what’s most pleasurable? Sometimes, perhaps. But above all, we are to do what He leads us to do. Sometimes for the sake of filling a need. Sometimes for the sake of others. Sometimes setting aside our own yearnings or desires. Sometimes following a path that isn’t laid out beautifully and sometimes following one that is a bit rough and not completely clear. God, what is it that You want us to do? For those of us who love God and who are called according to His purpose, may all things work together for GOOD in 2020 and beyond. (Romans 8:28)
HOPE NUGGET: Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. [Proverbs 4:13]