Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Lord's Steps versus mine

It's odd, but I feel like I'm in that 'desert place' while at the same time I am "lying down in green pastures and being led beside quiet waters". There is so much that I am learning right now about God and myself, yet I can't really put it into words.

The verse that has been put before me several times lately is Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." I've heard this on the radio, I've seen it in devotions, I read it as part of a Bible study, and it's even been sent to me in a note from a friend. Ok, I am starting to get the message!

For quite a while now I've been frustrated that I can't seem to accomplish the things I set out to do each day. So this week I decided to stop planning out my day -- or maybe it would be better to say that I 'planned' not to have specific things done but just to follow along with the events of the day. As a result, I've been 'in the right place at the right time' to provide support to others in ways that I never expected. I won't go into any details, but I've had such a change of heart about several events. Had I planned out my day, these things would have felt like interruptions and I might have been a bit resentful. But since I'd decided to take things as they came, I was amazingly blessed by being able to accomplish more than I'd dreamed possible -- some things have had tangible results, others intangible.

God has brought to mind the names of people I've not thought of for quite a while, and I tried to pay attention. When this happened I stopped what I was doing and prayed for them, then I called or wrote to a few of them. In almost each case, there was something very timely going on that required prayer, and I was able to see how God's nudges mean 'take action'. He has been amazingly gracious in letting me see some of the results of his requests, which helps me to be more trusting when his requests don't seem to make much sense.

I still don't have any idea what God wants me to do with my life...and I need to just stop trying to figure that out. Right now I'm convinced that he wants me to learn to listen and obey...and to stop setting my own plans. Sometimes that means the house doesn't get clean...and I have to be ok with that (that one's pretty easy!). Other times it means that I may feel bored or unchallenged for a time, but in reality I'm learning to be challenged in new and different ways.

There are a couple of key books/studies I'm doing that are offering amazing insights -- maybe these will help you too if you are in a similar place.

Beth Moore's Stepping Up Bible Study
Lisa TerKeurst's What Happens When Women Walk in Faith
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning and Charles Brock
Susan Hill's Closer Than Your Skin
and a new one I just started, Donna Partow's Becoming The Woman God Wants Me To Be.

1 comment:

Becoming Me said...

It sounds to me as if you are doing what God wants you to do with your life..you are listening to His voice and following His way. Great post!