Psalm 32:8: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Isaiah 48:17: This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
Isaiah 58:11: And the LORD will guide you always.
As I near the end of this busy day off, I wanted to take the time to put into words what God has done in my life today. I began the day by taking a few minutes to write some thoughts in my prayer journal. This is a very new idea for me – to actually keep track of the things that I am praying about. This came about through a class on prayer and spiritual development that I am taking this semester. I truly believe that the prayer journal is helping me to understand how God is working out the details of His story into different areas of my life.
I would normally be very reluctant to publish what I write in my prayer journal, but I believe that this one time will be an exception. This is what I wrote this morning before 7am: “God I am praying for wisdom to discern your Word. I am also praying for confirmation about what you are calling me to do. Should I give more attention to my devotional blog? Do you have a place for me to preach? Please God, just give me some confirmation today about your will for my life. What do you want me to do?”
This afternoon, shortly after 4pm, I went into an old email account that I don’t use on a regular basis. I noticed an email from a name that sounded familiar. When I opened the email, I realized that it was from a member of a small church outside of town, where I preached five or six times back in 2007 and 2008. The church member wrote that their pastor had resigned and she was looking to fill the pulpit for the month of November. She wanted to know if I would be interested in preaching any during November.
WOW! I believe that God gave me a direct answer to my prayer from this morning. I had begun the morning – doubting – the plans that God had for me. However, by the end of the day, God had made it clear to me that He is still calling me; it’s just on his own timetable, not mine. I don’t want this to sound like all of my prayers are answered, because many of them are not. And the prayers that are usually not answered are those where I want God to do my will instead of His will. Isaiah reminds us what God has to say about that: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
On many other occasions, I have prayed to God about a specific church or ministry that I wanted to be involved in. God said “no” to all of those prayers. Today I just asked God to give me one opportunity to preach somewhere, anywhere, as confirmation that He still had plans for me. And God answered my prayer. I believe that God answered this prayer because my will was now connected to, or in line, with His will.
I am going to finish out my day with one of the most beautiful praise songs ever. The song is called, Ten Thousand Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman and I can’t get this song out of my head!
God’s Blessings to each of you!