My son-in-law John sent me a message telling me about this song from Casting Crowns called, “The Very Next Thing,” and he suggested that I do a devotional on this topic. Immediately, I loved this idea of doing the very next thing that God places in front of you. So often we focus on long-term goals and we miss out on so many opportunities that are placed directly in our path. If we would only slow down and pay attention to those many divinely appointed moments that we so often overlook and miss out upon, because our eyes are fixed so far ahead. God often speaks and works through us in the many common moments of life.
In the Great Commission, Jesus emphasized this to his disciples. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). In other words, as you go, make disciples! Jesus didn’t say, “Make disciples from the comfort of your sofa at home or your pew at church, instead, we are commanded to pay attention to the people and the circumstances that God puts in our path and we are to faithfully disciple and show love and compassion to others. As you go and do the very next thing – be faithful to God and by showing the love of Christ, you can lead people to Christ and make disciples.
We have so many opportunities each day to do the very next thing that God places before us. My question to you is will you strive to be mindful of the very next thing placed before you and take advantage of those opportunities? As you go to school, to work, to the gym, to the grocery or drug store, will you look for the very next thing God is asking you to do and be faithful and do it? There are so many people who could benefit from you doing the very next thing that God is calling you to do and you could make such a huge difference in the life of someone who needs to be pointed to the love and compassion of Christ.
One of my favorite parts of scripture is when Jesus ascends back into heaven in the book of Acts. Jesus was speaking to his disciples and suddenly he was “taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). So the disciples are standing there, “looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11).
The two men (angels) dressed in white were calling the disciples to take their attention away from the sky and turn their attention to the earth where there was plenty of work still to be accomplished. They also had to be reminded of their obedience to doing the very next thing that God would place before them. And that is a great example for us today. We so often look ahead and imagine the great things God would have us to do when God is simply saying – just be faithful and do well the very next thing that I place in your path. More often than not, these divinely appointed experiences will be something that you would not have normally felt compelled to do, in your daily walk with God. So let the Holy Spirit guide you and lead you into doing the very next thing that God asks you to do. If you do, you will be blessed and you will also be a blessing to others – as you do the very next thing.