In case you didn’t know, my middle name is Faith. And rightfully so. I have the spiritual gift of faith, which is a supernatural confidence in God’s promises, power and presence. Last year, God opened the door for me to leave my teaching job. I was confident that He would provide for me, and He did. I had no idea what the following season would look like, but I knew God was in control.
However, I soon became overwhelmed by the numerous people asking why I was no longer teaching. Every time, I gave a different answer to the question, “So what are you doing now?” my response never seemed to be “enough.” I felt pressured. Despite my faith, people’s opinions were getting the best of me. I decided to take ministry classes through my church. It’s something I considered briefly before, but never felt led to do. This time around, I prayed about it and decided to give it a chance. I viewed it as an opportunity to be seen as doing something of value. I enjoyed my journey of walking by faith, but the judgment that came with it was uncomfortable and disheartening. I guess you could say I panicked.
Almost immediately, I realized I was pursuing something I was not graced for. The classes didn’t fit well in that season of my life and with everything else going on, I began to experience burn-out. It dawned on me that even though I’d prayed about it, I never waited for God’s response. My leap of faith in the wrong direction cost me money and time I cannot get back. Months later, people are still asking what happened. But this time, my confidence in God’s plans for my life is more important to me than anyone else’s opinion. The experience has humbled me and reminded me to always seek God’s will above my own.
Have you ever pursued something because you thought it was a good idea, but turns out it wasn’t a God-idea? The wonderful thing, though, is even when we are completely off track with God’s plans for our lives, He is faithful to reroute us. Here are 3 ways to avoid going the wrong direction:
- Pray. Prayer is always the first step. Converse with God about the things on your heart and ask Him what He wants you to do. Proverbs 16:3 promises that when we commit our plans to God, they will succeed. This doesn’t mean every idea or desire you have will work out as you plan, it means you trust God’s guidance. And even if He says no, He has better in store for you. His way is always best. Thus, it’s always best to pray first.
- Listen. This step is just as important as the first. In order to receive confirmation and instruction, we must actually pause to hear what God is saying. How silly would it be if you were to call a friend, ask them a question, and then hang up the phone before they give you an answer? That’s what we do when we end our prayers before waiting for God to speak.
- Look for fruit. When God is leading you to something, He will open doors and provide resources. He will orchestrate relationships and even finance the dream He’s given you. God also gives us grace for what He has called us to. Remember, confusion is not of God. His peace will be with you. Does the situation look like God? Does it feel like God? Even if your journey requires a great deal of faith, God’s presence in your situation will be evident.