Sometimes it’s maddeningly difficult to discern where in the world God is taking you. Other times, it’s painfully clear to see where He’s leading. I’m stuck in a furious limbo between the two. So where does that leave me? or lead me rather?
This past September, I just finished out a summer internship with Saddleback Student Ministries worship (Cluster of Students). Before the fall semester started, I was asked by the worship pastor if I’d like to continue interning through the year. I decided to think and pray about it before giving an answer, and after a couple weeks of prayer and counsel I didn’t have total peace about continuing as an intern. As a result, I did what I thought was best for me.
I ignored the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Sure enough, I could feel fatigue setting in. I was spread thinner than a crepe (those really thin pancakes). Between all of the responsibilities that I had, I can’t believe I knew which day was which. It’s funny how tightly we hold onto our own plans. Let’s face it though, we all do it. God says “No,” and we say, “sweet, I was thinking yes too.” By the grace of God, He redeemed the next few months for His glory, like He always does. He also convicted me and the pastor that I was working with that God wanted me elsewhere. We communicated after heavy prayer, and we both heard the same thing. He knew that I couldn’t be a key contributor everywhere. He KNOWS what you need.
What an example of God’s conviction and His grace! I disobeyed; He redeemed it. Next time you find yourself at a crossroads, between decisions (Del Taco or Carl’s Jr?), here are a few things that you can do first to save yourself from your plans.
Ask Your Dad . . . your heavenly one. Trust me, He has a better way. We don’t consult God because we want to include Him in OUR plans as if we have any idea what we’re doing. We invite God in because HE has a better plan than we do, and He wants to guide you for your benefit.
Address Your Sin . . . like I didn’t. I desperately wanted to be, well wanted. As soon as I found out that somebody wanted to work with me for the next year, I had an opportunity to fulfill that insecurity. Instead of listening to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I listened to that little voice that craves the approval of people. Sin has a habit of blinding you to the picture that God is painting. It’s a beautiful picture, it’s worth seeing.
Abide . . . in the vine. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the joy and peace of God. He has an abundance to give, and He wants you to overflow with it. Be in the word, be in fellowship, and be in REST. Practice sitting in your room or on a couch, and soaking in the Lord’s presence. No pretense, no rules. Just soak. Some hang time with your creator will make any decision sound much less daunting.
Chance Espinoza is a college student from Orange County that loves Jesus, music, and eating breakfast until he falls asleep. He has been serving in youth ministry for 7 years with a heavy heart for worship and creativity.