Confession: One of my biggest fears for as long as I can remember has been making a decision outside of God’s will. I think it paralyzed me for years. I have prayer journals filled with the like:
Lord, I am asking for you to speak clearly about the direction of my steps. My life is moving after you… wherever I am. Please show me the steps I should take. But what if I can’t hear you? I feel like I can’t hear!! I’m afraid of staying, but I’m questioning my motives for going. What do you want from me? I want that answer. Show me where I should go… India, Uganda, Bolivia, Peru, Texas, Right here? Housing situation? Roommate? Stay put? Plan for the future? Prepare for transition?
Can you hear the desperation and fear in my requests. Although I was coming to God in prayer, I was still terrified that somehow I would miss Him.
So rather than moving forward (here or there) in confidence, I clung to my square of carpet and declared, “I’m not going unless you tell me specifically where and when to move forward.”
God used my dear friend Adrianne to challenge me in my moment of fear. She wrote this to me in an e-mail:
God is drawing all things together under Christ, and our part is to pursue holiness and blamelessness in the midst. Ministry will happen in your life because you have already declared Christ as Lord and you live towards that end… so choose! God will close doors if he doesn’t want you there, but move forward.
I had forgotten that our God is constantly pushing us forward. Or as C.S. Lewis pointed to us through Narnia… “Aslan is on the move!” Our God is moving and we would be wise to step in and join Him.
Either God is powerful enough to direct and guide your steps… or He isn’t. I choose to believe that all power is His. So now my prayers have turned from the fearful, terrified fumbling to something more concrete.
Lord, I’m going to choose to step forward in this direction, believing that I’m joining you. If I’m wrong, please quickly hit me over the head with a frying pan of truth… whatever it takes for me to get the message!
It’s not poetic and it certainly won’t make it into a book of prayers any time soon, but it reminds me to keep the right perspective when I pray. God is greater than all of our fears.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)