Sometimes discerning God’s will is simple, and sometimes we pray and pray and still don’t know the answer. When I’m not hearing the answer (or at least I think I’m not hearing the answer), I know that I need to look at two things: my motives and Jesus. I do know that He will point the way He wants me to go if I earnestly seek Him, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13) I read the following devotional written by Lysa TerKeurst yesterday about seeking His will. My hope is that you will be encouraged to follow Him closely.
Do you think it’s important to know God’s grand plan for at least this season of your life? What if God’s will is more simple than that? It’s great to ask friends and look for confirmations. But what if God is more concerned with us looking for Him than looking for answers?
We want big directional signs from God. God just wants us to pay attention. Yes, pay attention to Him and ask Him what is our Best Yes in the midst of all the choices.
Recently I heard a story that shook me to the core. It had been a busy day at a restaurant with lots of customers coming and going. But at one point a guy came up to the manager and handed her a card. He told her, “This is for your staff.” And with an emotional catch in his throat, he said, “I just wanted to make sure they knew.”
The customer then turned and left as the manager tucked the card into her apron pocket.
A little while later, she had time to open the card.
It was a note directed to the staff thanking them. It wasn’t for their service or for the food. It was for their smiles.
He explained in the letter that he’d made plans to take his life that day. But their gift of simple conversations with simple smiles gave him the gift of hope.
As I heard the story, I cried.
Something stirred deep inside of me.
I got this overwhelming feeling that this was a beautiful picture of how God’s will works. He intersects our lives with people who need His hope and whispers to us, “You have the hope they need … give it to them.”
Maybe it’s to offer them a little of our time. Maybe it’s to share a little of our story. Or maybe, like with this customer, it’s to simply offer a smile. And when we listen, a shift happens. It’s like the world splits open with each of our simple acts of obedience to God and His light breaks apart the world’s darkness. This is a Best Yes. This is us paying attention.
In the NLT version of our key verse, Matthew 5:14, we’re instructed to be the light to those around us, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” God wants us to let our light shine. This is His will. This is His plan. This is His instruction.
And when we get in the habit of obeying His instruction today, we’ll develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow. The more we pay attention to these moment-by-moment instructions by God, the more our thinking starts to line up with God. Our mind gets in a new rhythm of seeing what He wants us to see, so that we can do what He wants us to do.
Dear Lord, I want to be a light for You today. Show me specifically whom I can give Your hope to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.