Focusing on What Lies Before You

pocket-watch-560937_1920The older we get, the less time we seem to have and the faster moments appear to zip by. It’s intriguing to me how easy it is to waste time without realizing it. And even when utilizing every moment, it’s easy to spend our time on things that aren’t assigned to us.

With the New Year approaching, it’s a great time to take stock–to prayerfully evaluate all our activities and commitments, bringing each one under the authority of Christ.

One Sunday a youth in our church approached me, wanting to know how he could know if his desire to write came from himself or from God. That’s the age-old question for all of us, right? How do we know this thing is God’s will? How do we know what to pursue and what to release?

I don’t believe there’s an easy answer to that question, but I know where it starts–drawing near to Christ. Learning to lean on Him, to listen for His still small voice, and to practice an attitude of surrender.

Surrender. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it? Because a surrendered heart is a sensitive and pliable man-263412_1280heart. A heart ready to hear.

Or to wait, should God’s instructions tarry.

So this is my goal for 2016–to stay in God’s presence, ever-alert to His guidance, and then to follow His leading with unyielding focus. Because the question isn’t will God show us His will but rather are we alert and obedient to it.

Consider David’s words in Psalm 16:7-8

Psalm16verse“I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me” (NLT).

Even at night, our hearts instruct us.

God longs for us to obey Him; He longs for us to travel on that very good path He has marked out for us. He longs to see us become the men and women He created us to be, walking toward our unique calling. And He’s committed to bring us there; are we committed to follow?

I leave you with this passage from Proverbs 4, one I’ve been meditating on and praying for over a year now:

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. … Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked. Keep your feet from following evil” (Prov. 4:23, 25-27 NLT).

(Speaking to myself) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life, even at night it instructs us. And focus on what lies ahead. Don’t get sidetracked or distracted, don’t proceed aimlessly without forethought. Rather, prayerfully determine what God’s will is for you, and follow after that thing with everything you’ve got.

livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this. Do you develop a lifeplan? What about a spiritual growth plan? What might God be calling you to pursue in this coming year? What might He be calling you to let go of? What are you doing to keep that thing (or those things) on the forefront of your mind? Share your thoughts here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook, because we can all learn from each other.

 

 

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