“What God expects us to attempt he also enables us to achieve, and committed Christians have proved it throughout the centuries. So let us take heart in knowing that the grace of giving is also the grace for giving.” Stephen F. Olford
One of the biggest decisions we must make as followers of Christ is what God desires us to attempt. There are so many things we might do with our career and our time, but what is God asking us to do?
This takes a level of Kingdom focus and spiritual discernment that is not common in today’s Christian discipline. We have been so programmed by the world’s definitions of success, that what we attempt usually has more to do with worldly success than Kingdom impact.
But this is the challenge. How do we set aside the world’s criteria for success and attempt great things for God? They may look foolish or insignificant in light of what the world values, but those are the things that God will bless.
As GMI continues to go through our transition as an organization, this is one of our great challenges. We must ask God to help us see what He is empowering us to attempt and then have faith that He will give us the strength to achieve it.
What is God asking you to attempt? Do you believe He will empower you to achieve it?
Most decisions take more than one perspective. They come from a rich flow of input pouring out of people with very different backgrounds and approaches to the problem at hand. I think that is one of the reasons that God gave us the Church. He knew that participating in the forward march of the Kingdom would require us to take bold action in ways that were not understood by those outside of The Way. We would lack the confidence to make the decisions we needed to all on our own.
So the Church brings together people from all different personalities, walks of life and perspectives. God is at work in each person and is helping them to grow closer to Himself as they respond in obedience to their Savior.
It is in this rich environment that we Christians find ourselves placed. God calls us to discern what is right as we look to Him, study His word and work it out in community. We cannot discern His will completely without this holy input from those He has put in our midst.
Just today I found myself experiencing this very thing. One person in our community had been confronted with a decision. She wisely realized that it was not hers to make alone and brought it to a group of people who were part of the narrative. As we prayed, discussed and questioned together, an answer formulated. We left our time together feeling much more confident in what had to be done and I truely felt God’s direction in our decision.
I worry that this part of discernment is often being ignored today. We value the decision that comes from a mountain-top experience or a gut-level intuitive response much more than a decision that comes out of community. The individuality of most decisions almost ensures that they will be lopsided and out of balance.
Do you value making decisions with others? Do you see their input as part of God’s communication to you in the process?
If you have looked to a group to seek discernment, I would love to hear the story of how God used the experience.