By Tijuana J. Williams
Earlier this year during my prayer time, I began seeking God for direction about my next step of faith. You see, after successfully hosting an event titled, “Is Your Faith on Fleek?”, I was ready.
One day as I was driving home, I started asking God, “What’s Next?” I knew there was something more for me to do but this time, I was committed to not getting ahead of Him and creating my own plan (which has been my MO so many times in the past).
For weeks, I prayed but heard nothing. I didn’t understand it. I knew if God gave me instructions for my last event, He would again provide clarity for my next step. Day after day, I stayed in the Word, but still nothing. As I pondered over the silence, I thought back to the words of a wise, motherly figure in my life.
“God’s silence is sometimes the result of our inaction.” She told me more than 10 years ago, “If you find yourself in this predicament, retrace your steps. Sometimes what you will find is that He has already given you the next assignment.” Could it be that I had missed God’s voice? Or could it be that I had discounted His instructions?
Weeks later, as I prepared to attend a women’s conference, I was still unsure of where or how I missed Him. All I wanted was to hear God’s voice so that I would know what He wanted me to do. So I decided to fast. For seven days, I denied my flesh coffee and fast food which is a huge sacrifice for me! My sacrifice was my way of getting His attention. I had a strong belief that during the conference, God would speak. You see, He spoke to me last year at the same conference. So I believed it would happen again!
And it did!
The final speaker on Friday afternoon was author and motivational speaker, Lisa Bevere. I can’t recall everything she said but at some point she quoted this scripture, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4 MSG).
At that very moment, I heard God say, “Stop trying to abandon the process prematurely. For where you are going, you must be ‘mature, well developed, not deficient in any way.’ I gave you your next step months ago but because it was not what you expected, you ignored Me. At some point, my child, you must wholeheartedly say, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.'”
And asked for forgiveness because He was right. As I retraced my steps, months before, I heard God telling me to start a small group at my church. The material we were to study was Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson. He was so clear yet because it was not what I wanted to hear, I didn’t do it.
Did I start the small group immediately? Yes. And although it remained very small, I believe the impact on the lives of the ladies who attended far exceeded the size of the group.
I challenge you today to do what God tells you to do. No matter how big or small the assignment, if it’s God ordained, then it is purposeful. Your lack of understanding is irrelevant. Just do it! Always allow His will to supersede yours. I truly believe this is the only way the blessings will surpass your expectation.
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