~Jude 1:12 New International Version (NIV)~
I’m beginning to think that I will never learn. Although I’ve come through many trials and I’ve learned a great deal in the word, my flesh sometimes still pulls me in one direction or another that I probably knew better than to take. Of course, when we are full of hope and joy over what God has done in our lives, we sometimes mistakedly take certain things to be “opportunities” when in fact they didn’t come from God at all. It’s so hard to discern sometimes which way is “up” and which way will bring us right back to a place we’ve already visited time and time again.
In my life, I’ve struggled with relationships. Obviously, as I am divorced, I have had difficulty with trusting and with being able to give and receive love in a way that is balanced and for lack of a better word, sane. I was reading in my Bible this morning about the impact our emotions have on our ability to serve God. I know that in my life, my emotions have had the equivalent of a stranglehold on my ability to serve. I’m generally fine as long as there are no emotional entanglements looming. When there is potential for involvement, however; I tend to drift away from my purpose. Is this because I don’t love God enough? No. Is it because I am not getting what I need from God? Absolutely not. It is because there is something still broken in me that hasn’t yet learned to trust God for every thing in my life. There is something that stops me from going 100% of the way toward the goal He has set for me; whether that be a sense of uncertainty about my ability, a lack of self-esteem in certain areas of life, or just an extremely high propensity toward being tripped up by Satan’s tomfoolery.
Whenever I get close to really digging into what God has been telling me to do, it seems that there is always some distraction or some issue that sidetracks me and starts me wondering about whether or not I am on the right path. I don’t doubt that there are things that God wants me to do; however, I begin to wonder if He wants me to focus on something else first. Something that presents itself at a seemingly inopportune time. For example, I was pretty sure that God wanted me to work on my women’s ministry and to start doing some programs and things related to empowerment. An opportunity to work for a children’s theater company presented itself to me just as I was getting ready to embark on a major promotional endeavor and since that time, I have poured my energies into working at this job with the theater company. Sadly, I’ve not figured out how to combine my efforts to support myself financially with devoting my energy to causes which feel God-inspired. Although there is usually a very good reason why we are pulled toward the different things in our lives, it is usually very hard to tell how these actions will fit in with His plan for us until well after we have thrown ourselves into those tasks. I have a feeling that the work I’m doing now will be able to be used for His glory at some stage of the game, but right now it presents itself as a diversion from what I feel He really wants me to do. And so, instead of enjoying the work in front of me, I feel guilty about devoting myself to something that I fear may be outside of His will for my life.
Since I am not God and I have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not I am going in the right direction with things, I have to rely on faith and on what I’ve learned in His word to get me through each day. I have to be willing to lean on Him for guidance and to not be afraid that each step I take is actually carrying me away from Him. It is likely that my intuition will stop slapping me around and that I will lay down this feeling of apprehension I have over the direction my life is taking. What looks right, isn’t always right. And by the same token, what looks wrong to us may be exactly what He intends for us to do. It only gets more confusing when we forget to have faith in Him and in the work He has done in us.