One of the things I love about Jesus is that He did not arrive on the planet barking commands but rather issued an invitation ("follow me") - an invitation into something that is immeasurably more than all we could ever ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
The invitation is available and the invitation is awesome...but the invitation is not always easy. For some we will have to START doing some things, for others it may require us to STOP doing some things.
What I can tell you from personal experience is that taking your next step may not always be the easy thing, but it's always the right thing. And until we take it, we're stuck. After all, why in the world would Jesus trust us with what's next in our lives if we are not being obedient to what He is calling us to do right NOW with our lives.
What are some possible next steps?
1 - Commit to begin your day by reading your Bible (start with 5-10 minutes.)
2 - Get more involved in church.
3 - Invite someone to church.
4 - Forgive someone who you have held a grudge against.
5 - Ask Jesus to let you see people as He sees people.
6 - Completely surrender your finances to Christ.
7 - Confess the sin that has dominated you for so long (confession breaks the power of sin over our lives!)
8 - Walk away from the environments where you know you are most tempted to compromise.
These are not "The Great Eight", just suggestions to get you thinking in the direction of your next step.
I do know this...Jesus is always calling us to GREATER THINGS. So if He has made your next step clear, the best path is to go ahead and do it, knowing and believing that His vision for your life is greater than your vision for your life.
Perry Noble is the Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church. Author of Overwhelmed (www.overwhelmedbook.com) and Unleash! (www.unleashbook.com)
Why are you downcast, O my soul? (Psalm 43:5)
Is there ever any reason to be downcast? Actually, there are two reasons, but only two. If we were still unbelievers, we would have a reason to be downcast; or if we have been converted but continue to live in sin, we are downcast as a consequence.
Except for these two conditions, there is never a reason to be downcast, for everything else may be brought to God "by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving" (Phil 4:6). And through all our times of need, difficulty, and trials, we may exercise faith in the power and love of God.
"Put your hope in God" (Psalm 43:5). Please remember there is never a time when we cannot hope in God, whatever our need or however great our difficulty may be. Even when our situation appears to be impossible, our work is to "hope in God." Our hope will not be in vain, and in the Lord's own timing help will come.
Oh, the hundreds, even the thousands, of times I have found this to be true in the past seventy years and four months of my life! When it seemed impossible for help to come, it did come, for God has His own unlimited resources. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times, God's help may come to us.
Our work is to lay our petitions before the Lord, and in childlike simplicity to pour out our hearts before Him, saying, "I do not deserve that You should hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake, answer my prayer. And give me grace to wait patiently until it pleases You to grant my petition. For I believe You will do it in Your own time and way."
"For I will yet praise him" (Psalm 43:5). More prayer, more exercising of our faith, and more patient waiting leads to blessings— abundant blessings. I have found it to be true many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, "Put your hope in God."