What’s The Next Step

Have you ever wondered where your life is going? Like you’re missing something? How about this, your life is on track and your doing everything God asks you to do, but you are still missing something? We all feel like this at times. I know I have.  The thing that seems to be my trouble is that I know I am going on the path that God is leading me but there seems to be something missing. It’s not necessarily that I’m doing anything wrong. It is merely that I don’t know my next step and feel like there should be one.

One thing is for sure, God knows our next step, but he doesn’t always let us know what it is until we absolutely needed to know. Read this from Jeremiah 29:11-13.

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (NIV)

These verses were partly for Jeremiah and another part for the children of Israel, but I know that these verses are meant to speak volumes to us even now. Yes, a book that was written to a people more than 2,000 years ago is still relevant to us today. God is still God. He knows everything from the beginning of days all the way to the end of days and only he knows when the end will come. God, who knows the future, knows what he has in store for us. We can even be rest assured that God’s plan for us will be great. He has already promised it to us. And, there is one thing that God can’t do; God cannot lie. He is our best friend who can tell it like it is. If he didn’t have a great plan for us he would tell us. He wouldn’t just let us go on thinking it if it wasn’t true.

Have you ever had an event in your life that you wondered where was God in all of it? Have you ever asked God for an answer that never seemed to come? I’m sure that every single one of us has had things happen to us that we have wondered either one of these questions—possibly even both.

One of Jesus’ disciples had thoughts like this. Sure, we don’t know what happened exactly, but we do know the response. Read John 1:45-51. In this narrative, we have the calling of one the 12 disciples of Jesus. His name was Nathanael. We see in verse 45 and 46, a discourse between Philip (who was called before Nathanael) and Nathanael to come see whom the prophets wrote about. Perhaps it was half skepticism and another half curiosity but none-the-less Nathanael went to the most unlikely of places—Nazareth—to see the Messiah. Picking up the narrative in John 1:47-49.

It says, “When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, ‘Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.’”

It is in this simple narrative that Nathanael finds faith in Jesus. It is true, no one knows what Nathanael was doing under the fig tree, but it must have been something between him and God. Maybe he was like many of us asking for:

  1. Guidance,
  2. Protection,
  3. Wisdom,
  4. Financial security,
  5. Or a family members health.

He could have even been:

  1. Wrestling with a big issue,
  2. Doing something that he didn’t think that anyone else could have seen,
  3. He could have been studying the Hebrew scrolls,
  4. Or he could have been sleeping.

Whatever the issue was; God saw it and Nathanael knew it. How many times do we sit by ourselves where we think no one can see us spilling our hearts out on something whether it is good or bad? Remember, wherever you are and whatever you are doing God sees your circumstance. He sees your situation. He sees your need. He knows your next step and he is primed and waiting to show it to you.

It is interesting to note that God didn’t give Nathanael the answer right when he needed it, but he waited awhile (until he was in the presence of Jesus) to give it to him. Maybe Nathanael felt alone and his answer was simply “I saw you”. Jesus in the flesh was affirming what he was missing in his spirit. God’s message to us is not always on our timetable. He may every now and then operate instantly but a lot of times he waits to give us the answer to let our faith start working. He may even wait if his answer needs affirming. Jesus told the woman with the blood condition, “Your faith has made you whole.” It is by faith that we get to the solution to our problem. It is by faith that we get to the next step on the road to our prosperous future.

It is not God’s will that we should be poor, have health issues, or have bad luck. That doesn’t mean that these things won’t happen though. We live in a fallen world filled with war, turmoil, sickness, disease, poverty, etc. To sum it all up we live in a world that is filled with evil things, but with Christ we have been given a way of escape from all of it. We don’t even have to die to get out of it. All we need to do is have faith and be faithful with what he has given us. He gave you a job—be faithful in your job and you will get a promotion. He gave you a spouse—be faithful in your marriage and you will have a happy one. He gave you a job so you could have insurance—use it so you can stay healthy.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 says this, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ then all you have to do is have faith, seek God, and fully turn toward him and all the good of heaven will be poured out on you in order to heal what is broken and unusable. God can fix anything! He can use broken people to change the world. Be a world changer.  There could be someone in the world that only you can bring to Jesus. Be encouraged and know that God is looking for workers to work in his harvest field. That worker might be you!

Peace, Love, and Christ ‘cause you know He died for you!

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