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Waiting on God - NEW

Get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do" (Acts 9:6).

How do you find God's will? Is it something you just stumble across one day, like a one-dollar bill in the parking lot? Does it come in the middle of the night, awakening you the next morning with a fresh sense of purpose and direction? Or is it something deeper-a process of ongoing "baby steps" that lead to ultimate fulfillment?

In our fast-paced society, answers can't seem to come fast enough. Too often, however, we forget that God operates on a different timetable than we do. When it comes to seeking God's will, we want to know everything at once-we expect His entire plan for our lives to be brought to us on a silver platter. Yet God sees far beyond our need for immediate resolution.

If God began by showing us where we would end up, we would likely do our best to get there as quickly as possible, with little consideration of His timing. Think about it this way: if you were given instruction to travel from Miami to Seattle, from one corner of the United States to the other, how would you go about doing it? Some might take the scenic drive through the mountains, others might stick to the coast and the waterways, and some might opt for the quick flight over everything. The point is-we all would go about traveling from Miami to Seattle in different ways.

Never aware of what lies ahead, we may fly right into a turbulent storm, suffer from car trouble on a deserted highway, or lose our way altogether. But God sees the storms ahead of us; He can steer us in the right direction and away from the pitfalls of self-effort. Often, He may simply ask us to take two small steps and wait on further instructions. Discovering God's will doesn't happen overnight.

Following Saul's Damascus Road experience in Acts 9, God did not say, "Saul, I am going to make you the greatest missionary for the Christian faith in the history of mankind." Instead, He simply told Saul to travel to Damascus and "it will be told you what you must do" (Acts 9:6). From there, the Lord led Paul from city to city and country to country, using him every step of the way to spread the gospel through the world. Day by day, God will guide us and direct us on the path we must take.

Now we may ask, "What if I mess up? What if I get off track?" Fortunately, God is a God of second chances. Moses ran from God; David strayed away from the Lord on many occasions; Peter denied Christ. God is fully aware of our human nature-He knows we will make mistakes. His will for our lives is not a one-shot opportunity. But if we do get off track, we must simply re-focus our attention on Him, rather than our circumstances.

Ultimately, if we are in tune with God, we can trust that He will reveal His plan for our lives. Not only does this involve praying and asking God for direction, but, also, listening to Him and meditating on His Word. "Be still," the Lord tells us, "and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 (NIV). It's hard to listen to God and know His will if we are constantly doing the talking. That is why it is so important to listen to Him and meditate on Scripture.

Where is your life right now? Are you content? Where do you see yourself in five years? Today, begin asking God what He would have you do next. Listen to Him, understanding that answers may not come at once. Ask for patience and wait quietly. Through His grace, you can confidently walk in the will of God.

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