Written by: Krissie Stempuzis-Wendell
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If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.
He will not rebuke you for asking.
- James 1:5 NLT
My aunt was talking, but I didn’t hear what she was saying. I was too distracted by the nervous excitement I felt. I bit my lip in hopes that it would help me be present in the moment, but it didn’t. My hands were clammy and Bruce Springsteen's “Hungry Heart” played on the radio, which was a reminder that I hadn't eaten breakfast. Oh well, I thought as I turned and waved to her.
My first day at my first real job. As I opened the door and stepped inside, my heart and thoughts raced. What do I do now? What’s next? I didn’t have to wonder long though. I was immediately introduced to the manager that would be training me. She handed me my training manual and assured me that she would teach me everything I needed to know.
If everything in life came with a personal training manager and manual it would make things a bit easier for us all. Whether it’s how to move forward after a pandemic ends, during a personal painful circumstance, after you’ve achieved a goal, or in the midst of being in a spiritually dry season. That “what’s next” moment can serve as a roadblock or an opportunity.
But you know what? We do have a manual; it’s called the Bible. And our personal training manager? The Holy Spirit. God has not left us empty handed. He has armed us with the resources to help us navigate through the peaks and the valleys.
A few habits I’ve learned to practice to help keep my forward movements in alignment with God’s will are to celebrate, pray, and risk. My spiritual CPR routine.
Celebrate: Pause to celebrate, recognize, and give God glory for what He’s helped you survive and accomplish (Psalms 103:1-5, Psalms 105:1, Isaiah 42:12, Colossians 3:16-17). He deserves the credit! Reflecting on His faithfulness and your obedience will honor God and help you in future decision making.
Pray: Set aside and take time daily to converse with God through prayer and meditation (Romans 8:26-27, Ephesians 6:18, Hebrews 4:14-16, James 1:5, 1 John 5:14). Lay your burdens at His feet. Spend time reading and studying Scripture (Joshua 1:8, Job 23:12, Psalms 119:11, 2 Timothy 3:16 & Hebrews 4:12) and make your requests known to God.
Our habit of reading the Bible helps us understand that God has sent believers an Advocate called the Holy Spirit who lives in us (John 14:26, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). He will guide us along to what’s next and even put people in our lives that we can go to to seek wise counsel from - a Christian counselor, Pastor, friend, or family member. We will grow in wisdom through prayer, reading Scripture, and learning to listen to the Holy Spirit (Proverbs 2).
Risk: When the time comes to step into what’s next, don’t be afraid to boldly take God-honoring risks (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 & Matthew 25:14-30) and then give yourself grace when you make mistakes. When I get stuck and become unsure of what next step I should take, one question I like to ask myself is, “Will this honor God and bring Him glory?” (1 Corinthians 10:31). That way I make sure to align my options in a way that glorifies the Father.
Darling, sometimes it’s going to be messy. Let that serve as a reminder of God's grace. And, you're going to make mistakes. Let them serve as reminders of our need for Christ. Sister, I’m praying for His wisdom to fall on you like April rain. May you stand boldly and confidently in alignment with the will of God knowing that when you choose Christ, you’ll always be right!
1. When was a time when you spiritually didn’t know what was next? How did you maneuver through that?
2. What God-honoring steps are you going to take the next time you approach a “what’s next” opportunity - whether situationally or spiritually?
Father God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Your guidance, and Your faithfulness. Lord, please help me to remember that You are always with me. I want to glorify Your name with everything that I do. When I struggle to know what’s next in life, please remind me that You’ve equipped me to make wise decisions. Thank You for all the ways You’ve helped me mature and grow closer to You. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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