INTRO: What if we don’t like where God is leading us? How do I process uncertainty around God’s Will for my life? How do I proceed with God’s Will? As I started setting goals for this New Year, I was inspired to write this poem, and last week’s poem titled What is God’s Will For You in 2022, from my notes on a book that I read back in 2014 titled God’s Will: Finding Guidance For Everyday Decisions by J.I.Packer and Carolyn Nystrom. This wonderful book answered my questions and satisfied my curiosity about knowing what God’s Will is throughout my life.
Last year, we studied Genesis at church. I learnt a valuable lesson from the story of Jacob’s struggle with God. I too have struggled with God, many times over His Will for my life. The latest struggle was before Covid locked down the world in early 2020. I was happy and content living in Yeppoon, a tropical seaside township 800kms away from the Capital City of Brisbane, my hometown, from which I had moved 12 months earlier.
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I had settled into a new church family, working and volunteering in the local community. I had a five-year plan to stay in Yeppoon. This I thought was God’s Will. It was, but not for five years. I lost my job; my home and my car broke down within one month. Why God? This doesn’t make sense. I was so happy in Yeppoon. Everything had been going so well.
I returned to Brisbane to stay for a few weeks to reassess my situation. Two weeks later, Australia went into a Covid lockdown. I spent the lockdown at a friend’s home, with only one suitcase of clothing. I grew desperate to return to Yeppoon but couldn’t be due to travel restrictions. I had no success in securing accommodation back in Yeppoon, but eventually, I did in Brisbane. But I didn’t want to live back in Brisbane. I missed my Yeppoon church community terribly. It took me a year, of struggle to accept this abrupt change in my life.
Now I look back and see God’s hand directing my affairs. It taught me a big lesson to trust, be patient and accepting of the process God may want to take me through as He unfolds His plan for my future, even though at the time nothing may seem to be going right. Beverley Joy
How can I know God’s Will for my life?
Which career path for me is right?
Where should I live, who should I marry?
Which church do I call my church family?
Pray constantly for God’s wisdom to guide
Take advice from those who are already wise
Weigh up and process through prayer, their advice
But for you, their advice may still not be right.
Wisely assess and weigh the consequences
Of options that present themselves
Seek a decision on a course of action
To produce the best results for all involved.
Put one foot in front of the other, and step forward
Move cautious and prayerful as you start toward
Your desires and plans that you’ve placed before God
But be willing to stop if He says “wait” or “no.”
Consider carefully before you step
Do your actions match your values and beliefs?
Consider your limits and capabilities
Balance the pros and cons carefully.
Ask “Which option does my circumstance allow?
Can I uphold my current responsibilities?
Which option best fits my interest and ability?
To do the new task, am I able and skilled?”
Inner peace follows the specific prayer
Regarding a personal goal that you desire
A calm sense of knowing will flood your heart
When it’s time to proceed and you’re on the right path.
In God’s Will, common sense reins
It will use God-given skills and talents
It will draw you into research and build interest
And fit in with your current family commitments.
What is it that you most want to do for God and others?
A desire to make a difference for God in the world
What is it that captures your attention?
Which task would return you job satisfaction?
God prepares us, directs us, nudges us
For course correction in making a decision
Nudging and pulling us to a place we’ve never been
Clarity of insight increases as the mist of uncertainty disappears.
The Holy Spirit will keep from your inner peace
Toward any plan and goal that you conceive
Even though it may seem right and good
God may have a better plan for you.
A specific concern for a ministry or service?
Your restless heart wants to make a change?
God’s peace will guard, keep steady and safe
The hearts of believers who seek God’s way.
God’s guidance will be given in His perfect timing
Patiently, God will guide us one step at a time
Our impatient reactions, He understands
His grace will provide for our shortcomings.
Insight into God’s Will is slow, it’s a process
Much prayer and supplication are needed
As you move toward clarity of God’s Will
For we are called to do what we are called to become.
Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Story Poetry All Rights Reserved.
You may also enjoy my poem What Is God’s Will For You in 2022?
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Reference: God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J.I. Packer, Carolyn Nystrom 2011
All Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Some of the Bible verses that stood out to me from the book:
Eph 5:16,17 MSG Watch your step. Use your head ….. Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Rom 12:2 MSG Fix your attention on God…Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it…. God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Isaiah 42:16 MSG “I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through an unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what road to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll do for them, sticking with them not leaving them for a minute.” God said.
Prov 20:18 MSG Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.
Prov 11:14 MSG Without good direction, people lose their way, the more wise counsel you follow the better your chances.
Prov 13:10 MSG Wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.
Heb 12:1-3 MSG Study how Jesus did it…he never lost sight of where he was headed…
*Gal 5:23 MSG…We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Phil 4:6-7MSG Don’t worry about anything but in all your prayers ask God for what you need always asking him with a thankful heart. Then God’s peace, which is far beyond the peace of this world, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. – A sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for goodwill come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.