I am a pastor. One of the my frequently heard questions is what to do when you are not sure what you are supposed to be doing. I often hear people say things like, “I just wish God would tell me what to do,” or, “Why can’t He just send me an email?” This morning I was led to Proverbs 8:34, via KLOVE, my favorite Christian radio station. In this verse I see three actions you can take when you are at the quagmire of not knowing what to do.
We can Listen
The verse says “Blessed is the man who listens to me” (NASB). To listen to the Lord means to give Him your attention, to seek what He is saying, and to accept in at face value. When I listen to God I open His Word and encounter His voice. At times God speaks to me through others, either a sermon I hear, a book I read, or advice from a trusted person. But listening to the Lord goes beyond ingesting information. When I really listen to the Lord I also accept what He is saying, whether it is pleasant or not. Often times what the Lord says very challenging. If I am sincerely listening to Him I will accept those challenging (or convicting) words and act upon them.
We can Look
I just took part in this quick little exercise. I have been at my present church for five years. I walked through the church in an attempt to notice something I have never noticed before. Before I tell you what I saw get up from where you are and look for something you have never noticed before in your present location. Go – I will meet you back here in a moment.
What did you notice? I noticed a bell. Less that eight feet from my office door is a bell that rings every Sunday morning as a signal that Sunday School is over and people need to begin making their way to the sanctuary for worship. Without question I have walked past the bell no less than five hundred times, but I really can not remember ever noticing it. What is even funnier is that the bell is mounted on the wall less that one foot above my head, just barely out of my normal line of vision. Less an a foot below the bell is a framed poem I have stopped to read more than once. But I have never noticed the bell. I have never looked.
It could be that God is speaking to you through an event or situation very close, but you have never noticed. So stop and look. What is happening in your life, the lives of your kids, or your spouse? Changes in your workplace? A new ministry in your church? A close friend going through a difficult time? Maybe God is up to something and you need to just notice.
We can Linger
The Lord tells us those who know what to do are found “waiting at my doorposts.” Anyone ever said to you “Don’t just stand there do something?” God didn’t. Here He tells you that sometimes the best thing you can do is wait. But notice where you are told to wait – at the doorposts. The very first place you would see someone enter the house.
We have a large front window in our home. If I happen to be coming home from a trip and my children are awake I will call just before I turn on our street. It is selfish really. I call because I know they will be standing looking out the window with anticipation, and I love it when they are excited to see me.
To linger at the doorpost is to wait in anticipation of a movement of God in your life. A movement you can be part of. God promises us when we wait for Him with anticipation we will know what to do in His perfect timing.
I fear we have made knowing what to do far too complicated. God says those who listen, look and linger will be blessed. If you are among that number you are promised the divine activity of God in your life, and when the time is right you will know exactly what to do.