Two Ways God Leads Us
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 ESV)
The plans of God for your life are greater than you can imagine, but that doesn’t mean that they’re unknowable, or that they just “happen” out of nowhere.
As we seek the Lord, submitting ourselves to Him, the Holy Spirit reveals (unveils) God’s plans to us.
Sometimes He reveals a big-picture plan – a significant promise that requires several steps to accomplish. This vision may not be accompanied with lots of details, but the end result is pretty clear.
One year at a church camp (Camp Courtney in Hendersonville, NC), I remember responding to a particular message. While I was praying I sensed the Lord speaking (inwardly) to me and calling me to be a youth pastor. I felt honored and overwhelmed at the thought.
That was a big-picture plan. I still needed to finish high school and then decide where to go for college. Many decisions would be made before I was ever to become a youth pastor, but God had shown me this plan in order to give me focus on the big-picture of what He desired for my life.
Sometimes God reveals next-step plans. Next-step plans don’t reveal big pictures; they just show you what you should do next.
A couple of years ago, now as the Lead Pastor in the church I formerly served as Youth Pastor, I was facing a leadership transition in our youth ministry. I spent a lot of time seeking the Lord on His direction regarding who was to be our next youth pastor. But God didn’t reveal the big-picture to me.
Instead, God gave me a next-step. He told me to give myself to our teenagers during the transition and wait for His timing as to the next leader. So, I changed my schedule and reprioritized my plans to give every Wednesday night to our youth. I did that for an entire year (and loved it!).
In the meantime God began revealing to me the bigger picture. We eventually hired an incredible couple who are taking our youth ministry to new levels!
My obedience to the next step allowed me to eventually see the big picture.
God’s word is both a lamp to our feet (next steps), and a light for our paths (big-picture).
Whatever way God chooses to lead you, be willing to be led by His Spirit. His plans for you are so incredible that, if He showed you everything at one time, you would be astounded. That’s why He just gives one revelation at a time.
Father, today we choose to be led by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.