If you’re reading this in real time, it’s back-to-school time. For ministry leaders, in addition to a change in family schedules, autumn brings a change in ministry activities. And while fall may have a more obvious routine, its overall intensity can be greater than other seasons. So let’s find a focus from God.
This summer, God drew my attention to sunrises. As I rose early to watch them week by week, God heightened my awareness of His creativity in general. I found myself awakened to the brilliance of a dewdrop, the softness of the morning mist, the surround-sound of cicadas. In the process of savoring summer, I’ve savored God and experienced a steady enjoyment of His goodness.
At the outset of fall, God is highlighting the word “delight” in my spirit. “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zephaniah 3:17). As ministry challenges ramp up, my stress level can escalate too. I’m like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, but my version is, “Banquets and deadlines and budgets, oh my!” Instead of stressing, God is inviting me to settle into His delight. I look forward to plumbing the depths of that word with Him.
1. Step away from the fray. Unless you prefer the 2 by 4 method – where God has to forcefully get your attention – choose to pull away from your busyness to be with your God.
“Choose to pull away from your busyness to be with your God.”- Lisa Hosler
2. Reflect on the past season. Talk with God about the past few weeks and months. Is there a theme that emerges? A lesson He’s been teaching you? A place you’ve been in the Word?
3. Ask God for His current focus for you. God may build on where you’ve been, or He may give you a brand new focus. Ask Him, and listen. He may not lay it on your heart in that moment, but keep your ear attuned to His Spirit.
4. Be intentional to follow through. When God prompted me to watch the sunrise, I set my alarm for 5:00 the next morning. When you sense a direction from God, commit to taking the next step – whether it involves a Bible study or a lifestyle change.
5. Plumb the depths. Keep pressing into the focus God’s given you. Knowing God, there’s a wealth of wisdom to mine on the topic. Stick with it until God moves you on.
6. Connect the dots. God often builds on past lessons and links seasons in our lives. Pay attention to how the current focus enhances your understanding of a prior lesson and enables you to progress in God.
7. Be alert for the next focus. God is the Master Teacher. He knows when you’re ready for the next lesson. He won’t overwhelm you, but He won’t underwhelm you either. Be an ever-ready student, always listening for His voice.
Finding a focus from God is like placing your foot on the next stepping stone. It’s the way to make spiritual progress as you walk with God. Whatever season you’re in, God is speaking. He’s laying out a firm path – through His Word and His Spirit – for you to move ahead on.
The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.
What is God’s focus for you in this season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.