I was reading the Bible today, and I found this: “One day as they (several prophets and teachers in a prominent church) were worshiping God - they were also fasting as they waited for guidance - the Holy Spirit spoke…”(Acts 13:2) These first century believers - among them somebody who has to be considered if we ever build a Mt. Rushmore of church fathers, Paul - have no idea what to do next.
So they’re waiting, and seeking God’s guidance. How? By worshiping and praying.
It doesn’t say that were freaking out. Doesn’t say that they were starting dozens of new initiatives simultaneously to find the right one. It also doesn’t say that they sat around and waited for opportunity to knock.
These people clearly want to know what God’s plan is. Rather than going off in a random direction, they waited until they knew it so they could cooperate with God’s plan.
Imagine a builder who doesn’t get the blueprints from their architectural firm by the time they are ready to start construction. Does this builder just say, ‘oh well’, and start building whatever comes to mind? I hope not. I hope they would wait, and seek out those blueprints.
I hope they would realize that building without a plan is not only foolish, it’s dangerous. And when the blueprints arrive, the first thing they would have to do is tear down the mess they started.
Paul and the other believers realize that God has a blueprint. For their lives, for their church, for the world. And rather than just starting to build as fast as they can so that people see ‘results!’, they take the time to seek out what the blueprints say.
I don’t know why God sometimes withholds these plans from us. I do know it drives us nuts. At least it does that for me.
But this does teach me patience. It teaches me dependance. It teaches me faith.
It reminds me of the value of the Planner.
So the way to receive God’s guidance for your life is to seek them, and don’t start building until you have them. Again, this isn’t a license for laziness. Remember the story about the master who goes on a trip and expects his servants to be productive while he’s gone?
While we’re waiting for the plans, we should be productive. Meeting with other believers, having devoted prayer time, fasting - these are all efforts. I guarantee you they were also reading the scriptures and being a part of the local community of believers.
You can plant shrubs and mow the grass while waiting for the plans to build.
Don’t let your life become a vacant lot, or overgrown mess while you wait. Just don’t start major renovations without a plan.