May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us -- yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17
“Do you want the job or not?”
Sitting on my second-hand couch in my small apartment in Irving, Texas, I desperately searched for the answer to this question. I had just finished my student teaching and had been offered a job at the school two weeks before. Unsure of what to do, I had avoided answering, hoping that someone would point me in the right direction. But here it was: a phone call from an impatient HR representative from the school, demanding my answer. I requested 30 minutes to think and hung up the phone.
My husband, who had recently enlisted in the Army, was not around to help me talk through my options. My parents, who often offered wise counsel, wisely directed me to prayer and scripture. At the age of 23, I had prayed about things before and had used the Bible to guide my decisions, but this seemed different. I needed a direct answer, and I needed it now. I was a jumble of emotions. While I had enjoyed my student teaching, I did not feel comfortable taking a full-time position at that same school. My own father, however, had been laid-off nine months before, and I felt like I was being foolish and picky turning down a real, hard offer of a job after watching him search in vain for one of his own. What was I supposed to do? What if this was the job for me, and I said no? What if I turned this down, and no other offers came? What if I took the job, and it wasn’t God’s plan?
I knew how to pray, and I knew God could speak to me through the Bible, so even though I had no clue how he would furnish the answer in less than half an hour, I prayed out loud and opened the Word. I honestly and earnestly spoke to God about my situation. At the time I was in a year-long study of Moses, and that week I had read his prayer found in Psalm 90. At the end of his prayer, I found mine. It wasn’t a clear directive about my question; instead, it was a way to pray and ask God for direction, and it was a reminder that He is in charge. After meditating on the verse, I prayed and asked God if I was supposed to take the job. The Holy Spirit quickened in my soul, and I had my answer as clearly as if I had heard it aloud. I called the HR department back and turned down the job. The sense of “Now what?” that swirled in my head was quickly overtaken by the sense of peace that rested in my soul. Gaining an experience of how to listen to and trust the Holy Spirit was a much more valuable life experience than any job I could take. I was unsure of the next step, but I was confident that the Lord would guide it.
Now, as we approach the end of one year and the beginning of a new one, we must consider what it is that the Lord has established for us to do. While it is easy to make resolutions that will benefit us personally or even our fellow man, our focus should be on what it is that He has for us in the coming year.
Digging Deeper |
Read all of Psalm 90, focusing on Moses’ reminders that God is big and we are not.
Action Item |
What plans have you set for next year? Have you checked to see if they are from the Lord? In what areas do you need direct guidance from the Lord? Prayerfully ask Him to establish what you do with your life, listening to the “yes” and “no” from the Holy Spirit.
Dear Lord, As I consider what I am supposed to do with (my job/my family/next year), please establish the work of my hands. Go before me and provide direction. Help me to remember that you are in charge; you are the creator and sustainer of the universe. Help me to see what you have for me to do, and give me the strength to step out and complete the tasks you set before me. Let my hands do the work of you, my Father, rather than keep busy with what I think is important.
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