The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.He renews my strength.He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.Even when I walk through the darkest valley,I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.(Psalm 23, NLT)
It was one of those ‘gift’ moments that, even though we knew out of town guests would be staying with us, nine of us were sat around our table, eating, laughing and telling stories. At these moments you just want the clock to pause so you can soak it in. One of our guests asked what the biggest lessons and biggest surprises have been opening FLTR coffee in the last year and a half. My lesson and my surprise were closely connected. My lesson was that, no matter what, no matter how long it takes, do not do anything unless you hear the Father say to do so. There were many times when it seemed ‘time’ on the calendar or people were pressing for a decision and we could have acted on our own wisdom. But our team kept each other accountable to wait for the leading of God. It was hard, but it brought great Kingdom results that we could not have predicted.
My surprise was that the process was amazingly peaceful. I don’t remember a time when our team was at odds or in ‘deep battle’ against each other. I don’t remember a time when worry overshadowed our lives and anxiety crept in. Did we feel the gravity of the job at hand? Yes! But were we afraid? No! Peace was in our midst. The blessing of this lesson and this surprise is that they are intrinsically entwined. We had peace during challenging times because we were practicing listening for the Father’s voice to guide us and look for His leading. Peace was not a product of our wilful choice, it was the result of our dependency, waiting on Him to lead.
We seemed to get ‘better’ at recognizing His voice and His leading. The more that happened the more confidence we had. And the more that happened the more peace we had in our lives. Our peace came from following. Following His voice, His lead.
“…He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths…” Psalm 23:2b-3b)
How have you felt God’s leading or heard His guidance in the past?
How much ‘bravery’ would it take for you to wait to hear from God before doing major Kingdom activity?
What could you add to your regular time with God to practice listening to and waiting on Him?