“What should I do, Lord?” I prayed. “Where should I go next?”
I was in Europe with several hundred other Christians from around the world on an outreach to the Olympic Games. As the time drew to a close, mission representatives shared various other opportunities for service throughout Europe.
I felt a strong desire to attend a three month Mission training school in Switzerland, as well as to take Bibles to Russia, and help with Bible studies and coffee shop ministry on American Army bases in Germany.
Faced with these three choices, I asked the Lord for guidance.
I set aside some special time to pray about it. Daily I sought for an answer. None came. Daily my frustration grew.
I had spoken with the leaders from each of the places I was interested in working, and they were all awaiting my commitment.
Other friends talked excitedly about the next place they were going to. They all seemed so sure of God’s leading.
What about me?
I intensified my praying, trying to hear from God.
I walked the paths that skirted the fields outside the village where I stayed. The August wind blew my prayers far into the air. No answer from God floated back. Nothing!
The heavens felt like the proverbial brass.
Confusion clouded my mind.
Lord where are you? Why can’t I hear You?
The more I prayed and asked for guidance, the more confused I grew.
Days passed and I still didn’t know what to do. I had lost all my peace of mind. Doubt and fear set up camp in my soul.
One afternoon I came inside from a walk and flopped into a chair. I couldn’t stand the anxiety any more.
“I give up” I groaned to myself. “I’m so tired of this. I’m just going to read my Bible.”
I opened my Bible. Psalm 100 seemed a good place to start...Shout for joy to the Lord…Worship the Lord with gladness…Come before Him with joyful songs…Know that the Lord is God…
I tilted back in my chair and let the words soak in… The Lord is good, and His love endures forever…
A sense of peace stilled my thoughts. Then, like the sun breaking through a storm cloud, the answer I wanted suddenly slid into my understanding.
Go to Switzerland ... Go to work on the Military bases…. Go to Russia…in that order.
It came so quickly that I felt stunned for a moment. I thought about how easily I had heard. Then, another revelation lit up my mind.
Ohhh... Now I could see why I couldn’t hear from Heaven.
I realized that I had focused on my need more than on the Lord Himself. Getting an answer has become the goal, instead of getting close to God.
I had acted like a two year old, stomping my feet, yelling “Tell me, tell me! Gimme, Gimme”.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. It was all about priorities. When I stopped the begging and started the praise, that’s when I heard from Him. When I stopped my fretting and relaxed into His arms, that’s when He spoke. When I thanked Him for Who He is, that’s when He told me what to do.
He is the Lord, our heart's desire. Seek Him first and everything else will fall into place.
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