“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.” Psalm 139:1-4Every day, we face decisions, some so small they’re made on an intuitive level without much conscious thought. Other decisions require careful thought and prayer. The few times in life I’ve acted in haste and followed my own judgment, often not my best judgment, poor choices followed. I’ve learned the hard way to carefully weigh the consequences and pray for wisdom.
I often feel overcommitted because of my inability to say no, along with my belief that one should squeeze every ounce there is out of life. Time wasted can never be regained. But as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, “Chasing Dreams,” the quality of life can suffer in the process. At some point, a line has to be drawn and the word “no” spoken.No is a tough word for writers. Most of us have so many irons in the fire we don’t know which one to grab first. This comes from years of trying to break into the business—much like any other artist.
Saying yes for the right reasons is as important as being able to say no. Which begs the question—When we take on projects, are we over committing or becoming more fully committed to God’s purpose for our lives?According to the verse above, no one knows us as intimately as God. He has the answers.
As I weigh my choices, I flip through the Bible, reading passages as God leads me, and then I spend time in prayer. When I reach a point of peace, my decision is made.God has gifted me with the talent of writing, and I never seem to lack for opportunities in that realm. But in recent weeks, I’ve asked God to expand my ministry of encouragement and redirect my steps, if need be, in doing His work.
Last month, I joined a fantastic critique group (as all writers need-Psalm 27:17) through ACFW, which led to another opportunity to join a smaller, more concentrated group of published writers. Two groups—twice the work. An editor called this week and offered me an opportunity to assist with her devotions website.One thing you can bank on—if you pray to do more for God, He will provide.
Not by coincidence, God led me to another step in my decision-making process. I flipped open the Bible and the passage that jumped out was Psalm 139. I read it over a few times and then prayed. Each time I do this, my decisions become clearer. God’s peace washes over me, and I know He will guide me to accomplish those commitments.Do I have time to take on another project? Those who know my current commitments would say no. However, my time is God’s time, ultimately. Those who God calls, He equips. I prayed for expansion and direction, and the doors are opening.
Am I chasing dreams or fulfilling God’s purpose? Perhaps both.