Is this it?Am I really pursuing everything God has for me?What if I’m not doing enough, or being enough for God?I always had this fear that one day I would stand before God and He would play a recap video showing me everything I did with my life, and then God would have another video showing me everything I was SUPPOSED to do with my life and I missed it! These nervous questions and anxious thoughts eat at my mind all the time, but in the reality of God’s omniscience, He has already gone before me. Wherever it is that He is leading me towards, He’s already there, and somehow He’s with me right now. God is ultimately outside and in the midst of time. Knowing this comforts me because if my heart’s desire is always to seek the face of God, my next steps are going to be obedient to His desire for me. If you’re in a place of feeling stuck, trapped, unsatisfied, discontent, confused, or just wondering what’s next—whatever this time looks like—trust me friend, I’m there too. I hear you, and I fully understand. Psalm 25 has been my heart’s cry throughout many unexpected adjustments and transitions. “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long” (Ps. 25:1-5). There is no shame in the wondering. There is no shame in seeking the Lord for help because we don’t know what’s next, or we feel that we should have a plan in place. This is a time of exploration, dreaming, and curiosity, but it’s also a time where guilt, shame, and fear often overcome us. We begin to feel unsatisfied, anxious, paralyzed by fear to make a decision, or maybe even resentful of our current environment.However, Psalm 25 encourages us that our trust should be placed in God alone; there is no shame in waiting on the Lord, but there is shame in those who are “wantonly treacherous”. Wantonly is acting in an unrestrained and unprovoked way, while treacherous is guilty of or involving betrayal or deception. When we act “wantonly treacherous,” we are striving out of our own fleshly desires and impulses rather than waiting on the Lord to make His ways known to us. God’s way is ALWAYS better than our way (Eph. 3:20). Our next steps should always be aligned with God’s desire because it will always be better than anything we could comprise on our own strength. Before we take another step, we must run our decisions through the filter of the question “Am I taking this step in obedience and placing my trust in God alone?”We can trust God in all circumstances that He is leading us along His path and in His truth. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.” Have you ever tried to walk a dark path with just a lamp? You can’t see what’s ahead—you can only see the next step on your path.In times of confusion, discouragement, discontentment, this Scripture is a reminder that we’re not meant to know the final destination, just to continue taking each step in obedience to God. Uncertainty brings a time of intimacy in which God is sanctifying, preparing, and developing us for what lies ahead. A.W. Tozer spoke beautifully to this time of anticipation with the words, “Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference.” (The Pursuit of God). Maybe this season doesn’t look perfect, it’s unsatisfying, or it fails to meet life’s expectations. Nonetheless, if our intentions and heart’s posture is reverent to God, there is fruit and purpose exactly where we are. God can reveal His ways to us and teach us His paths through studying His Word. His Word is our lamp, and it’s the light that leads us into His way everlasting.
Finally, we must learn to be present and content in the now. This may be the most difficult to grasp if you’re a dreamer and over achiever like me. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Maybe you struggle with the fear of “Am I doing or being enough for God?” The truth is God has positioned us in our present state for a purpose, so we can trust that He is sending our roots to reach out to others in ways we can’t even fathom. His work completed in us has an eternal and unlimited impact on those around us. When the heat comes we may feel small or stuck, but when we remain steadfast in the Lord we can trust that He is working beyond our circumstances. Lysa Terkeurst describes the abundance versus scarcity mentality in her book, Uninvited. She describes that our God is not a god of scarcity, but a God of abundance. Our God leads us through the wilderness and provides manna, He sent the disciples out and provided for their every need, He brings water from rocks in the desert. When we recount His goodness, we can approach our God of abundance with confidence and without anxiety from what feels like drought all around us. When we constantly seek God’s face more than His will, trust in Him to reveal our next step, and act in confidence that our God is a God of abundance, we can then learn to be like Paul in his letter to the church of Philippi. “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil. 4:11-12).We were never designed to be creatures of comfort or complacency, so it is a holy burden to seek after the path God has laid before us. He’s omniscient, so we can choose to trust that His presence has gone before us and behind us knowing that wherever He is leading us, He’s already there waiting for us. At the end of it all, all that matters is to be in His presence and for His glory to be revealed.
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Christian Publications: Harrisonburg, PA).Lysa Terkeurst, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely (Nelson Books: Nashville, TN, 2016). Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sullivan Owens is 24 years old and from Dallas, North Carolina! She is a missionary/teacher in Honduras, but currently residing in the United States. Her passion is to encourage others to recognize the magnitude of God’s love for them, and for them to walk boldly in the calling God has placed over their lives. Sullivan loves all things outdoors, trying out new recipes, traveling and learning different cultures, and laughter amongst friends! Connect with Sullivan: Instagram