I'm going through the "Experiencing God" study. Again. I went through it 13 or 14 years ago when it first came out--but obviously my life is very different now! And, again, I am getting so much out of it.
The reminder that God is always at work around us, and that His opening our eyes to what He is up to is our invitation to join Him in His work. The fact that this invitation brings us to a crisis of faith--what do I believe about God? How will I readjust my life to His invitation? And last but not least, the fact that it all begins with His pursuit of a love relationship with us.
With the invitation to watch to see where God is working, my eyes have been far more open to His activity, the burdens He's placing in hearts, the way He is preparing, and the invitation He is extending to me.
And the list is growing longer of things I am understanding that He is revealing. Back in 1996 I spent an atrocious 6 weeks working away from my family for a ruthless boss, and the testing had me ON MY FACE before God. But oh, how much clarity resulted. I came home with certain elements of my future that were just crystal clear, things the Lord pressed into my heart that I am walking in today. And I feel like this is another season of some real clarity, real direction. Believe me, plenty of it is still vague. It seems He is unveiling the "what" but we'll have to wait for the "how" to unfold. But that list is growing of things the Lord has been unveiling--simply because of His invitation to look to see where He is already moving.
This study was the one I had planned to facilitate in the Spring, until it began to be more and more clear I was to take a season off. As that decision was being made, it seemed this was the time to reevaluate some things, and that this study was to be a part of that process. I had already purchased the book for my upcoming study, so I just pulled it off the shelf and jumped in. I really highly recommend this study if you haven't ever done it. I have heard of lots of ministries (and by ministries, I don't mean all big ones that you would know, but ministries on a smaller scale, though every bit of God-breathed and significant) that were birthed out of simply watching to see where God is working and joining Him there. Even Proverbs 31--the ministry that puts on the She Speaks Conference I've attended the last two years--came out of one woman going through this study and seeing very clearly what God was up to around her--and joining Him in it.
Rather than dreaming up all the things that we'd like to do for our God, what if we considered how He is moving and how He wants us to be in on it?
Who is seeking--asking questions? We don't seek the Lord on our own. He draws us to Himself. Might be a neighbor. Might be a co-worker. Might be our own sons and daughters.
Where is there a need?
Where does suffering need to be alleviated?
Where is there confusion that needs clarity from His Word?
What ministry needs to be established to meet the spiritual, physical, or mental needs of people?
Who needs us to just plain listen?
Has anyone seemed to need a moment of our undivided time and attention? Again, this could be our own family.
I've been mindful that, quite often, I'm seeing Him at work in my family. And why not? It's where He has strategically placed me, after all. It can be really easy to be ministry-minded and assume that it takes place somewhere outside my four walls. But there are times when the best way to love and serve is to put down my Bible study or close my computer and just go make breakfast for my family. And those aren't interruptions to the work of God--they are the work of God.
And it's all throughout His Word, too...
"Moses, I have seen the misery and suffering of my people, and I am going to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians. I want you to bring them out of Egypt." Exodus 3 & 4
"Noah, I am going to put an end to all people. Make yourself an ark and though all else will perish, I will establish My covenant with you and your family." Genesis 6 & 7
"Joshua, I have promised a land to my people. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit this very land." Joshua 1
God is up to something. He reveals His plan and uses His servants. He did it then. He does it now.