According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, over half of Americans (55%) say they pray daily. Women respond as more likely to pray daily than men do (64% versus 46%). With the majority of us women praying, we can logically conclude that there are many different types of answers we receive to our prayers. A Pearl of Great Value will be exploring a few of these in a seven-part series on prayer entitled, “When God Says ….”
Part 1 of 7
Writing—I’m passionate about it. I’ve maintained journals through the years, developed Bible study curricula, and did some editing work. But, I desired more and felt certain God had a plan for me. When I prayed about what to do, all I heard from our Lord was, “Quit procrastinating and get started!” “But how, Lord?” I would counter. It was my ready excuse.
Once I made the decision I couldn’t put this off any longer, God started putting His plan in motion for me. Through various events, He directed me to write Christian devotions and articles, but I didn’t know exactly what this would personally look like. After enrolling in an online writing course and hunkering down at the computer to write, God brought people into my life to encourage me in this endeavor and it started to take shape. Additionally, our oldest daughter and her husband became instrumental on the website/email newsletter portion of what would soon become a ministry handcrafted by the Lord for me.
What desires have you hidden in your heart that you want to accomplish? These dreams won’t just happen, as it’s a lot easier to procrastinate than spring into action. Most of us savor lounging around in God’s grace, but
God’s grace is not an excuse for laziness.
The book of Proverbs contains plentiful admonitions concerning laziness, often referring to such people as sluggards. Didn’t King Solomon and the other wise writers certainly have a way with words? One of my favorites is Proverbs 6:6 (NIV), “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Ants are industrious insects always unified in their hard work, and scripture directs us to learn from them. We’re also promised, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4, NIV). When we’re diligent there will be satisfaction.
If you’re praying and asking “But how, Lord?” as I did, then you’re well into the first step which is to earnestly seek God. If the Lord has laid something on our hearts—a ministry to perform, a job to accomplish, a relationship to restore—He will direct our paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
As we ask the Lord to help us over our hesitation and delay, it’s time to formulate a plan of action. But, and it’s a very big but, be prepared for God to tweak the plan! As we submit our plans to the Master Designer, He will shed light on the best way to accomplish the goal. Opportunities will appear, friends and family will be there to encourage, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit will provide what we need.
Just do it—I love this famous advertising logo for a sporting goods manufacturer. There will be some obstacles and stumbles along with the successes, but if God’s in it, we can step forward with confidence.
And finally, be diligent and faithful to what He has purposed and set out for you. When we’ve overcome the procrastination obstacle, we certainly want to stay the course until the Lord directs otherwise. Romans 12:11 (NIV) instructs us to, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Father God, There’s so much I want to do and I’ve been putting it off for far too long. I’m ashamed when I think about how much time has gone by. Please help me to stop procrastinating, to start praying, and to begin preparing. I desire to do what you have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 14:23 (NIV): “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
Luke 12:35 (NIV): “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV): “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
James 4:17 (NIV): “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
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