We can trust God when we need FOCUS.

Sometimes the biggest threat to fulfilling our purpose is an opportunity. When I left Austin in 2016 to be Discipleship Pastor at First Baptist Church of North Augusta, I was at the height of my career as a Worship Pastor. I had a job that paid me well and allowed me to have a large platform in one of the fastest-growing cities in America. After over 15 years of coming to church every Sunday and standing on a stage to lead people, it became clear that God wanted me to step off the stage and out of the spotlight. Now, for a person like me, who is wired up to be upfront, this made no sense! However, I could sense what God was directing me to do.

FJ83image2-730x430I’ll never forget the feeling of going to church for the first time as a Discipleship Pastor and not going to the stage to do my job. Instead, I found myself sitting in the pew as an observer. It was disorienting and uncomfortable. In my discomfort, I began thinking I had made a mistake and felt discouraged. Three months went by, and I struggled in the pew each week. Here’s the truth that not many people knew at the time. Just when I thought I had settled in, a large church in Charlotte contacted me and invited me to step back on the stage as their Worship Pastor.

Wendy and I prayed about it, and we were confident God did not want us to pursue it. It turned out to be an excellent opportunity for me to build trust in God and recommend someone else for that position! One year later, I was named Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of North Augusta. Wendy and I had prayed for five years that God would prepare me to pastor a church and prepare a church for me to pastor. The biggest threat to me becoming the Senior Pastor of First Baptist of North Augusta was an opportunity to do a job that was comfortable in a city where I had spent most of my adult life. Thank God that I didn’t get derailed from His plan by that opportunity to live in the past.

We can trust God when we need FOCUS.

6195298_0I want to make it hard for you to ignore what God is doing this year. Today, let me invite you to bring closure to the past and begin writing a new story. Not what He’s done in the past, but what He’s doing at this moment. We simply need to listen to Him. Planning is good, but praying is better. Many times, detailed planning becomes a fancy way to procrastinate. We need to keep moving but in the right direction. Check out this Psalm from David.

“Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”  Psalm 143:8

David wanted guidance from God. This request was based solidly on his trust in the Lord. As God’s servant, David trusted in Him. Even though David dealt with fear and failure, he struggled to get his facts right, and he often lacked focus; he was confident God would guide him to safety. It is so important that we ask God to show us the way we should go. That way, we can say yes to the right things, and also say no to the wrong things. Our biggest threat is being derailed by opportunity. Sometimes we have to step back before stepping forward.

We can trust God when we need FOCUS.

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