In prayer today I found myself in a forest. Not a real forest, 4am in mid-January in England is not the right time for a camping trip! It was a vision, although that description seems rather grand for something as simple as engaging imagination in conversation with God.
There I was, looking at myself hacking through a jungle. The vines and branches were so numerous I could hardly see a few feet ahead of myself. It’s easy to lose your way when the path is unclear, obscured and tangled. That’s how I was feeling. Exasperated with the journey, not knowing if I was really heading in the right direction or not.
Then it happened, with one final slash I stepped into a wide open grassy plain. In the centre of the plain, maybe a hundred meters away I saw smoke from a small fire rising into the sky, and a man sat by the fire beckoning me over.
Not surprisingly, if you know me at all by now, the man was Jesus.
“He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”Psalm 18:19 KJV
Just a few days ago He spoke me about removing distractions. The jungle here represented that very thing. Distractions both good and bad. My main distraction is chasing after ideas. Looking to draw information or answers from other people. Looking for ways to grow and expand as a person learning from others who are ahead of me in the game.
Not a bad thing right? But so seductive.
Instead of humbly stepping forward in what I have been instructed to do by God, my eyes are averted by others seeking to do what He has spoken over them. Nothing wrong with learning and being inspired, but my issue is I tend to measure my progress by someone else’s rule. This simply never works. It distracts from the pathways that lead to life, and keeps you chasing your tail in directions never laid or prepared for your feet.
This is a common verse and one familiar to most of us, but wow, what incredible truth it carries:
“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”Ephesians 2:10 AMPLIFIED
Prepared ahead of time,
Prearranged and made ready.
Father has a plan. For you. For your good life. One that plays to your strengths and brings your genius to the table to benefit others.
For you to walk in that plan takes something called focus. Listening to the Voice of God within you and being content to humbly follow, uncoupled from the human tendency to compare and contrast. Just because Dylan is earning ten times the amount you do does not diminish your value by 10. Your purpose is not divided and sliced by the success of Janet or Jane.
But know this, as you free yourself from the tangled vines of people trying to sell you on their destiny, you may well open enough of a gap to catch a glimpse of your own.
In your heart, you know what you need to do.
Jesus said to me, “You know what you need to do next. Do that, and then let me show you the next steps.”
He then asked me to write down what I need to do next.