Don’t have time to read this blog? Listen to it below!
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.Isaiah 30:21
You’re beginning your journey to find your influence—CONGRATS! This is a huge step, for anyone, and it’s a testament to your heart and desire to live out God’s plan for your life. Like any trip planning efforts, though, you’re probably looking over all the possibilities and wondering where to start laying out your roadmap.
Christians will often give the advice of, “Just listen to God,” when another believer asks what they should do in a certain situation or with a decision. There isn’t anything wrong with that advice! But it can lead to some head scratching. The 4word blog has already been able to share wisdom from some of our women about listening for and to God when He speaks, so if that is what you’re looking for help with, we have blogs for you to peruse!
But what about after you’ve heard God say to “go?” There might be a few different directions you could head off in. Or maybe you aren’t really getting a sense of where God wants you to head at all, just that He wants you to move forward on your journey to becoming an influence. What do you do?
A great first step is always to check in with yourself. Grab a notebook, a blank Word document, or maybe go big and set up a bulletin board with notecards and color coding. Give yourself the time and space to really dig deep into what you envision when you think about being an influence to others. Walk through your current strengths and sources of influence, and list out what you can see yourself further developing in the future as you grow. Then…push further. If you had no limitations, what could you see yourself doing to help others?
Once you’ve worked through that exercise, it’s time to pray. Yes, more waiting to hear from God, but any planning done without including Him will not line up with His perfect plan for your life. Like the verse at the beginning said, He will guide you. But you have to be patient and adhere to His timing. If you don’t wait for clear guidance from God, you will find yourself going back to this same starting line over and over.
The second step in planning your journey is keeping yourself flexible. Your influence plan might be directly in line with what God has already planned for you…or He might shift you in a whole new direction or a direction you were secretly hoping He would overlook. Regardless of the direction in which you find yourself pointed, the most important thing for you to remember is to GO. Don’t try to plan alternate routes or ask God if that’s really where He meant to point you. All you need to do in that moment is trust and start packing your bags.
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,1 Corinthians 14:33
As you plan for what your influence will look like, never forget that God has gone before you and knows what the end of your journey looks like. So when you hit a roadblock (and you will!), don’t be discouraged. When the journey takes longer than you thought it would, don’t quit. God delights in the fact that you want to help further His kingdom by using what He has gifted you with to influence and support others. He wants to see you succeed. But He doesn’t want you to fly rogue or on autopilot. You get to have the best co-pilot of all right beside you as you travel. Is there any better incentive to hit the road?