I spent Thursday evening with a small group of young women talking about Christ’s desire that we become peacemakers. We discussed the various ways that we avoid being at peace with others and the love, grace, work, and self-sacrificing humility of Christ. This was our last mentoring group gathering for the year, so I asked the ladies about their thoughts for 2014.
I asked several questions like: Where do you feel the Lord is leading you? Have you set any goals for next year? One of the young women responded, “I haven’t even thought about it.” That response reminded me of another responsibility of the mentor. As mentors, we are called to act as a wise counselors who help mentees discern God’s will for their lives and challenge them to walk in obedience to what God has revealed. We don’t know what God wants from us or where he is leading if we don’t ask. I believe that asking, discerning, and praying about God’s direction in our lives should be a regular habit; yet the end of one year and the beginning of a new one provides the perfect opportunity to clarify our purpose and assignments—the things we need to let go, the relationships we need to develop, the skills we should cultivate, and the doors we should walk through.
I am not talking about setting New Year’s resolutions. Before the sun breaks through the clouds in March, most people would have forgotten or failed at their New Year’s resolutions. I’m talking about challenging ourselves and our mentees to be in constant prayer about God’s leading and direction for each of our lives. David regularly asked the Lord should he go up to fight or pursue an enemy. Paul frequently asked the Lord where to go and minister. Jesus knew that his work was completed on earth because he relentlessly pursued the Father’s will and only did what the Father asked of him.
Therefore, my challenge to the mentees for the next three weeks is to pray and reflect on the work God has done in their lives throughout this year and then seek the Lord about his direction and the actions they should take going into next year. To gain this clarity, we all need to remove the distractions and sit quickly in God’s presence. We need to devote a significant amount of time to prayer and reading his Word.
Sometimes we miss the move of God in our own lives because we are so distracted by what he is doing in the life of another. At other times we miss God because of our impatience or disobedience. Finally, we miss God’s direction because it sometimes looks drastically different than what we envisioned and so we reject it. We cannot embrace God’s will and hold on to our own will at the same time. God’s will is best.
Meditate on these passages and expect great things from God in 2014!
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their way, when they carry out their wicked schemes (Ps. 37:5-7 [NIV]).”
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Prov. 15:22).”
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed (Prov. 16:3).”
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps (Prov. 16:9.”
Blessings, © Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013