What is in Your Hand?
It seems almost unbelievable that the first two months of 2017 have already passed us by. For many 2016 was a challenging year full of disappointments despair and frustration and we were glad to see the end of it.
At the beginning of each new year, somehow, hope is renewed and optimism is revived to once again fast, pray and pursue God for direction, clarity and personal calling in our lives for the year ahead. I know that this is particularly true for me as the same pattern seems to emerge year after year. This in itself is a good thing, and one does need to seek God in this way but not to be discouraged by no instant response from Him or be intimidated or jealous of a vision God gives to someone else.
In years gone by God often seemed to be ‘silent’ on the issue of specific personal direction for ministry or ‘faith works’ and the majority of the time there are no ‘highlights’ revealed upfront to work towards or ‘clear vision’ which seems to come directly from the throne room. No audible voice saying ‘this is the way, walk ye in it’.
So, we start off the year with good intentions to seek God for His will for our lives for that year, to progress the kingdom, grow in the Lord and continue to wait on the Lord for ‘the big revelation’. We continue to serve God faithfully, get to the end of the year and realize that, yes although we were used by God in many little ways, and worked faithfully for His Kingdom, there was no upfront instructions given on the how, where, what and why? We make our plans, do what we ‘feel’ God is wanting us to do and He is truly faithful to sometimes co-operate with us. We often bumble alongside others in some form of ministry, but somehow still felt that something great and special was waiting just around the corner for us to do for God.
When we look back and see that no ‘great works’ happened, we question if we ‘missed’ something, if there was something else that God wanted us to do and we just did not ‘hear’ His voice or were not sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This can lead to a sense of ‘failure’ and self-doubt and disappointment and not feeling ‘fulfilled’. Let me put your minds and hearts at ease.
God does not always give us great upfront visions and plans for the year or years ahead. One of the greatest leaders of Israel was Moses and God never gave him ‘insight’ into what was to come. God never told Moses upfront about the plagues, the Red Sea, the 40 years in the wilderness, striking the rock, manna and quail in the desert, the pillar or fire and cloud or the fact that he would never enter into the promised land. When Moses argued with God about His ability to represent God before the Egyptians, God said to Moses, WHAT IS IN YOUR HAND? in other words, ‘what are you carrying – what do you already have that I AM can use’
It sometimes scares us to step into the ‘great unknown’ for God without an upfront vision as we may be tempted to question ‘is this really what God wants me to do, or is this just what I want to do? We all want to be in God’s perfect will, but don’t always know what that is. When I questioned God for direction for 2017 he said ‘What is in your hand?’ He was referring to my resources, my gifting and my sphere of influence. Suddenly it all made sense…. a peace came upon me and the quest for vision subsided. God wants to use what He has already given you, what He has already provided you with. He wants to be creative and inventive with what He has gifted you with, in the sphere of influence that He has put you in – that’s it. All He wants to know is “will you make available to Me what is in your hand”? That’s my vision for this year and if the Lord has not already given you a vision, this could be yours too. As you make what is in your hand available to God, He begins to utilize it for His glory. He will lead you step by step into where He wants you to go, and into what He wants you to do there.
With this new perspective, I have now changed my prayer to ‘Lord how and where do you want to use what you have already given me and He has already begun to show the way forward. This becomes a daily seeking God for how and where to use what is in my hand and look to Him to add His supernatural to my natural gifting. There is already a wealth of resources in your hands that God is more than willing to use if you make them available to Him day by day.
Using your gifts for the kingdom in little ways is just as powerful and pleasing to God as doing the ‘great exploits’ for the kingdom. God is always looking at our ‘hearts’ in the matter of serving Him. Seeking direction day by day is just as powerful as seeking a great vision for the year or the future. So, for those who have not received a clear vision for 2017 remember ‘the footsteps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord’. Let your vision for 2017 be to allow God to use WHAT IS IN YOUR HAND
and watch with wonder as to where He leads you with it.
Contributed by Sandy Cutts