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Just Take The Next Step

April 7, 2010

Have you ever wondered if you’re in God’s will? 

How does God lead?

 The answer is simple – one step at a time.

 Psalm 37:23 says that “the steps of a good man (woman) are ordered by the Lord.” If we know and love the Lord and truly put Him first in all we do, then He can be relied on to direct each step we take. All we need to do is to take the next obvious step and leave the results to God. Colossians 3:23 says that “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”  

What are you good at?

What are you able to do?

Start small – it’ll grow from there.

No Gift Is Insignificant

Years ago I heard a visiting American preacher tell us about a timid housewife in his church who’d come to him in great distress because she felt useless and unable to do anything for God. 

“Well, what is it you’re good at and love to do?” he asked her.

“If I tell you, you’ll just laugh!”

“I won’t laugh…promise.”

“Well, I love to lay tables and cook.”

He laughed!

“You go away and ask God to show you how you can use this skill for Him”

A few days later she returned and said that she’d become aware that many of the people who attended their church were farmers who travelled long distances to attend church, and couldn’t get home in time to cook a decent meal. Her plan was to sell tickets for one dollar and for that lay the tables beautifully in the church hall and give them a meal.

You Can Make An Impact

This proved to be so successful that it added immensely to the life of the church and she was gaining such valuable catering experience that, when a local factory was burnt down by an arsonist, causing great hardship to those who lost their jobs as a result, the mayor of the town asked her to step in and organise meals for the factory workers. Some time later there was a hurricane and the Federal Government asked her to organise the disaster relief. And all this came as a result of loving to lay tables and cook, and her desire to do something for God!

Humble Beginnings

For many years I used to organise the special events at my church. I loved doing it! Candle-lit Valentine’s dinners, Christmas programmes, spring breakfasts. Then one day I, and some others, were asked to organise a provincial ‘Ladies’ Retreat’ for our denomination. We had no idea how to do this and made many mistakes, but it was successful and became an annual event. It started to grow and many women from other denominations started to attend. The next step seemed to be to go interdenominational. Much to our delight, this led to further growth and a rise in the number of non-church women attending. We renamed the conference Beauty for Ashes and found that it began to grow even more as we began to focus on getting speakers who were real women with real stories of God’s grace in their lives. Women began to think, “If God can do it for her, He can do it for me, too.”

Trust God; Do Something

Who would ever have thought that from such small beginnings 15 years ago God would have blessed and grown this conference so much that we are now in Johannesburg and Cape Town? All we did was just take the next step each time. We have been blessed in so many unexpected ways. God has lead us, quite miraculously (but that’s another story), to connect with some of the best speakers in America. Struik Christian Media have published our Beauty for Ashes Prayer Journal and Health Journal (and the Health Journal has become a best-seller), as well as a range of Beauty for Ashes gift books. Never in our wildest dreams did we envisage this!

We are not special or more highly favoured than anyone else. If God can do it for us He can do it for you! Just take the next step and do what your hand finds to do. God is faithful and quite able to arrange your circumstances bringing the right people and connections into your life, and using your talents to accomplish His will in ways you could never imagine!

This article, written by Aldyth Thomson, first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2010 issue of JOY! magazine. Used with permission.

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