Discerning Church Learning to discern the movement of God's Spirit

In a Hurry

One of the key truths that I am learning about discernment is that it never ends. It seems that one set of questions leads to the next. Once we have some level of clarity it becomes fuzzy again. We step into coherence only to find more uncertainty. For me, this is not easy. I like to plan, to map it all out; a clear process is attractive to me. Yet, God relishes our dependence on Him. The psalmist writes,

(Psa 119:105 NIV) Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

While God provides direction, it is often more like a handheld oil lamp, less like a high-powered flood light. We don’t always see the next question around the corner. This truth can be frustrating, it feels like we are spinning our wheels at times. Following God is not easy, it is not always efficient, it does not always produce quick results. As an American who loves efficiency, this is hard. It seems other cultures find this dynamic easier. Middle Eastern, African, and Asian cultures value community over breakneck speed. We have more to learn in this realm.

I was recently listening to a leadership podcast from a church. While many of the principles were of value, I found the podcast description telling. It was described as,

a conversation designed to help leaders go further, faster

Do we really want to get there faster? The American answer is yes! Isn’t further and faster better? Don’t we want to get as much done as possible in the shortest amount of time? Yes, leaders should desire to go further and deeper into God’s calling; but I am not sure that faster is better. In fact, we often find that God’s timing does not match ours. Sometimes slowing down is the appropriate action. Discerning God’s calling is a process that never ends. Slow down and take your time. You will always be moving; don’t get in such a hurry.