I’m convinced God no longer desires for me to work in recovery ministry. I lived within the confines of my recovery for a very long time. My recovery influenced my work, my relationships—my life. Recovery ministry served as a place of refuge and it became my comfort zone. Recently, God pushed me out from that nest of my past security and into the larger expanse of my future.
When we experience a God encounter, we receive direction that is unique to our circumstances, we understand how God is directing us and the origin of the message is clearly known to us.
UNIQUE DIRECTION God used the circumstances in my life to make his direction personal for me. A bit ago, I began following Michael Hyatt’s blog. He invited a guest author, Mary DeMuth, to discuss the change in her online branding. Her new tagline? Live Uncaged. The concept—to get past the past, and live beyond it—immediately resonated with me. God brought this message into my life at the most appropriate time. I had just begun to assist a church to establish a new recovery ministry.
CLEAR UNDERSTANDING I understood where God was taking me and what he wanted me to do. The way he intends to work in and through me in the future became quite clear. He made me aware of a spiritual marker in my life—my first visit to a Christian bookstore shortly after I made my irrevocable commitment to him in my 20s. I always liked to write letters. A pretty package of stationery caught my eye there and the verse printed at the bottom, Psalm 37:4, felt special. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. I pondered then how this beautiful verse might play out in my life. In this moment, God used this verse again to confirm to me his desire for my future.
KNOWN ORIGIN When God surprised me with his presence in such a personal way, I knew I was engaged in a spiritual encounter. Though I could not logically prove I heard a message from God, I’m sure God spoke to me—so certain that I made a decision to adjust my life to God’s direction. I will not continue to define myself as A Wounded Healer. I will no longer work in recovery ministry. I will live and write about the meaning of delighting in God and how doing so shapes the desires of a human heart. My new tagline will be A Jesus-Shaped Soul.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. John 10:3-4
Do you recognize God’s voice? Do you respond by immediately adjusting your life to his leading?