February 6, 2020
Next Steps? Seek God First
June 3, 2020 | Leah Lynch
How many times have we found ourselves asking the questions: What is God’s will for me? What are my next steps? What does my future hold? These are common questions, and not just for us as adults, but for our students as well.
It starts with pointing our students to the One who can help them answer those questions.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a well-known verse. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But, take a look at verses 12 and 13: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
The context surrounding these verses is a time in Israel’s history where they were in captivity. God was
encouraging them through Jeremiah that while things weren’t ideal at the moment, He still had a plan
and a purpose. Verse 11 is definitely an encouraging promise, but don’t stop there. Verses 12 and 13
show us that when we call out, when we choose to seek with our entire being (our heart, mind, and
soul), we will find God. Check out Proverbs 2:1-11 for some more great promises about seeking God and His wisdom!
In order for us and our students to understand God’s will and gain discernment and wisdom, we have to seek God, first. So, what are some practical ways that we can help guide our students?
1. Create space to listen – if there is too much noise, it can be hard to hear. Encourage your students to spend time in God’s word. Help them get to know the voice of their Shepherd (John 10). Encourage them in their prayer life. Show them what creating space looks like by creating space in your own life.
2. Point them to the Holy Spirit – Scripture says that the Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us. While it can be hard because we want what’s best for our students, we need to point them to the voice of the Holy Spirit, not play the role of the Holy Spirit.
3. Encourage boldness and obedience – When your student knows that God is calling them in a certain direction, even if next steps are a bit scary, encourage them to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9).
4. Engage in conversation with your student – Keep lines of communication open. As they wrestle with God’s calling on their lives or with His desire within a specific situation, talk them through it. Ask questions like: What is God revealing to you? What questions do you have?
When our students’ faith becomes their own, they gain confidence in knowing God is leading them. This foundation is necessary and it gets them ready to tackle questions like: What is God’s will for my life? What direction is He taking me for my future?
For a great discussion and some practical how-to options for walking your students through the process of looking at their future and figuring out direction and next steps, check out this article (A Bright Future) from Focus on the Family.
As always, we are here for you! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If there are ways we can specifically be praying for you, be sure to let us know.