But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
God is always working around you!
That's what Jesus told the religious people of His time. It is just as true today as it was then. Our problem is that we don't always see that - we miss what God is doing around us. There are many reasons for that, and we should make a point of discovering what is keeping us from see God what is doing. God wants us to play a role in what He is doing. And so, we should attempt to discover what he is doing and how He wants us to join Him.
How do you discover where God is working?
One of the main ways we discover where God is working is by getting to know Him better. The better you know God, the easier it is to see where God is working. You do that through all the usual channels; prayer, reading and studying the Bible, being in community with other believers, and serving God.
7 practical things you can do to discover what God is working on around you.
Like anything in life, it takes practice to learn how to do something. Spiritual things are often developed through exercise. That is often true when it comes to knowing God's will and joining Him in His work. God can (and does) reveal His will in spiritual ways. It is not uncommon for God to speak to His people through the Holy Spirit. We sometimes refer to hearing the small, still voice suggesting something God would like us to do.
The problem most people run into is not being able to tell God's voice from the many other voices in their life. How do you know when it is God speaking, and not the Thai food you ate last night? The simple answer, you might not know for sure. Discovering God's will and doing takes faith - you just have to do something. Here are 7 things you can try you help you learn how hear God's voice.
- Pray with a stranger! - If God is always working - there is a chance He is working on someone you will encounter within the next 24 hours. Ask God to show you someone to pray for. Say something like this to them: "I believe God hears and answers prayers. And I believe He wants me to pray for you. May I pray for you?" If they say yes, awesome, go for it! If they say no, move on to someone else, and rejoice, you just took a step of faith that God will bless. (Pray for that person who told you no. God still loves them and wants to work in them, even if they don't want it.
- Start a spiritual conversation with someone who is spiritually undecided! - This is not about trying to give them the gospel, it is about making a spiritual connection with someone right where they are. You start the conversation and trust God to help you with it.
- Invite someone to a Life Group! - A Life Group is a small group that meets regularly and discusses spiritual things and applies them to our everyday lives. Invite someone to one of these casual groups. If you need to find one go to Life Groups.
- Perform an act of kindness for someone you don't have to! - There are probably numerous ways you could do this every day. Go out of your way to do something kind.
- Invite someone to church! - Especially someone who is spiritually undecided or distant from God. Invite them to go to church with you. Then plan on spending some time with them talking about the service, maybe over lunch.
- Pray by yourself for longer than is comfortable! - God wants to talk with you. Unfortunately, we often get distracted, or bored, or run out of words. Try to keep going, wait for God to speak to you.
- Serve at church or for the church or for a ministry outside the church! - Do more than you would normally do, or do something you haven't done before.
Do all 7 things!
The idea behind these exercises is to look for where God is working around you. But just because God is working around you, doesn't mean He wants you to join Him in everything He is doing. He has something specific He wants you to do. As you practice these exercises, one or more of them will speak to your heart about how God made you specially to join Him in His work in a unique manner. If one doesn't seem to connect for you. Move on to the next one and see if that is where God wants you to join Him.
If you sense God's presence in one or more of them, that is where you want to concentrate your efforts. Or maybe as you are doing one of these seven, God will show you something completely different He is doing that He wants you to join Him in. Just step out in faith, and watch God show up and do something radical!
Share your story!
God is working! And He will work through you if you will step out in faith. Use the form below to let us know how God uses you as you do these 7 things.
Scroll down to the bottom to read some of the stories of guys who are doing these things and experiencing God working around them and through them.
Watch the message again!
Sometimes it is hard to absorb everything the first time you see something. Watch the sermon again. Share this with someone you think might benefit from it.
I have done all of these at one time or another and am currently doing others. Most recently I had taken the girls out to lunch after church and saw an elderly woman walking across the parking lot at Albertson's. She was clearly homeless. It was a hot day and she was wearing a long wool crocheted sweater and a wool crocheted hat. We had ordered and received our food and I saw her coming towards the sandwich shop. I stood up to intercept her when she suddenly turned and went back towards Albertson's. She must have asked a man for money, didn't receive any and started walking back towards us. I opened the door of the sandwich shop and asked her If I could buy her lunch? She had very blue eyes which stood out against her very weathered and dark tanned skin. She smiled revealing she had no front teeth top or bottom. I asked her name she replied Linda. She had to be sixty to seventy years old. I walked her over to the sandwich bar and asked what kind of sandwich she wanted. When she had finished building her sandwich it was a twelve inch ginormous one with about everything on it. She picked out some chips and a large drink. I didn't know if she would leave the shop or eat there so I asked Linda if I could pray for her. She said yes, I laid my hand on her back and prayed. Her back was wet with sweat from wearing a wool sweater and hat in the hot sun. She thanked me and sat down to eat her lunch. The two girls with me didn't say anything but I believe it was a good witness to them and to the help behind the counter because she commented about what she saw. I pray for Linda now and all the homeless. I find my self looking for her when I go to Albertson's. I wonder if she was a Angel Unaware because I don't see how she survives living like that.
Well today was a good day… I was at the college resource center and able to talk with a person and invite her to church and pray with her. Pretty cool. Nevertheless she said she attends church in Perris. But we had a delightful discussion and I was able to encourage her in her College journey as she is just beginning it. God is good!
A friend of mine and I were having lunch and after our waitress took our order, I told her that we pray before we eat and I asked her if there was anything she would like us to pray for. She proceeded to tell us that her youngest daughter was going through some tough things and she would really appreciated if we prayed for her. It’s something that I’ve done before because I have found it’s a way to let people know that God answers prayer, but it’s also fairly unassuming and it usually doesn’t put people on the defensive. This waitress came back several times to elaborate on the things she first mentioned to us. So this was something that was clearly weighing heavily on her heart and she said she was grateful to be able to share it with people who seem to care.
It’s amazing to see how the Holy Spirit can invite people to share extremely personal details of their life with complete strangers!
On my run this morning, God put a gentleman in my path. Initially, I just waved and said good morning. Then there was a prompt from the Holy Spirit, “Go talk to him Mike.” .... “Lord not now, gotta keep movin’, there’s things that need to be done today.” ... “MIKE!” .... “You’re right Abba ... forgive me.”
So I walked over to him. Struck up a conversation. He was lounging in the shade behind the old maintenance shed on the abandoned North golf course in Sun City. Crack pipe in hand and a 2 liter of Coke-a-cola in front of him. We talked. Homeless, broke and on drugs — but He knows who Jesus is. Told him I’ve been where he is and how Jesus lifted me up. Told him Jesus loves him and I got to pray with him and for him.
His name is Martin (pronounced Marteen) please pray that God will restore his life and that he will be reunited with his wife and kids to restore that family.
I am humbled because my Jesus allowed me to minister to this man — no judgments no condemnation — just the love of Christ!
I thought I was to busy. Instead I got blessed. Please pray for Martin.