Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. Proverbs 15:32, English Standard Version (ESV)
An attitude that tremendously hinders many along the path towards success is obstinacy. Some just will not listen. In pride they declare that God has spoken to them and told them to do thus and so. Therefore, they ignore words of wisdom, godly counsel and in some instances, common sense! Women in ministry must be particularly careful not to fall into this trap.
Below are some basic things to remember as you prayerfully discern God’s direction for your ministry journey…
Pray and obey… Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. Hebrews 13:17 NLT
As long as you are not being asked to do anything illegal, unethical or ungodly, follow the instructions you are given. Even if you don’t like or agree with their leadership style, methods or opinions, be faithful in your particular area. Remember, at this time, you are not “in charge.” There may be reasons for the decisions made that you cannot understand in your current position. Take this opportunity to learn as much as possible so that when opportunities open for you, you will have a wealth of experience.
Look before you leap… "But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” Luke 14:28 NLT
Avoid allowing anxiety, frustration, anger and bitterness to cloud your judgment. Satan would love nothing more than to destroy the beauty of what God wants to accomplish through you by “egging you on” to leave your position before time, and push you to run from pillar to post looking for your own solutions. If you feel the Lord leading you to another place, prayerfully think through next steps. Do all you can to peacefully resolve issues. Thoroughly investigate “the lay of the land” ahead. Be sure the Lord, Jesus has spoken and you are not “leaping” because of hurt feelings, foolish pride or impatience.
Don’t burn your bridges… A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22: 1 ASV
Many have ruined their own names by going about speaking disparagingly about others. The world is a lot smaller than you think. Be careful who you speak with about your dissatisfaction. If you are called away from a place of service, do your best to leave peaceably. If possible, avoid leaving angrily, with harsh or ugly words. Also, leave in a professional way. Avoid going, “AWOL,” (absent without leave). If you have responsibilities, be sure to fulfill them until the time of your departure. If you were given an assignment, complete it before you go. If others were depending upon you, be sure that clear directions are given and someone else is made aware of particulars that can make the transition smooth. Try not to leave a “mess” behind you. You never know who you may need in the future. Leaving bad can ruin future opportunities.
Finally, learn how to “chew up the fish and spit out the bone.” In other words, remember that God can teach you something in every situation. Even if you can’t use all of what is given, you can glean something. Remain open. Be humble. Remember, promotion comes from the Lord.
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Let us all pray for the families and communities effected by the recent Boston bombings. Let us continue to pray for the safety of our Nation.
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,