Trust is hard. Trusting yourself can be even harder. Have you ever noticed that?

Maybe there’s a reason. 

We aren’t called to trust in ourselves. We are called to trust in the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Let’s be honest. That’s hard too. It’s hard to step out in faith; to make the decision and go. You have to choose to go right, go left, or stay the current path. So, how do you decide? What does it look like to submit to the Lord in any given situation? How do you know if you’re making the best decision for the long-term? How do you trust?

Throughout scripture, Jesus invites us to a light burden and He tells us where to find it. When we find ourselves struggling to trust, overwhelmed, or just plain stuck, we need to turn to the Lord. We need to pray, spend time in the Word, seek spiritual counsel from trusted friends, or do whatever it is that brings us closer to the Lord. Our circumstances likely will not change (although they might!), but we will. Filled to overflowing with truth, and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are changed–enabled to trust in the Lord, step out in faith, and take on whatever circumstance we find ourselves in or whatever new challenge we feel called to step up to. But first, God.

Draw Closer to Gain Clarity, Courage, Perseverance…

Over these last few weeks, I’ve encouraged you to think prayerfully, with the influence of the Holy Spirit, about the plans God has for you. I’ve been walking you through a framework for making good decisions using a discussion of your relationship with the Lord to introduce you to the language of V-REEL®–Value, Rareness, Erosion, Enablers, Longevity. V-REEL can help you assess the state of your relationship with the Lord, think through steps you can take to deepen that relationship and gain a better understanding of God’s plans for you. 

It all begins with recognizing just how valuable and rare you are. If that’s still difficult to believe, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Try to identify any lies or sin that are eroding or threatening to erode your connection with God and your trust in our good Father. Then, you can think through enablers–things like regular prayer time, Godly friendships, and bible study–that you can put in place to defend against the erosion of your relationship with the Lord. Finally, because everyone struggles with time and focus, you can prioritize by considering how long you have before erosion sets in and how soon you need to get those enablers in place. 

All of this thinking and praying is toward one purpose: a strong and lasting relationship with the Lord. With that well established and intentionally fostered, you will find yourself drawing close to the Father, and better understanding His purpose for you. And as you do that, you will find you have the desire and the courage to pursue your purpose joyfully, knowing that the Lord is with you and will guide you. He will make your path straight.

Toward Purpose, Joy and Flourishing

You are a child of God and He wants to give you the abundant, joyful, flourishing life He made you for. He will help you discover exactly what that looks like today and every day of your life.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for this express purpose because He knows your shortcomings and understands that you need a Holy advocate; a guide to help you navigate life in this earthly realm, avoid pitfalls, and overcome the sin that holds you back from becoming your best self and fulfilling your God-given purpose.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

Earlier in this series of blogs we talked about the parable of the talents and the fact that you have a unique collection of God-given gifts, experiences, resources, capabilities, and circumstances that, bundled together, form a unique opportunity to contribute value to the world. You have values and interests that shape your preferences, and these also contribute significantly to your unique character and purpose. Over this last few weeks, we’ve asked you to think about all the gifts you’ve been given from God. So far, we’ve walked you through value, rareness, erosion, and enablers, focusing largely on your relationship with the Lord.  The last step in V-REEL is Longevity. 

When V-REEL creator Dr. David Flint talks about Longevity, he’s trying to get us to think about how long we can realistically sustain whatever it is we’re working on…be that a business model, a career, a product, etc. When we’re applying Longevity to our relationship with the Lord, what we’re trying to do is understand how we can shorten the effect of eroding factors (sin and other challenges), expand the impact of enablers (bible study, prayer…) and strengthen our relationship with the Lord. By pursuing a deeper relationship with God, we gain an understanding of that unique path that only we can walk; our place in His Kingdom. And, when we are walking that path, pursuing His will in our lives, we find joy. We flourish, in this life, and in eternity.

As I wrap up this series, I want to encourage you to think about Longevity. Return to any notes you’ve taken about your value and rareness (God-given talents, resources, and capabilities), and all the notes you took about erosion (sin and other challenges that may exist or come up), and enablers (regular bible study, Godly friends, etc.), and consider the following:

  • How long before the erosion is really a problem?
  • How long before you can put enablers in place?
  • How important is each item to your strong and lasting relationship to the Lord?
  • What’s the priority? What should you focus on first? What is the Lord calling you to now?

In all of this, pray. Cling to the Lord and with a pure heart and Godly intentions, step out in faith and hope. God is with you. He delights in you and He will protect you. Remain in Him and He remains in you, always.

With the greatest of love,

Joan

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