New opportunities can be scary. Even opportunities that we have been praying and believing God for: a new promotion, new marriage, new home. These are all wonderful and positive life experiences, but they can also be frightening if you’re not sure what to expect.
How do you prepare for changes when they come your way? How will you know if this new opportunity that appears in front of you is indeed sent from God?
Sometimes the world tells you that the most practical thing is to go ahead and do what looks good. In the United States, the American Dream is to finish college, get a good-paying job, get married, purchase a nice home in a safe area and have kids before retiring. But is that the only design God wants for our lives?
Perhaps the American Dream was not meant for everyone.
I have lived part of the American Dream. I graduated from college, got a great-paying job, purchased a home in a nice area. But my dream was just partially realized because I’m not yet married. So does that mean my dream is anything less because it doesn’t correlate with what was once known as the American Dream?
I don’t believe we should allow hyperbole to define what is meant for our life. We shouldn’t let other people’s standards and way of life define us. We can’t be envious of others. God’s design and structure for our lives will always supersede what any one person can dictate.
We should let the peace of God guide and direct us in all our decisions.
So what if a great opportunity has come your way in the form of a new love interest, job or financial endeavor, and you’re not certain about what you should do?
First ask yourself: Do I have peace about this? You will find your answer right there in the midst of peace. If you have no peace about anything you’re about to be involved in, do not proceed!
Looking back over my life, if God did not approve of something, I would lose a tremendous amount of peace. Some situations in the natural looked so perfect, but the peace of God would escape me. Other times I didn’t feel any sense of clarity about the decision, just a lot of ambiguity. I now know that was God’s way of telling me to sit back, relax and wait.
God wants to be involved in your life.
From dating, to what college or grad school to attend, to participation in a mission trip, He wants to be involved. And yes, He also wants to be involved in the decision-making process of marrying your potential future mate — God wants it all! He wants to be involved in every intricate detail of your life because He has the very best set up for you.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV) states:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
So when a new opportunity comes your way and it looks great to your physical eyes, listen to your spirit. Ask yourself: Do I have peace? You may not understand why you may or may not have peace about it. Just listen and proceed as God leads and instructs. He is faithful, and we can trust Him.
And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7 (NIV)