By Caroline Gavin
Image courtesy scottchan at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Seeking God’s guidance: this is something we must do at all times and in all things. Yet it is natural for our rational minds to take over in business, particularly in “small” decisions. God gave us the wonderful gifts of reason and rational thinking, and we should embrace and apply gratefully these gifts. Yet we must never do so at the expense of tuning out God’s voice. The gifts should never supersede the Giver.
I am sure, as a faith-based entrepreneur, you know this deep in your heart. But what does this look like in action – and, specifically, in business? As an example: you receive an invitation to participate in a business opportunity. On the surface it seems like a great fit for your business vision; it is aligned with your goals and your schedule. Perfect, right? But perhaps you have a slight “off-feeling” about it; you cannot determine why you have this feeling. You simply know you feel a little “off” about it. When we are extremely busy, it is easy to dismiss this off-feeling…particularly if it is very subtle. When we are moving quickly, we want to check the item off the to-do list by answering “yes” or “no” to the invitation. Yet, as tempting as it may be to plow through another to-do, this is the time to slow down. The “off” feeling – soft and subtle as it may be – is there for a reason. Our God is gracious to give us our feelings. Yes, even bad feelings are a tremendous gift. They warn us. They give us clues. They direct us. If we allow them to.
It may be rather easy to heed an “off feeling” when it is overwhelming or at least pronounced. Our off-feelings, however, are often very subtle. Quieter than a soft whisper. For this reason, it requires a conscious and concerted effort to quiet everything else in order to hear this signal.
So, as busy as we may be, this is the time to pause. To breathe. To pray. As practical and as rational as the opportunity may seem, we must remember that God sees everything. Even if the opportunity is good in and of itself (oftentimes this is the case), God may have other plans for you. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and He may deem that your time would be more effectively spent elsewhere. He knows what is best. He sees the big picture. He is weaving the eternal tapestry.
Here are some actionable steps for applying this principle:
1. Be very conscious of your feelings, subtle as they may be, when making decisions. Journal about your feelings. Where are you feeling the discomfort? In your stomach? In your shoulders? In your neck? Take note of the discomfort and its location in your body. If you are attuned to your body signals, take note of what discomfort in that certain area generally signals (such as anxiety, uncertainty, sadness, overwhelm).
2. Pause to pray. Ask God what these feelings mean. Request His perfect and precious guidance and wisdom.
3. Wait for His answer. If you do not hear His voice, read His Word. Write about the situation. Look for signs throughout your day. Perhaps God will whisper to you through a friend, an email or a devotional.
4. If you require time to make your decision and others are impacted, inform the involved parties of this. Do not allow the feeling of being “rushed” to push you into a hasty decision. Inform all involved parties that you need time to think and to pray.
5. Once you hear or read God’s answer, embrace it completely. As irrational as it may be, move forward. For example, decline the invitation or stop the creation of the product. Do not procrastinate sharing your decision with others due to being afraid of their negative reactions; furthermore, do not overanalyze the reactions of others. Be firm but graceful. Simply do what God wants. Stay clear in your mind that your decision is for the highest good of all and for the highest glory of God.
6. Rejoice in the rewards. You may not see the rewards immediately, but oftentimes you will see them soon thereafter. You may hear yourself saying, “Oh, that’s why God didn’t want me involved; He wanted me to do this instead.” Even if you never comprehend why God led you to make a certain decision, you can rejoice in knowing that you heeded His voice. Doing so strengthens your ability to hear Him and to heed Him in the future.
7. Give glory to God! It is amazing how God, the Creator of heaven and earth, will guide us step by tiny step if we allow Him. How blessed we are that our Father is so intimately involved in our lives! Give glory to God for guiding you ever so tenderly and lovingly.
When we step back from our businesses and do the irrational (if God so leads us), we give space for God to work miracles. We allow His strength to shine. When we step back from opportunities, as irrational or as unpleasant as it may be to do, we give God the opportunity to work powerfully in our situation for our favor – and for His glory.
We remember that our businesses are most blessed when we work in His strength rather than our own.
So let us be intentional in stilling our hearts and hearing God’s voice.
Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, thank You tremendously for the love you lavish upon us. How blessed we are by the whispers You share. May we still our hearts to heed them and may we embrace Your guidance with a joyful heart. We love You so very much, and we desire to glorify You in all we think, say and do. Bless our businesses and our lives; allow them to be vessels for Your divine will. It is in Jesus’ Name we pray…Amen.
One way to still our thoughts is to savor every precious step:
Savor Every Step
Image courtesy of Feelart at www.freedigitalphotos.net
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.” ~ Ecclesiastes 5:18
My daughter, I ask you
When you go about your day,
Moving here to there
Upon your pathway,
Remember to take time
To hear wind in the trees,
To feel the pure delight
Of a soft springtime breeze;
To smell the fragrant flowers
That grow in the fields,
To enjoy the fruit
That My provision yields;
To marvel at the birds
As they soar in flight;
To gaze upon the stars
As they sparkle at night;
To smile at the butterflies
As they dance to and fro,
To rejoice in the roses
As they blossom and grow;
To play with your children
In their carefree games,
To delight in the music
Of calling their names;
To be still in My presence,
To know I am here,
To celebrate the truth
That I am always near;
Please, My daughter,
I ask of you these things,
That you may experience fully
All My grace brings.
So remember to take time
To hear wind in the trees,
To feel the warmth of My love
Bringing you to your knees;
Yes, my daughter, I ask you
When you go about your day,
Savor every sweet step
Of your purposeful pathway.
© 2013 Caroline Gavin
Caroline Gavinis a Christian Business Coach, Speaker, Author and Radio Host. As a Christian Business Coach and the Founder of Purposeful Pathway, she helps faith-based entrepreneurs pave their vocational paths, live with purpose and walk with God’s way. With years of experience in the financial and real estate industries, Caroline blends her passion for God, her financial expertise and her business acumen to create phenomenal results for her clients. She helps them to attract their own ideal clients, powerfully package services and systematize efforts so they can enjoy fun, fruitful and profitable businesses! Refresh with her poetry and glean practical wisdom from her Biz Tips at www.PurposefulPathway.com. Connect with Caroline on Google+, Facebook and listen to her shows on Purposeful Pathway Radio. Contact her via email@example.com for a free Christian Business Coaching Consultation.Also, enjoy a 7-week transformational journey: take the “Journey to Joy” free at www.HowToLiveJoyfully.com. Sign up for the FREE21-Day Attract Clients NOW Challenge!
My sweet sister, thank you for the wonderful opportunity to share! You never cease to bless and encourage! I most certainly “savor every step” of my purposeful pathway all the more because of YOU!
As do I because of you!
On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM, 3-D Vitality
Great reminder to seek God in everything, at every opportunity.
I wholeheartedly agree Michael.
On Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 7:42 AM, 3-D Vitality
Thank you for your wonderful encouragement, Michael!
Praise God for the guidance He so graciously gives!
His abundant blessings to you on your purposeful path!
Great steps for seeking God’s guidance. I regularly ask Him to direct my steps and help me prioritize.
Have a Victorious Day!
Thank you very much, my sweet sister!
The fruit of God’s guidance is radiant in your life!
May He continue to bless – and guide – you on your pathway of purpose!