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What shall I do next?

February 14, 2010

Proverbs 3: 1-8 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.  Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!  Tie them around your neck as a reminder.  Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. (New Living Translation)

I have just three weeks of work as CEO of Bible Society and then we move to Western Australia from New Zealand, our home for the past 6 years. My plan is to finish my doctorate in business (looking at how organisations change) while doing some consulting to a couple of charities.  This should take me up to September, beyond that is a matter of discussion with God!  I have been approached about a number of roles and over the next day I am planning to take some time out to reflect on them and seek after God’s will.  And then I read this stunning passage from Proverbs where God clearly reveals what I need to do to discover ‘which path to take’.

The first is to ‘Store my commands in your heart’ which is about reading the Word and retaining the Word.  Like making sure there is plenty of food in the house for when I need to cook, I also need to make sure there is plenty of spiritual food in me for when I need answers and direction.  My decision to immerse, to surround myself in the Word sees me regularly exposed to the Bible and much of it thankfully is sticking with me. How?  I don’t rush it, it is every day, I think about the verse throughout the day, and I connect it with my life.  This way I am writing them deep within my heart.

The second way I can discover which path to take is to ‘Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!’ Which refers to Lamentations 3:22: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.’ As I pray and reflect on where God wants me, I should never forget that God loves me deeply and His love is never ending. And through this reality I need to Trust in the Lord with all my heart. I have complete trust that God is in charge!

The third way is to not depend on my own understanding or be impressed with my own wisdom. Ok that is seriously challenging.  One position I have been approached about is so way out of my league, and yet several people are encouraging me to consider it.  I feel inadequate and incapable of the role, something I shared with some close friends recently, seeking prayer from them for it.  As well as pray they told me that if God wanted me to do this role, how I felt about it was really not that important.  I was floored!  But they are right, so often I rely on what I think I can do, and yet if it is from God, He will equip me.

The forth way I can discover which path to take is to Seek his will in all I do, to yearn to serve the Lord and not allow myself to be distracted with sin. To fear the Lord and turn away from evil. So my day of reflection will be filled with prayer, with reading the Word, and in the midst of all of this, I will trust that God is with me and is in charge!

I invite your prayers for me – it is exciting to see what God has planned!

God bless,

Mark

PS I will not post tomorrow as I will be offline following through on the above process.  So check out two days of the Bible reading plan below.

If you would like to subscribe to this blog and receive my reflections as an email for free:  click here.

And I welcome your comments!!  Click on comment and scroll down.

Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for next two days is:  Romans Chapters 11-12 and Genesis 24-27

To access the complete plan for the year click here.

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60 Comments
  1. Julie I permalink

    Dear Rev:
    Thank you so much for this message you shared with us concerning “What Shall I do next?” Currently, I am in the same process seeking God’s Will in my life as I encounter this Big Crossroads I am at. I too sometimes feel inadequate in certain areas, but I thank you for your encouraging message on how to rely on God rather than ourselves. How true that is!
    I will keep you in prayer, and may God bless you on your next opportunity to share the love of God as you journey to your next assignment from God.
    Sincerely,
    Julie

    • Roy permalink

      “What shall I do next” more often than not encourages us to live in a vaccum while life opportunites pass by. I know that God wants us to live life for Him each day and we have to choose which path to travel. He will bless that path and go before us as we walk in His ways. Sitting and waiting for God can cause many to “freeze”. Take action and move through the life you have right now. God will bless.

  2. M.C. permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this! As I sit here I weep and am so comforted. Mixed emotions. I really needed to read this today!
    God is there to direct and guide us. He does provide. Our hands must be open, open for Him to give and to take.

    God Bless you on your journey Mark! My prayer is that you will have clear direction and confidence in what God tells you.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Christian Goodson permalink

    M.C., it’s funny it had the same effect on me, I too needed to read that. The word of God is so powerful it’s like being struck by lightening sometimes.

    I just wanted to say please keep up the good work here Mark, I get your reflections via email. While I might not always have a comment to write, I do read every one and I find what you write very helpful and inspirational. Thanks!

  4. Mary permalink

    Thank you, Mark. I needed this today also. I pray for God’s guidance in this journey we call life. God will give you everything you need as long as you are seeking, believing and receiving what He has for you. I enjoy and receive what you have to share with us in your messages. Be blessed in all you do.

  5. Thank you mark.I needed this today.I need to get back in gear and read more of His word and not lean on my own understanding .
    May the Lord guide you on the right path. God Bless amigo!!

  6. Pastor Mark,
    Your devotional was right in line with the Word we heard in worship today at the church. I will pray God’s continual presence as you seek to be in and do His will.
    OneTwoPray

  7. Jo Heatley permalink

    Hi Mark!
    Wow! Thanks for that . Why haven’t I seen that verse before! Or perhaps I have but it hasn’t been opened up to me like that before!
    I thank God for His love, faithfulness and guidance. I thank Him that we really can trust Him in all things.
    I pray that as you faithfully seek His will for your life, He will enable you to hear His voice clearly. x x

  8. Roselle permalink

    Hi, Mark! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful message from God. I do really appreciate it. I’m in constant thinking what is God’s will for me because I want to do HIS will not mine. I’m sometimes confused what way should I go..now, I understand what shall I do in order to know HIS will for me.
    I will pray to God to help you discern what is good and for you to arrive in a right decision. Many thanks again.

  9. Thanks for the message.. a great one as we always have to think about reserving our ego’s for god and self praise should be done through prayer and thanks.. love the message and will spread the w0rd..

    god bless
    Rev. Kev

  10. kc scott permalink

    I am just beginning to relearn a lot of the BIBLE as a 41 year old divorced woman. As a child I attended church and always believed, however never really took the time to learn the WORD. You have said many things today that I have always believed and go in the direction that GOD directs me. Thank you so much for doing what you do and good luck with your decision making process. You’re in my prayers.

  11. Michelle Cantrell permalink

    Thank you for your devotional today. My husband and I too are at a crossroads of life, waiting on God for direction, seeking His Will. My husband just finished seminary studies and now we need to figure out where to go from here. We will pray for you and ask that you pray also for us as we seek God’s Will.

  12. Howard permalink

    we foten forget that in Luke’s acount of the calling of Jesus first disciples (Luke 5:1-11 that before Jesus says come follow me he tells his perspective disciples to go out into the deep. Peter’s response is that this is beyond the conventional wisdom of fishermen. It didn’t make sense but they do it anyway, and find that the result is almost beyond their capacity to cope with, in fact thyey need to get others to come and help deal with the catch. Jesus still asks his disciples to go out into the deep, or jump in the deep end and then calls them to come follow him. That’s my expereince.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Howard, This is a good analogy to go along with Father Mark’s message. Thanks

  13. Albert Watkins permalink

    Thank you for the great words from God. As I face a seperation from my wife of 17yrs.I`m seek God direction on what to do next. I never thought it would come to this but it has. I will be praying for you and ask you pray for me as walk this journey of divorce.

  14. Peggy permalink

    On Dec. 8th I lost my husband of 53 years, my best friend and companion, after several years of ill health. My prayer was that the Lord would give me the strength to care for him at home and that he could be in his own bed (even though it was a hospital bed) in his own home when he passed away and God, in his mercy and grace, answered that prayer. Most of the time I am doing well, but today is especially hard. It’s Valentines Day and my lover is not with me to share this day. But, I know the Lord is the lover of my soul and my constant companion. Today, through my tears and sorrow, I asked him to heal my broken heart and I know he will. Today I asked him to give me someone to cry with, and I know he will. Today I asked for a sign, just some little something to cling to and he gave me your message today, a message from God. Thank you.

    • Peggy- to let you know my heart goes out to you since my husband went to be with the Lord on April 3 this past year. We were married almost 52 years. He also was at home in a hospital bed (when Hospice came for his last three days). He had Alzheimers. Yes, I had tears today as I thought about it being Valentines Day. A Valentines Card we gave to each other two years ago now means so much to me. On the front is a beautiful rose – with the words inscribed – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine….” Song of Songs 6:3
      As you say you do well most of the time so did I but then there were those times of intense grief (brief periods) gradually became less and less where now it took a special day to be aware of how much I loved my husband and missed him. My tears and even sobs join yours as I write this. As I’ve come through this time of grief I’ve known that Jesus is my forever husband and how I rejoice in knowing that. Peggy, I will be praying for you knowing God is bringing you through also in His timing.
      Roberta

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Dear Albert, Peggy and Roberta,
        I grieve your losses with you. Valentine’s Day must be especially difficult during the time of lost love. I pray that you are comforted today and every day. May the Lord guide you as you continue your journey to live life everlasting in God’s presence.

  15. LaTrice permalink

    Thank you for sharing this message with us Pastor Mark.

  16. Judith Ann permalink

    Mark,
    I love this verse, but you just showed it to me in a whole new light. Lately in my bibles studies God has shown me that I should trust him wholeheartedly, and search for him wholeheartedly. This hits me especially hard because I know the path God wants for me, I’m just waiting for it to happen to me. Which is extremely difficult for me haha 🙂 but, we should delight in suffering because sufferings produce perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because the Lord has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 5:2-5). Anyway, today’s devotional really helped me, not just in knowing which path to take, but trusting that the path is from God, and that good things are going to come of it.

    So, haha thank you!

    God bless you all,
    Judith Ann

  17. Lizan Campbell permalink

    trust me when u cant see me is a verse in a song am listining to while am typing. But u know what i can’t seem to hold on long enough for God to work in my life, and i feel like my life is thus wasting away, and it’s so furstrating somtimes, there are so much going on in my life now that i pray for God to take away and add to for me.
    But i know all my worries i need to go and Let God. i need help to keep focus and to keep the faith,

  18. dorthy porter permalink

    Don’t limit God Mark.On Jan 1st I gave God a envelope with seven things I wanted to take out of my life and seven things I wanted to do this next year,Two weeks later I was layed off from a job of twentyfive years.One of the things I had ask God for was full time working for God. I am going back to school in the fall to get a degree in international business profit and nonprofit.I can now paint full time and wait upon the Lord.I ask God to also help me get in physical good shape.Two days after being layed off I started helping with the praise and worship and exersize program at that senior citizen center.I have got to share the gospel of Jesus to many.My doing the long fast God has been using, casting out demons and binding them take someone with along fast.Two women have given Jesus control of the broken lifes that they where living.I will be praying that you say yes to what ever Gods will is for your life.I am growing daily and saying yes daily.Bless you Mark for all that you do.

  19. Natalie permalink

    praying for you today Mark….Gods will be done, take courage…..

  20. Rose Reese permalink

    You will are in my prayers and will continue in my prayers.

  21. AWWWWWESOOOOOOME!!!!!!!!!

  22. Awesome stuff, Mark! Thank you for the reminder. I have struggled with this over the past few months as well–always pouting and saying what I “can’t” do, instead of first turning to God and entrusting Him. When I get tired of feeling bad about it, the “lightbulb” goes on and I remember God is indeed in control. Bless you, much love.

  23. elizabeth lewis permalink

    mark, i have enjoyed reading your posts on facebook, i like being reminded of gods word. i admire anyone who stands up for our father, keep up the good work.
    liddie lewis

  24. Davud permalink

    We all are following the same road, and it is a nice walk. some bumps along the way. But I beleave, and am sure some of us will have to do it all over again.

  25. Danielle Frederick permalink

    Rev Brown,

    Thanks for all the encouragement and bring the message daily. I am currently at a crossroad in my life, but I have turn it over to GOD. So, I’m completely satisfied with whatever he allows to happen.

    v/r,

    Danielle

  26. Lydia Reyes permalink

    For years I’ve been doing a daily calender readings from a gift that was given to me called ”God’s Promise to You”. Todays reading was Lamentation3:22-24 The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul therefore I will hope in him. Thank you ,Mark for sharing your thoughts and feeling with us, your family in Christ. I will continue to pray what you need to follow in the direction that God has for you. Remember, that God calls ordinary people and does extraodinary things. I know his has great things for you to do and he will be right there with you. I will also pray for all my brothers and sisters here, That God will lead us in the right direction for the purpose he has for all of us. God Bless.

  27. This is an excellent and timely post. Thank you, Mark.

  28. This post encourages my heart. I too am in transition and have been out of work for over 2 months and waiting for the Lord to reveal the path I am to take. While I wait, I hide His word in my heart and remind myself that I can’t figure it out no matter how hard I try. And why try to figure out what God already knows? It deepens my relationship and trust in HIm to seek Him for it. So thanks.

    Ever heard of Ellel Ministries? They have a ministry center outside Sydney and also at Perth in Western Australia. Might be something to check out: http://www.ellel.org.

    Blessings!

  29. Kristine permalink

    Thankyou!! I have always felt overwhelmed by trying to study/learn verses. Your words today helped me to now try to retain what I can, God Bless you.

  30. Peggy permalink

    Praying that your mind and heart will be open to God’s directions for your next venture. I know He’ll give you what you need to be successful. Selfishly, though, I do hope whatever He leads you to do incluldes continuing this blog, as I read it every day and always find it meaningful to my life. You have been and I hope will continue to be a blessing to so many with this devotional. God will lead you.

  31. Sister Pam OP permalink

    Father Mark, I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you during this time of discernment. I pray for the readers of this blog that they, too, will be blessed with a clear path to follow Jesus.

  32. Thank you, Mark, for being such a voice of encouragement to those of us who are also “encouragers”. Your voice is like a drink of water in the middle of the night as you lead us to the scriptures that God has placed upon your heart. For those scriptures He has put in your heart, once spoken, have so touched ours as well, like the trickle of a stream. I know that God will bless you in whatever path He leads you. You are also a blessing to many.

  33. Jill permalink

    Thank you so much for this message. It really helps me interpret and understand what God is saying to me. I am just getting back to where I need to be with God in my life. I can’t explain how much your emails are helping me do that. I just need to understand that God does love me and he will show me the way and provide for me. Thank you again and God Bless!

  34. Eilidh permalink

    Mark, I have just started reading your reflections – yesterday – and this one is so timely. I have a job interview this week, and a lot of change happening. This is a gentle reminder to “let go, and let God” something I often forget when life is so chaotic! I trust in Him and hope that He comes forth for both of us, providing opportunities to glorify his Name in all we do. The job I really want is working in a Roman Catholic school – what an opportunity!!

    Praying for you.

  35. Mack Leggett permalink

    Mark, Thanks for your words of how God is working in your life. It touches me and God is working in my life. He wants to direct my paths and I feel HIS nudging. It is wonderful, to see the hand of God working in the paths HE is leading me down. No, I can not do it alone! He has to take control. Every time I try to go on my own, He woes me back into the right path. How I praise HIM for being with me and helping me to make the right steps. My friend, God’s way is: Moment, by moment and step, by step. Don’t run ahead for HE is with you and continue to allow HIM to lead you with messages like this one. Oh how, I do so
    love God and thank HIM for allowing you to minister to my spirit.

  36. melkamu endrias permalink

    Good to hear from you.

  37. Dear Mark – Your brief, but so insightful comments on God’s Word, really help to make it real. I too am struggling to know God’s path in a couple different directions in my life – one being way out of my comfort zone – but I felt led to try for the position. I prayed about it and fasted and I know that if it is from the Lord, I will get the position and He will lead me, one day at a time to do what is right in His eyes, which usually is accompanied by amazement by my peers – but the glory goes back to God. Another venture is as Chaplain for the Sheriff’s Department…My own gut and want is to jump back into it, but I feel the Lord slowing me down in that direction. I will definitely be in prayer for your ultimate decision and I ask that you also keep me in your prayers – that I seek only God’s will, not mine, no matter how daunting the task that is before me. May God bless you mightily for your obedience to His will.

  38. Thank you for being on face book for all the encouraging words from God an God bless.

  39. Diane permalink

    Wonderful Word of Life! Yesterday at Redeemer in NYC, Dr. Keller preached about how Christ exuded Scripture. Whenever he was assaulted spitirually, physically, what did He do? He quoted the Word. On the Cross, at His darkest hour, He quotes Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”. He came to fulfull every jot and tittle of the Scriptures. Yes, we must immerse ourselves in it. Praise God for the trials that bring such clarity!

  40. Michele permalink

    Lifting you up in prayer Brother Mark.

  41. just hope the best for you

  42. your words are greatly appreciated.just a small suggestion though- the scriptures that show on my facebook page (as others do) after, do a personel breakdown of his word ,i think it would bring in alot of young people as well as those who don’t fully understand the meaning.i know that years ago this helped me tremendously. 🙂

  43. Lynn permalink

    it seems like i’ve come to a point where i must ask myself what do i do next? i’m married,and i have a chronic condition and have several meds that i need to take. right now i am without more than 1/2 my meds because my husband says we don’t have the money to get my meds. he has a good paying job,but it seems he can’t handle the finances in the correct manner. he’s been bouncing checks, yet he’s had the money to enter 3 bowling tournaments this past week. and still he insists there is no money for the meds i need. he won’t let me handle the checkbook, and he’s refused to sit down with me to plan a budget. when i married him, it was for better or worse,til death do us part. which could happen quite quickly if i don’t have my meds. what do i do next?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Lynn, This is a difficult situation to handle on your own. Is there a priest or pastor who can help you? Contact your area’s social service center for assistance. You are in a tough situation that I pray resolves quickly. Remember that when you exchanged vows at marriage, your husband also vowed to remain loyal to you in sickness and health. It goes both ways. You could also speak with your health care provider about possible use of less expensive medications. Often there are older meds that will help, but cost less. Have faith that God will see you through this very difficult time.

  44. Sammy88 permalink

    Mark, Thanks for this word for today. I really needed it. My work itself is not hard, but the environment I work in is extremely challenging. It is great to be reminded that God has called me & He has made me adequate for the job. Some days I feel like I want to quit, but it is important for me to continue in love & faithfulness to not only build my reputation, but also, hopefully to put the spotlight on Christ in me & build His reputation to an ungodly colleaguial group.

  45. Sheila Ingram permalink

    At one point of my life i thought i could do it on my own but that was not the case. On Oct 5th of 2006 i lost my Dear Mother, she battled with cancer. Right after my moms death i was confused and didn’t have any one to turn to. my life was turned completely up side down i became apart of worldly things relying on man, until i fell flat on my face surrendering to God’s will. On Feb 1st of 2010 i received the Holy Ghost and yes it was truly an experience for me! However i too await God’s response as to what shall i do next… Im reading my Bible more each day and pray that i never put it down. Im thankful that God created in me a clean heart and renewed a right spirit within me: Psalms 51:10. Thank you Rev Mark Brown for allowing me to share my experience. and more “Importantly” i pray that God continually Bless your Beautiful spirit with spreading words of encouragement to Minister to people as myself and others who are in need of prayer.

  46. Sara Sue permalink

    The over-riding truth is that no matter where we are or find ourselves, our loving Father never leaves us or forsakes us! If I go this way, He will be there. If I go that way, He will be there. I can rest in this truth. A loving parent who takes their child for an ice cream cone rarely cares whether the child chooses chocolate or vanilla. I believe that sometimes our choices are not as critical as we choose to make them in service to the Lord. What IS critical is that we find ourselves motivated by love for Him and that we continually seek His Word and His face for guidance as we carry on. This union we have with Him is real. He is able to do what needs to be done through us without much “decision agony” on our part. May you look up and find Him working in whatever you do, Mark. I am trusting him today with a similiar decision……….

  47. Ernie permalink

    Dear Mark,
    Thank you for sharing your own quest and this incredible word that I read just when I needed it.

  48. Denise permalink

    Dear Mark,

    I am there. Trying to find the will of God for my life. At this time in my life, I am finding it hard to move forward after a divorce. God is such a living God and he cares for us. Thank you so much for sharing and pray for me as I pray for you on your journey.

  49. MARK, JUST KEEP TRUSTING IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART. LEAN NOT TOO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING . GOD BLESS YOU. I ENJOYED THE WORD, GOD HIS GIVEN YOU TOO GIVE ME …..

  50. Benjamin permalink

    Choose to trust the Lord in this matter.Remember to be still and know that He is God.In every crossroad,God will always show the way Mark to them that have their faith grounded on Him.May the Lord use the circumstances of our live for His Glory.

    I am blessed by you.I see God in you.God bless you.

  51. Connie permalink

    Excellent advice in this passage Mark. Reflect on God’s will & seek His path for us to follow with Reflection & prayer.

    1. ‘Store my commands in your heart’ means to remember what the Lord wants us to do. Repetition is the best way that I can learn and remember things. So, I “Store” God’s commands through constantly reading the Bible every day. Something, I must say has been slacking lately.
    2. ‘Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!’ I keep loyalty to God and kindness toward others in my heart always.
    3. ‘Do not depend on..’ my ‘..own understanding..’ or ‘..be impressed with..’ my ‘..own wisdom’. Ahhh.. this is easier said than done for me. My natural human nature tells me to listen to what I understand to be wise for my benefit. I need to turn it around to “listen to what I know God wants for me”. That is the wisdom that God wants us to have naturally. God does not want us, as worldly humans, to stay focused in things of the world, but to focus on what He wants for us striving to become heavenly humans.
    4. ‘Seek his will in all..’ I ‘..do..’, ‘..fear the Lord and turn away from evil.’ This is another easier said than done for me. In seeking His will for me through studding the Bible, and praying, I need to stay focused on what God wants me to learn, not being sidetracked by anything. I pray that God guides me to understand what he wants me to know just before I read the Bible.

    I pray that I keep storing God’s commands, getting stronger in understanding God’s wisdom with total trust in Him in becoming a heavenly human being, and not let myself be distracted from seeking His will for me in all I do. Amen

  52. Barbara permalink

    I am so confused. I’m unemployed, so I decided suddenly to go back to school to be able to get a better job. It wasn’t something that I thought long and hard about, so I thought it was the Lord speaking to me and telling me what I should do. So, I started the process, but I need $5,000 to apply to the cost of the class so that I can afford the payments, Is this really what the Lord has planned for me or what? I need to do something soon, and I don’t know what it is. Please pray that He gives me an answer soon.

  53. Hi Mark,

    I just came across your post on February 14, 2010 titled “What shall I do next?” and I am convinced if you truly seek God with an open heart and a willingness to find Him no matter what the cost to you, your next step will be the wilderness time to take you to a place of spirituality that is beyond anything that you ever dreamt. – Having said that, I am wondering where you are now since this post is a bit old. I am not trying to be fastidious or arrogant and I apologize in advance if I come across that way, but I have been on a spiritual journey with God that blew my socks off. I am still in the wilderness with Him and on a waiting mode for over five years now, I have lost it all just for the sake of finding Him, and boy did I find Him big time! – Nevertheless because of where I am with Him now, the veil has been removed and I can see so much through what you have written. If you were able to be quiet long enough to hear Him calling you, hang on tight to Him for the ride because you are definitely on unchartered territories.

    In His Agape Love and Service
    J. Andre

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