When to Go and When to Stay

As a young person (under the age of 30), a huge source of anxiety has come from when to take the next step.  When do I get married?  When do I move?  When do I take that job?  When do I have children?  The instant gratification world that we live in answers all these questions with right now.  Do what makes you happy right now, no matter what it costs.

However, when we follow God, we have to ask ourselves, and God, the question: What does God want for my life?

Our default answer with God is to wait.  Most of the time, in the Bible, God asks His people to wait.  Joseph had to wait 40 years before his childhood dream of ruling would come to fruition.  The Israelites had to wait 400-plus years to be set free from their slavery in Egypt.  Paul the apostle had to learn and grow for several years before he began his missionary journey, and he had to wait several years in jail for God to be glorified in his situation.

Despite these valuable stories, I believe that some people use “the call to wait” as an excuse not to have the faith and the courage to move forward.  We think that just because we are comfortable that we are in God’s plan for our lives.  But behind closed doors, we worry that God will call us out of our comfortable lives and allow us to experience inconvenience.

There is a time and a season for everything. We are called to enjoy each season but to trust God with every season. We cannot wait and say that we are currently enjoying this season and do not want to move on to the next one. We cannot tell God that it is inconvenient to move right now. God gives us peace, and when we don’t feel His peace, we know it’s time to change something.

And once we change according to his will, he gives us peace, and that peace is beautiful.

Through much of this blog, I have gone through several transitions in jobs, living situations, and relationship status.  Leaving what I can tolerate for something that can fulfill me is so difficult, but it has always been worth it.  I do not regret agreeing to my husband’s marriage proposal six months after knowing him.  I do not regret taking a job offer from my church the day I was sitting in my kitchen eating cereal, thinking I was going to be teaching English overseas in the near future.  I do not regret every opportunity God has pushed me to make a decision quickly, because when God leads me, I feel His peace.  When He pushes me and I don’t move, I feel a burden in my soul that cannot be quenched.

The Bible also includes times when God pushes His people to move.  God told Abraham, without warning, to leave his family behind and start a new legacy on Earth.  God spoke to Gideon to take an Israelite army against the Midianites, as Gideon was hiding from the enemy in a cave.  God told Cornelius to talk to Peter so that he could receive the gospel and find healing.  If any of those people had waited, God wouldn’t have been glorified in those situations in the way that He intended.

How do you know when it’s time to go and it’s time to stay? Well, I could give you practical tips. I could tell you step-by-step ways to know. But God doesn’t work like that. Sometimes his plan doesn’t make sense.  Seek God’s peace through reading His word and sharing your feelings with other people.  When you know it is time to move, you will know.  When it is not time to move, you will know that as well.  Whether God calls you to stay or to go, trust Him in the process.


Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

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3 thoughts on “When to Go and When to Stay

  1. Amen my friend. God does not hide His will/desires for our lives from us.

    Like

    1. Amen! Praise God for that. I was talking with someone I work with about how we take that for granted so often. God chooses to be involved in our lives and to direct us. That is such a blessing that the Creator of the universe is interested in us!

      Liked by 1 person

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