“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (Acts 16:6-7 NIV)
The Apostle Paul’s work in spreading the Good News was – and continues to be – eternally effective; and I can learn a lesson or two (or a thousand) in how to do work that matters and creates massive positive ripples in business, our families and friends, and the nonprofit sector.
One of those powerful lessons is about discernment. I’ve been focused on whether God gives the green light on opportunities I’m contemplating; but it’s equally important – if not more so – to know when He puts a screeching stop sign on on things I shouldn’t be doing. I’m reminded from Pastor Buddy’s and Pastor’s Anthony’s sermon last week at Saddleback Church (#marginmatters series) that one way to figure out the no-go’s is to sense whether I’m being PULLED or PUSHED.
(On a side note – God’s timing on sharing wisdom is always perfect in my life.)
Feeling pulled is one indicator (but not the only signal; it needs to also align with His Word) that God – the Good Shepherd – is shepherding me to Him. Pastor Anthony shared an example of how a baby (that’s us) is at one end of a room and getting up to learn how to walk, and the father (our Heavenly Father) is at the other end cheering him or her toward him. And Pastor Buddy recounts how Jesus was walking on water and encouraging Peter to get out of the boat and follow him. That’s how it should feel.
So if I’m feeling inspired, drawn, and encouraged…I could be on the right track.
Feeling pushed is how the devil tries to move me away from God’s calling. As opposed to being pulled in a certain direction – God’s modus operandi – I would feel guilted, scared, manipulated, and pressured into a decision; and that never ends well.
Today – take one important minute to inventory all of your current and upcoming projects and tasks, and requests for in-person meetings and text/email conversations; and put it through the push/pull filter. It may be life-saving, and you may find yourself dumping a lot of nonessential to-do’s and creating space to make yourself more available to take advantage of amazing callings that you were made for =)