“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
None of us know the future. When we are honest with ourselves, we need and long for guidance, wisdom, and direction. If we will acknowledge the Lord with each decision, He promises to provide that needed direction. When I look back at the past two decades of my life, I am amazed at how Jesus has kept his promise to direct my steps.
When I was 16 God brought a friend into my life to share the gospel with me. Months later I began leading a bible club and started sensing a pull to give my life to full time ministry, being an agent of healing and empowerment in people’s lives. I was not excited about that pull. I tried going in a different direction. Then the Lord spoke, “Shepherd My people.” I knew He was asking me to serve Him as a senior pastor. I surrendered.
I never pursued a position but served–painting, cleaning toilets, folding bulletins. My friends and I prayed a ton and went looking for people to share Jesus with. The Lord directed me to Life Pacific College and to NewCommunity Church. He brought Dave Metsker into my life to mentor me. I became a small group apprentice. I later started leading small groups and outreach teams, and teaching evangelism classes. I served as an admin, then a youth pastor, then as an assistant pastor, then as a professor at LPC, and then as the senior pastor…all while at the same church!
At each turning point, I acknowledged the Lord and He directed my steps. Whether it was a question of staying or going to another church, a question of buying or selling a house, a question of accepting a new position or not, a question of starting a masters degree or not, I asked the Lord and He directed my steps. I can think of dozens of times the Holy Spirit spoke to me or led me.
All the joy I have experienced in ministry, all the blessings in my life, and any impact I’ve made on other people boil down to one common factor: I acknowledge Him, He directed my steps.
As a young senior pastor, I asked the Lord for a certain kind of mentor. A few weeks later, the Lord said, “Call Jerry Dirmann.” I did not know who he was except that he pastored in Anaheim. I did not consider God was answering my prayer. I called any ways. The short story is that Jerry and The Rock “just happened” to be the very mentor and ministry I was asking God for. My heart and ministry have increased because I made that call.
A couple years ago, I was enjoying being a senior pastor; we were experiencing God’s blessings. I had no desire to move on. Then one night I had a significant dream (rare for me but not the first). In the dream Jesus led Michele and I under the Arch in St. Louis and spoke to me, “This is your city.” Again, the short story is that now I am in St. Louis preparing to start a multiplying congregation of The Rock in the city if St. Louis. Why!? Because Jesus is directing my steps.
Years ago he saved me and called me to follow Him. I have decided He is worth following. Lord, what’s the next step?
Acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps. Promised.