There may be times when family or close friends genuinely question whether you are moving in line with God’s will. It is normal for those who are close to us to be concerned about the decisions we make, especially if it requires a major change or relocation. There is a great illustration of this found in Acts chapter 21. Paul already received clear direction from the Lord concerning his future ministry. However, as he was walking out the plan of God he encountered close friends who were concerned for his welfare. They were so concerned that they pleaded with Paul to not continue on his journey.
Acts 21:12 – And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem.
However, since Paul had already received direction from the Lord concerning future ministry, he was not influenced by genuine human concern. This example reinforces the importance of receiving clear direction from the Lord before making a transition. That inward knowing can be an anchor to our souls especially when pressure from without attempts to influence our commitment to follow God’s will for our lives.
In some cases there is a place for wise counsel concerning the decisions we make. In Galatians 2:2, Paul met with those who were considered leaders in the Church and sought advice concerning what the Lord had called him to do. Paul was not seeking permission to continue his ministry; rather he was seeking agreement and confirmation concerning the message and his ministry direction. The Good News Bible reads –
Galatians 2:2 I went because God revealed to me that I should go. In a private meeting with the leaders I explained the gospel message that I preach to the Gentiles. I did not want my work in the past or in the present to be a failure.
We should never come to the place in life or ministry that we are not willing to submit ourselves to wise and appropriate counsel when necessary.
Remember, during a time of transition it is ok to be sensitive to the concerns of your family and friends. Let them know that you appreciate their concern. However, don’t loose sight of God’s plan for your life. Remember God rewards obedience to His word, whether written or spoken. If you honor the Lord, regardless of temporal sacrifices and inconveniences, He will bless you and those who are closest to you.