Being Led by God – Not by Need

by | Apr 19, 2016

Led by God Not by NeedI’m in a crisis. Several, in fact…

They are not my own, but they kind of feel like they are.

Several church members and friends are going through difficult times – troubled marriages, financial woes, dark diagnoses. My heart hurts for each one.

Then there is my dear cousin who’s just lost her home to a fire. All of these lives have been turned upside down.

I want to help. I want to share my friends’ burdens and lighten their loads. Most of all, I want to swoop into the rescue, fixing everything and everyone in need.

But I’m fighting back my Messiah Complex because I’ve learned an important lesson…

I need to be led by God, not driven by need.

Tips for Burden Bearing

We are called to care for one another as the Body of Christ. “Carry each other’s burdens,” Galatians 6:2 tells us, “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

However, if we don’t look to the Holy Spirit for discernment, you and I risk going beyond what God would have us do – even interrupting what God is up to in the lives of our friends. Or we go to the opposite extreme, turning a blind eye to the need for fear of the amount of energy and involvement caring might require.

Because I’m in need of these reminders myself right now, I’d like to share some tips for healthy burden bearing:

1. The need is not necessarily the call

Rather than rushing into the situation (or pulling back completely), take a moment to ask the Lord if there is anything He wants you to do. You may be called to step up in a practical way or to stand in the gap in faithful prayer. Don’t assume or presume. Ask the Lord for wisdom, then allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you.

2. Walk in faith, not fear

This is huge for me. Too often I’m driven to do something (anything!) out of fear for my friend rather than faith in my God. I fixate on human problem-solving and forget to factor God into the equation. As a result, I get worried and overwhelmed, faithless rather than faith-filled. I walk in my own strength rather than in the strength of the Lord.

Daystar - Pull Into Your Peace

Graphic from

3. Point people to Jesus

When you talk to your friend, don’t feel compelled to provide all the answers. Instead, point him or her to Jesus. Pray together, then wait to see God move on their behalf. When we rush in to be people’s source, we set ourselves ups as surrogate messiahs – stealing a place that belongs to God alone.

4. Do only what God tells you to do

This has been so important for me. At times, I feel guilty and think I should be doing more. But I’ve learned the hard way not to run ahead of God. Look to Him for wisdom daily, moment by moment. If there is clarity as to what to do, step out and obey. If there isn’t, don’t manufacture action. Do only what God asks, then trust Him to do the rest.

5. If there is a check in your spirit, wait

Part of being led by God rather than driven by need requires a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. You may see the next step that needs to be taken in the situation, but if there is any hesitation (on your part or the part of your friend), wait until God gives the release to move ahead.

6. Be willing to step back so others can step up

God rarely uses just one person to meet another’s need. Refuse the role of savior – in your mind or in the mind of others. Find out from the Lord what your part is and what it isn’t. God will bring other people alongside your friend, but He also wants to enable your friend to “carry [her] own load” (Galatians 6:5).

7. Ask God for His perspective

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the immensity of the situation. Allow God to take you outside of the problem so that you can better see the solution. Ask the Lord to give your friend clarity and perspective as well. Refuse to get bogged down in the details, pray with big-picture faith.

Fresh Faith and a New Focus

A couple of mornings ago, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed for my cousin.

She’s a single mom with three kids and no income. She keeps hitting roadblocks when trying to find a new place to live. My heart was heavy and my mind fuzzy as I tried to figure out an answer for her problem. Anxiety mounted as I thought about the difficulties my other friends faced.

With a heavy heart, I bundled up all the trouble and lifted it to God in prayer asking Him to intervene on everyone’s behalf. Then I opened my Streams in the Desert devotional and read that day’s opening verse:

“All these things are against me” (Genesis 42:36)

Yup, that was exactly how many of my friends felt. As though one thing after another was slamming into their lives nonstop. But then I read the verse printed below that one:

“All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28)

What a wonderful reminder! It was just what I needed. A new perspective. Fresh faith for the day and a fresh point of view to share with my friends. God was at work and nothing would be wasted.

The heaviness lifted and the fuzziness faded away as I thanked God for what He was doing behind the scenes. I was able to pray in faith rather than fret in fear.

And that in itself may be the greatest gift we give our friends…the faith to see beyond the current impossibility to God’s amazing power at work on their behalf. Pushing back through intercession the fuzzy heaviness that cloaks their hearts and minds. So that they, too, might be…

Led by God rather than driven by need.

Fresh Faith Focus

{ Click to get FREE Printable of “Fresh Faith Focus” }

I’d love to hear from you…What “burden-bearing” tip would you add to this list?

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