A Great Question to Ask

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Confession, Maturity, Priorities, Wisdom 3 Comments

My husband and I recently started a new business. While our optimism is high, the days have been long, and the learning curve has been brutal. We’re still a ways away from the business being the well-oiled machine we’d like it to be, but one thing we have going for us is this: we aren’t afraid to ask for help.

We call our corporate office and our mentor on the regular, desperate for direction and understanding. Who should we use for payroll? What should our employee orientation and trainings include? What forms are essential for a client intake?

Each question we ask is met with answers that bring us greater clarity and direction. We want to understand what the core foundations of our business should look like.

In Luke 3, John the Baptist had just begun his ministry and was surrounded by people who were asking questions and looking for direction. His job? Prepare the way of the Lord (Luke 3:4). Many royal rulers and powerful leaders of the land are listed at the beginning of the chapter to set the stage and give us historical context, yet it is a normal guy, born to older parents, in an off-the-map-of-all-places-important rural village that the Lord called to be the forerunner for Jesus.

Doesn’t it encourage you that God uses normal people from ordinary places to tell the world about Jesus?

Me too.

The Lord spoke to John when he was in the wilderness and told him what to do (Luke 3:2). Then John walked his sandals to the dusty country trails around the Jordan and got himself busy for Jesus. He preached what the Bible calls “a baptism of repentance” for the forgiveness of sins, and he challenged the people of Israel to live lives that produced fruit in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3:3,8) His message was two-fold, but simple: turn from sin and turn toward God.

The people wanted John to help them understand. They wanted to know what that should look like in their lives. “What should we do then?” the crowd asked (Luke 3:10).

“John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay” (Luke 3:11-14).

That same question was posed from people of different backgrounds, careers, ages, and responsibilities … from people with different challenges and different experiences. What should we do?

Similarly, I often find myself asking God for guidance. What should I do, God? What should my life look like?

In Psalm 119, I see a glimpse of what God’s answer might be to this. My life should look a lot like His Word. Like Jesus.

Clarity for confusion and direction for my days and soul will come as I look to the Lord as my Portion (v57) and seek His face with all my heart (v58). When I believe in His commands (v66), obey His Word (v67), and ask Him to teach me knowledge, good judgement and His decrees (V66, 68).

Ultimately, I will know what to do and what my life should look like when the Word of God is a lamp and light (Psalm 119:105) that points me in the ways of Jesus, the Word made flesh.


Dear Lord,
Thank You for your Word that’s rich with lessons and leadings.
Please help me to be a woman who does things that will cause others to see You. Guide me in Your ways.
In Jesus’ name, amen



What it would look like for you to turn from sin and turn toward God today? When’s the last time you asked God what you should do? Ponder that a bit, then post a prayer of response on the wall of my blog.

Love you guys!

I had a great conversation about angels, art and the beauty of worship with my friend Anne Neilson on the latest Graceologie Podcast episode. Give it a listen on my website or on you podcast app!

Comments 3

  1. Dear Lord, I thank You for guiding me and leading me in Your Ways…I pray that I am always willing to listen to Your Voice and obey. I thank You for Your blessings that You bestow upon me and my family and friends and others. You are so loving and kind towards us, Lord. May I forever seek Your face and surrender to Your Will. This is my prayer, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  2. Lord please help me with my pain from the back surgeries today. Help me to know if the opportunities you’re providing are ones that you want me to be a part of. Help me to listen more and speak less. And I pray the Lord and I in listening will understand more keenly what it is you are showing me. Thank you Lord for our simple home and marriage. Help me Lord to remember each day how very blessed I am. And at the end of each day help me to reflect I’m where I saw you today. Amen

  3. Gwen your blogs Always hot home with me. This one also pierced my heart because I have struggled with living like Jesus like most people. I strive to live in His image each day but somehow I feel like I never live up to my true hearts intentions. Then I realized I fall short because I try to do it in my own without seeking The LORD’s guidance and direction. Today’s lesson truly spoke to me in incredible ways reading about John the Baptist and how he Through Jesus Taught and spike to everyone on how they could immediately make changes that would be pleasing to God.
    I was so intent reading this it gave me sense of assurance that I’m not alone I. Feeling inadequate or that I am only one struggling. Thank you so much for always Being consistent and Your writing is Beautifully written and I can always relate to Your content no matter what the topic

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