Olin Holly

In December 2007, I reached the 20-year milestone in my Information Technology career. I was blessed to be working for a fantastic company, have excellent relationships with my co-workers and customers, and be compensated well. Although those aspects of my job were positive, I was beginning to feel somewhat unfulfilled in my role. In the midst of the unending cycle of completing projects and solving problems for my customers, I felt a strong desire to invest my time and effort into things that would improve the lives of others and help them grow. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was really seeking a role that had more significance.

Next, I began looking at opportunities with other IT companies. After having many discussions about various job openings, I found that none of the roles were appealing to me. If I had accepted one of those positions, I would have been engaged in the same kind of work I was already doing except at a different company. Honestly, I didn’t sense God’s peace during that period of job searching. I eventually discovered that I was trying to make something happen on my own instead of allowing the Lord to order my steps. So, I decided to end my job search, stay with my current employer, and recommit myself to honor the Lord where He had me planted.

About 4 months later, I suffered an injury that required me to spend about 10 days of recovery at home.  This enabled the Lord to have my undivided attention. About 4-5 days into my recovery, I sensed the Lord saying to me, “How much longer do you want to keep doing this?”  I knew that He was referring to my current employment/vocation. After pondering this for a few hours, my answer to Him was, “Lord, I’m willing to do whatever You have for me”. With that response, I had just made the first critical step towards discovering God’s “next”: surrender. The Lord already had plans for me, I just needed to be in a position to trust and follow Him instead of trying to make things happen with my own efforts.

The outcome of this story is that after continuing to seek the Lord and praying with my family, it was clear that He had created an opportunity for me to transition away from my IT role to a ministry role at Victory Church where for the past 12 years I have truly been able to fulfill the desire of my heart: to invest my life in significant work that improves the lives of others and helps them grow!

So, how can YOU begin discovering God’s “Next”?

  1. Surrender your plans and your future to God. If you think the Lord will reveal His best for you while you are still trying to make things happen your way… think again. “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:31–34)
  2. Don’t be hasty to create opportunities or open doors on your own. Pay attention to what the Lord may be doing through the ongoing interactions you have with others and the everyday circumstances of your life. Allow Him to guide you to the right opportunity at the right time. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5–6).
  3. Once you have taken the initial step of faith towards a God-given opportunity, you must realize that you’re not “done” trusting Him. It doesn’t return to being all about you making things happen (the opposite of surrender). You’re just getting started on an exciting new adventure with your heavenly Father! Going forward, you will need to be continually dependent on Him. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
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