The Very Familiar Bible Verse That Revealed God’s Will After 15 Long Years (Don’t Make These Same Mistakes)

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God's will found after 15 years
15 years is a long time.  A long time to feel lost.

A long time to live without knowing God’s plan for your life. But that’s exactly what happened to me.

I looked for God’s will for my life year after year and never made any progress.  I prayed and prayed, but I couldn’t get anywhere.

Finding God’s plan for me looked impossible.  My life felt meaningless and empty.

I knew God had a plan for me, and that finding it was the only way I would ever feel fulfilled and happy.

The Day My Life Changed

In 2002 I was regularly attending a small church in Florida.  There was a guest speaker one night talking about the Holy Spirit.  Toward the end of the message, he said anyone who wanted to receive the Holy Spirit could come up.

I went up without thinking too much about it.  I had recently rededicated my life to God, and I wanted to learn and receive as much as I could.

As he prayed he told us (about four of us) to start praying in tongues.  I had no idea what to do, so I started talking.  Though I was speaking, I didn’t understand what I was saying.

I didn’t feel anything, and on the outside, it was as if nothing had happened.

When I walked back to my seat, an older gentleman grabbed my arm and told me that my life would never be the same.  I smiled and said thanks, but I didn’t know what he meant.

Soon after, I realized something had changed.

The Bible says that when the Holy Spirit comes on you, power comes with him.

Acts 1:8
But when the Holy Spirit Comes on you, you will be filled with power and you will be witnesses for me to the ends of the earth.

And that’s the best way to describe it.  Everything felt different, as though my eyes were open for the first time.

I felt that I was now equipped spiritually.  To do what, I wasn’t sure, but in the weeks and months following, something started to happen.

The Beginning of God’s Will

After that night, I saw things in the Bible I hadn’t seen before.  Verses connected in ways I didn’t notice before and I could see a bigger picture instead of just words on a page.

The power of the Holy Spirit was illuminating the Bible in ways I never thought possible.

Proverbs 1:23
“Look, I will pour out my spirit on you, and I will make my words known to you.”

It felt like God released the floodgate.  I was overwhelmed at times with what He was teaching me.

I could barely keep up, but He knew I was absorbing every word.

I also discovered I had an unnaturally strong urge to write. 

I was never an especially good writer, but after that night I could sit and write for hours like it was something I had done my whole life.

Even though most of it wasn’t too spectacular, for me it was like fireworks were going off inside.

Anything God showed me, I would write down.  I learned quickly that even the things that seemed unimportant had a purpose, so I wrote nearly everything He showed me.

There were many times in church that I listened to the first 10 minutes of a sermon and spent the rest of the time writing what the Spirit was speaking to my heart.

For the first time in my life, the Bible started to make sense.  

It wasn’t confusing anymore.

I understood things I had read a hundred times before like it was the first time.

Whenever God would show me something new, I would write about it.  When I started writing, I could fill an entire notebook in just a couple of weeks.

I didn’t know much at that point, but I was certain of one thing:

I wanted more.

I wanted to know God.

I wanted to know what He thought.

What He wanted from me, and what He wanted for me.

And yet all this time I was wandering; desperate to find God’s plan for my life.  Even with this new gift of the Holy Spirit, I still had no idea what to do.

I always had a steady job, but inside I knew there was more.  I knew there was something else I had to do.

And that was my first problem.

I was always looking for something else.

The Reason I Couldn’t Find God’s Will

Even though I was learning so much, I still struggled to know what God wanted me to do.

I prayed and asked God to show me what my purpose was and how He could use me, but I was always met with a bitter silence.

It was bad.  I was angry and frustrated.

I couldn’t see it then, but I now understand why I missed God’s plan for so long.

It is a simple but powerful lesson that I hope will help you so that you won’t make the same mistakes I did.

The truth came from a verse I read many times before.

James 1:23-24
For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

And for 15 years, that’s where I lived.  Hearing the word.  Hearing good teaching.

And writing.  Lots and lots of writing.  But after I would finish, the notebook would end up in the drawer until the next time.

I was hearing.

I was writing.

But I wasn’t doing.

That is, I wasn’t doing anything with what I received.

The Spirit would show me amazing things that answered questions I asked my whole life.  But I didn’t know what to do with them.

So I did nothing.

I knew the giving nature of God, and that His Word tells us to give what we receive, but I was the one taking the light and hiding it under a basket.  (Actually in a drawer).

Matthew 10:8
Give as freely as you have received!

Luke 11:33
No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

It’s obvious to me now that I wasn’t using my gift, but God showed me another side of this verse that helped me to see even more.

I Needed Correction To Find God’s Will

Anyone who doesn’t do the Word is like someone who looks in a mirror but walks away and forgets what he saw.

I looked into the mirror of God’s word and saw the gift I had received.  But as I walked away and put my notebook down, I forgot what I saw.

I was looking somewhere else for the plan of God because I was not doing anything with what I already knew.

I was deceiving myself.

I was believing something that wasn’t true.  I believed that my purpose was something other than the writing I did for so long.

I was looking for something that was right in front of me.

All the frustration and feeling confused and angry was my fault.

Those that hear but don’t do are deceiving themselves by believing they don’t know what to do. 

By thinking you don’t know what God’s plan is, you will always be looking for something else.  You’ll never realize the gift you have inside you.

God's will found after 15 years

Instead of looking for God’s plan for my life, I was looking past it.

Once I realized that, it became clear that what I was looking for had always been right in front of me.

I had deceived myself.  I convinced myself that I didn’t know what to do. 

I always said I didn’t know what to do and I believed it year after year.

And that’s where I stayed for a long time.

This is the Only Way to Find God’s Will

Once I figured out why I couldn’t find God’s will, I needed to find out what God’s will was.

When I started learning about faith and how to use it, I knew it was the only way to find God’s will for my life.

I prayed and believed that God would show it to me.  It was one of the first times I ever prayed in faith.

Mark 11:24
I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 

I asked God to show me things I had ignored or not paid attention to.  And I asked forgiveness for not valuing what He had already shown me.

Then a few days later, while I was searching my heart and expecting that I already had the answer, I saw it.

I remember exactly what I was doing and even where I was standing.  I’ll never forget it.  The witness was unmistakable.

I was searching my heart and thought about writing and sharing what God had shown me for those many years.  When I saw that, it was like God was shining a spotlight on it.  I finally saw it for what it was, and I knew that was it.

God was faithful to His Word and it gave me light where I needed it most.  I finally found what I was looking for.

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalm 18:28
For you will light my lamp: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Proverbs 6:23
For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.

I got my answer.  I prayed and believed that I received, and a few days later, I did.

I was so excited, but also heartbroken and angry that I had missed it for so long.  I felt so stupid that I had agonized for so long because of my own ignorance.

But none of that mattered now.  Finally, after all these years and through all the frustration, I found God’s will for my life.

I put faith to work, and it did work.

James 2:18
Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

My prayers changed after that.

I saw that praying in faith and expectation will always get results, and I knew that was the way to discover the rest of God’s plan.

So I prayed for more specific direction.  I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to get out my old notebooks and start organizing them.

I went through the pages and pages of notes I accumulated over the years, and when I stood back and looked, I saw my purpose in front of me.

Follow The Spirit For The Details

Over the next weeks and months, I followed the Holy Spirit leading and settled on what to do.

Quickly it became clear that these were articles.  The length, format, and content were a perfect fit.

Even before I started, I had more than 50 different articles started.

I knew I had a lot of work to do but for the first time in my life, I wasn’t searching inside.  I didn’t feel that nagging feeling that there was more to my life.

I was stepping into more.

I received the answer by faith and I knew that was how I would get the rest of the details.

What I was always missing was faith.  The same faith that saved me is the same faith that revealed God’s will.

I knew this was how I wanted to live every day of my life.

I prayed for direction each step of the way.

Since this was God’s plan for me, I wanted everything exactly how He wanted it.

I prayed about every detail, down to color choices and formatting.

I believed that I would know the right choice when I saw it, and I did.  Every time.

I had to learn about website design, graphic design, blogging, etc.

I knew nothing about it before I started. It was a lot of work, but the Holy Spirit was always there to help me.

Every detail of the website design was by the leading of the Spirit.

I wasn’t hearing voices, but the still small voice inside every believer that tells you what right.

That’s Him.  That’s what you need to follow.

John 16:17
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads you into all truth.

Psalm 25:9
He leads humble people to do what is right, and he teaches them his way.

I am so grateful that struggle is over.  I had experienced Matthew 11:28 and 30.

Matthew 11:28,30
Come to me, all of you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest…My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It’s such a good thing to experience something personally that you’ve only ever  read about.

Even now, with all the work to do and the countless hours of writing and editing and website design, I’m not burdened.

I know it’s what Jesus has given me to replace the heavy burden I carried for so long.

My hope is that you find something in this story that helps you in your search for God’s plan for your life.

It’s truly amazing what God can do when you reach out to Him in faith, knowing that He has a plan for each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. 

If you are struggling to know what God’s plan for your life is, don’t give up.  God will show you your specific place in the kingdom if you reach out in faith and receive it. 

Pray this to get started:

Lord, you know that my heart is to do the plan you have for my life.  Your Word says that if we acknowledge you in our ways, you will direct our paths.

Right now, I’m asking for your direction and plan for my life.  I’m asking for your wisdom to know and do my part in the kingdom.  I know that you give wisdom if we ask for it, so I believe that I receive it now.  I will not only be a hearer, but I will do exactly what you show me.

Thank you for directing my steps and revealing your plan for me.  I’m excited to have a part in bringing your kingdom to the earth and to bring glory to your name.  Thank you in advance.  In Jesus name, Amen.


Be sure to let me know in the comments about how God is working to show you His plan for your life! 

Let me help you get to know God better and find His plan for your life.

What do you think?

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  • Ann Miesnet
    January 23, 2019

    Tim, my testimony almost word for word. My dad was a a Baptist minister. Never heard the Holy Spirit talked about once. It a long story that I put in a booklet, Eyes Wide Open, that I give away when people sign up for my newsletter. It took about 30-35 years before I knew God’s perfect will for that booklet. I know God is doing amazing things through your writing in these end times. Keep it up. Blessing Bloggers Facebook is where you want to stay.

    • Tim Artman
      January 24, 2019

      Thanks for your kind words, Ann. I believe God has great things in store. And I’ll be sure to check out your book!

  • Diane Kibbey
    January 23, 2019

    This is what I was hoping to see from the second blog in faithorfiction.
    Thank you for sharing the wisdom that God has blessed you with!

    • Tim Artman
      January 24, 2019

      Thanks Mom!

  • April
    January 24, 2019

    I had an experience but it was not in a church setting. It was through a circumstance that brought me to my knees (actually much needed discipline) in a new way. It was then that I realized being bathed in the Holy Spirit changed me. My walk most definitely changed, when I speak so exuberant about the Holy Spirit, some don’t understand but I know life changed more than it ever had before and I had been saved for over 30yrs,even serving God full time in those yrs but this is a different experience once you realize. I have never spoken in tongues and so I feel some must not necessarily need that and God directs that as well.

    • Tim Artman
      January 24, 2019

      That’s awesome April! So amazing to see how God works in our lives. It’s rarely how we think it will go, but always exceeds what we think!

  • Cecilia
    January 24, 2019

    Hi Tim! I really enjoyed reading this. :). Isn’t it amazing when you can look back and see all the pieces coming together. And I wouldn’t beat yourself up for the time that was lost. God’s grace will put His work in you to use in this time now that you are walking in step with the Spirit. I feel the same way, wondering how I went so long as a CHRISTIAN without living in the power of the Spirit. I mean wow, it’s one thing to love Jesus and to be grateful for what God has done through him but it is quite another thing to be going through this life knowing that God’s Spirit is there to truly give us life and to bring about His will through us!

    • Tim Artman
      January 25, 2019

      Hey Cecilia!

      I Totally agree that the time lost will be made up. I realize more each day that maybe I wasn’t ready to do certain things until now.

  • Lori Moore
    January 25, 2019

    My, how your story sounds so familiar! I was once hit with a profound experience that completely changed my life. After that, scripture became clear as day to me. Even the book of Revelation! I also had this weird urge to write, which I’ve done but not in little notebooks, and I’m currently a webmaster by trade because I knew God wanted me to write on a blog but I had to learn how to build websites first. (It just so happens I also love to build websites and I needed to work from home, so it went together perfectly!) One day that site will come to fruition (currently a work in progress) but I have to admit I’m in that place where I’m wondering if it’ll ever see the light of day. Thanks for the reminder to keep doing and waiting in faith to find out.

    By the way, I have followed baby Ben’s story since he was born. You and your wife’s testimony from that experience, and even still today, changed a little something in me. It made me realize JUST how powerful real faith really is, and that not everything that happens is “God’s will”. I used to be the one who would say that, but then I realized it wasn’t the right way of thinking. So thank you for sharing that journey, I know it has changed the hearts of many, myself included! God Bless you and good luck in your journey!

    • Tim Artman
      January 25, 2019

      Hi Lori,

      That sounds so similar to my story. Once I knew my writing belonged on a website, I had to learn how to build one! It took me a while, but My wife and I designed this entire site. If I could offer a piece of advice. Don’t wait until it’s perfect, just get it out there. I wish I didn’t wait as long as I did to launch.

      I’m glad to hear that Benson’s story helped your faith. That’s the main reason we shared it. We love hearing testimonies like yours.

  • Jamie Cress
    January 26, 2019

    Thanks Tim I enjoy reading Faith or Fiction I have learned things that I didn’t know and had never heard from preachers. I now know what I have to do

    • Tim Artman
      January 28, 2019

      Thanks Jamie!

      I’m very glad to hear that!

  • Donna Howell
    March 6, 2019

    Benson brought you and your family to my attention all those many months ago. Little did I know then, that I would read your blog and find someone so like minded. I am old enough to be your mother, but we have walked a very similar journey in our quest for faith, as well as in our quest to find our purpose in this life. Thank you for being obedient.

    • Tim Artman
      March 7, 2019

      Thank you, Donna

  • Patricia G.
    March 20, 2019

    That is an amazing story, Tim! Keep on doing God’s will! As for me, I have a similar story on how God gave me purpose in my life. I began writing in high school and in college, but then I only wrote sporadically until about 2015, the year before I began my current job. I tried to write a fictional story, but I knew my heart wasn’t in it. However, one of my friends from my former church said that I would be good in non-fiction writing, as i had begun to write. In December 2015, my blog, God’s Whisperings was born! I did not write as regularly until I became part of a blogging group in 2017, then God’s spirit prompted me to write more regularly in this blog to bring people the love and hope of Christ that God has taught me (er, whispered) to me in my daily life.

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