When you’re getting ready to take the next step…

Stephanie Bryant and I chat with Kendra Tillman on her blogtalkradio program. Toward the end of our time together she asks a simple question that goes something this: “How do you know when it’s time to move on to the next thing God has for you?”

We have to think about it for a moment. And after a bit of nervous laughter, we share what we believe to be true. An exit strategy you will never read about in any business book. But it’s the only one you need.

When the Israelites traveled to the Promised Land, a cloud representing God’s presence hovered over their place of worship. When the cloud moved, they moved. When it stayed, they stayed.

At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. {Num. 9:18}

What matters most isn’t where you are or where you’re going, it’s where God is moving in your life. Because where he’s going, that’s where you want to be too.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. {Ps. 84:10}

Yes, God is everywhere and always with us. But there are times when He moves. He’s not leaving us–he’s leading us.

And when that happens, we’re to go.

With courage.

With trust.

With obedience.

Yes, that’s the only exit strategy you’ll ever need–

Follow God out the door.


p.s. My fabulously talented friend Kristin Morris has created a collection of That’s What He Said shirts. I love their creative styles and encouraging messages {I’ve got the Anything’s Possible one above}. If you want that shirt or any of the others for you or someone you love, you can use coupon code HOLLEY10 for 10% off through December 2nd. And she has free shipping too. Yay! You can find the whole fabulous collection here. Which one is your favorite?


  1. Spencer Daniel says

    Thank you Holley, Excellent topic and also the shirts are great.

    One contribution to the topic that I would make is

    once you sense a leading from God to go in a certain direction.

    I would say go in the new direction God is leading you.

    I believe as we step out, God can then guide us further.

    Someone might ask, What if it is the wrong direction?

    God can clearly tell one that.

    One verse that has helped me is

    Proverbs 14:23a
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    “In all labor there is profit….”

    When you step out that labor in itself

    will produce some profit and/or experience

    that will guide you further as God continues to lead you.

  2. says

    This resonates with me. God is always wanting to do a new thing! He never wants us to grow complacent in our walk. It’s up to us to be discerning and wise when He is calling us to move on to the next thing that He has for us. We should always desire to be flexible and willing to move where the Spirit leads.

  3. karyn says

    Follow JESUS where ever HE leads and have the greatest adventure of our lives. When HE turns left – we turn left – when HE turns right – we turn right – when HE stops – we stop – when HE walks on – we walk on – and so it goes on and on and on and on …… till we see HIM Face to face.

    • Spencer Daniel says

      Karyn, I really like what you said,

      It is so simple–just follow Jesus always wherever He leads us.

      Thank you very much!!!!

  4. says

    I really enjoyed this post. Especially this quote:

    “What matters most isn’t where you are or where you’re going, it’s where God is moving in your life. Because where he’s going, that’s where you want to be too.”

    The thing that I seem to have trouble with is knowing WHEN God is moving… is it really God moving my husband and I, or just us trying to move ourselves? It’s tough to decipher…

    • Liane says

      I really resonated with this blog post and Holley’s quote “What matters most isn’t where you are or where you’re going, it’s where God is moving in your life. Because where he’s going, that’s where you want to be too.”

      Saying “yes to whenever the cloud moves” is such good advice. It reminds me that pausing, taking time to have margin in life, not having a 5-year plan in place is OKAY.

      Hearing that putting prayer first, and not being lazy about prayer is so very much what I needed to hear today. It is so easy to move before God, but your dialogue on the blogtalk radio program really encouraged me to keep moving forward by walking in step with God.

      Thank you for all you do, Holley. You are a blessing.

  5. Debbie says

    Love your encouraging posts and devotionals. Very appropriate post today as I am standing in my kitchen with moving boxes surrounding me and the truck being loaded as I type. Leaving my stomping grounds of 53 years (special friends, family and church family) since my husband has accepted another job 4 1/2 hours away! Definitely a bittersweet time and sometimes all that keeps me going is knowing that God leading each step of the way and has awesome blessings for us in our new location! Thanks again Holley for allowing God to use you in so many ways! God bless!

  6. Karen says

    I had shared this thought that a wise Brother had shared with my husband and I as were
    leaving the States to go and plant a church in a city in Ecuador years ago:

    ” I would rather sit back and watch God work, than Him sit back and watch me work.”

    Little is Much, when God is in it. It is just as Mary said, long ago, “Whatever He says, do it.”

    Thank you, Holley, for this message today and the reminder that our Lord knows the
    Way through the Wilderness: all I have to do is follow!

  7. Sarita says

    I also believe God some time takes away our desire to continue with what we are doing,then we can feel that it’s time to move on. Also some times that move on could be to,sit,wait and refresh yourself.

  8. Doreen says

    Cute WOMEN’S t-shirts, hope she sells a lot, but tis the season for shopping for others, which includes lots of men in my life: know any good/unique/cute Christian guy t-shirt websites? I love this women’s sayings, too bad no men. (thanks as always for your blogs!)

  9. says

    This is such a timely word for me. I am praying about an “exit strategy” right now. In fact, I just sent an email about this very issue, asking for prayers. And then … this.

    Thank you, Holley. Your words touch my heart in deeply personal ways.

  10. Deb says

    Holley, I am at such a crossroad in my life with so much happening. Your post really helped calm my heart and mind and now i can pause for a moment and breath and wait for God to lead me. Thanks

  11. Mary B. says


    What a timely subject. Our church is going through a transition right now. A lot of uncertainty on my part about whether to stay or to leave. I have been in this church for over 40 years. I am asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. Should I remain with something that is familiar but a little uncomfortable right now or launch out into the deep; really struggling with my issues of fear of the unknown.

    I have been asked to take a position at a organized church. This church consists of a few members from the church where I am attending now.

    Pray for me.

    Mary B.

  12. Diane says

    I needed to read this today as I feel the Lord leading me a different direction in a couple areas in my life. Follow God out the door. That’s what I need to do. Thank you!

  13. says

    These are timely thoughts for me too as I sense God is asking me to move into a new area of service and there is part of me that grieves for what needs to be laid aside to make it possible. It helps to remember He is leading the way and paving a path through it all which will become clearer as I take one tentative step after another. Thanks for another excellent post, Holley, that speaks so powerfully into my spirit. God bless you for your faithfulness in giving such encouragement to others. :)

    • Cindy says

      I appreciate what you have shared here, Joy! Thank you very much for sharing it and for your honesty.. It is very good food for thought. God bless you!

  14. Steph says

    Where you going?
    I may not know but I will go. Go where my HEART leads me for it is where God whispers to me
    ” Go my child. Have no doubts. I shall keep you safe where ever I lead you. There might not always be calmness. Yet I shall show you PEACE amongst the chaos. Just call upon me and I will answer in the way I see fit for you. My Sweet Child.” I also think what A wise Friend~A Deep embedded Soul touching Friend help me understand how to look at the door that should always be open with “Faith & Dear Hope” ! Words I that I try to live by daily, with what the Blessings I receive daily.
    Where you going ;).

  15. Manie says

    This its a difficult one for me. My Sister told me that she is going to move to Texas because her husbands brother needs around the clock care. My Sister needs to go. As she is my Steel Rock in my trying times I understand she needs to go. We plan to meet half ways on weekends that we both can. However my heart bleeds ultra sadness because I need her very much too during my illness. My own selfishness keeps me in my own pain.
    I pray that God finds something better for her brother~in~laws situation so my Soul Sister can stay here in our city.

    • Cindy says

      Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I lift Marie and her brother-in-law to You. I pray for wholeness for both of them, by the stripes Jesus bore. I pray for peace for Marie, her sister, and her brother-in-law during this time of transition. Please give them wisdom for their situations. Thank You that Your loving, strong hand is upon their lives every step of the way. May they know greatly your mercy and grace to carry them through. Amen!

  16. Joyce Veronica Varlack says

    Just received “marching orders” this morning from the Lord. These past few days I had been asking God for something specific. Earlier today, as I obeyed Him in something else, the door opened wide with regard to what I alluded to before. It reminds me of what happened in Joshua 3 (15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest.Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. ) … Also of Genesis 24:27 (I being in the way, Jehovah hath led me …) ♥

  17. donna says

    Thinking God may want me to step out and I’m petrified. Seriously. It’s like my head says one thing and my emotions say another, but I can’t totally trust them because I haven’t moved in so long that I’m terrified even if it’s good for me.
    Help y’all?

    • Cindy says

      Father God, I lift Donna to You. Thank You for Your great and deep love for her. May she know Your peace as she considers this direction from God. May Donna clearly hear Your voice above her emotions, mind and other possibly confusing voices. May those voices be silenced. Thank You for Your clear guidance and direction for Donna. May she remain sensitive to Your Holy Spirit and rest in Your strong, loving arms which uphold her. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

      Deuteronomy 33:26-27 (NKJV) “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun. Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds. 27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy!’

  18. Javene McCabe says

    THANKS HOLLEY! this was a great post. My daughter and i work together at child care at a local church. Although we love the children very much we are feeling the Lord’s leading to change jobs. We work well together and may have an opportunity to go. We are praying that it is the Lord’s leading. We have handed in our applications and now we just “wait upon the Lord”….If you read MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by Oswald Chambers (i have read his daily devotional for the past 15 years and always read it afresh), he recommends to WAIT FOR THE CALL …whenever i take that advice and do not pursue but wait on the Lord, it always works out. This is especially true when changing jobs. It is a sure way of knowing that the Lord wants you there. So we just wait. God already knows if this is a good job change for us. We have done our part by applying for the job now, we just wait for the call to come. It is so freeing and the feeling of peace in my heart is great. I will surely keep you updated if the call comes.
    Have a blessed week….love the shirt….Javene

  19. says

    HolleyThis message was as personal and clear as if you’d shared it with me over coffee this morning. I really wish I could just “follow God out the door” when He says it’s time to go. For me, God closes all the doors except the one I must go through. I am grateful, however, for His steadfastness and mercy. I am also grateful that one lost sheep is as important to Him as the 99.

  20. says

    For the first time in 30+ years of marriage filled with lots of changes and stepping out in faith, we are in a very different and scary place—one door has slammed shut, we are moving back in with family, and there is no open door in sight. Thanks for the encouragement to WAIT til we see God moving…I needed to read this today!

  21. Mae says

    Holley, this post is so timely: recently I did step out,
    I knew He had moved the clouds away. Then it all came
    Crashing down! It took more faith & obedience than I ever
    had to get through the doors. It was obedience that I needed.
    Ultimaely, I’m happy to say, after months, I am blessed, settled,
    and encouraged because I know He wanted me to follow, to learn
    to trust, trust Him & myself. I am amazed at the changes I made.
    Changes within, that brought me to say: Lord, meet me where I’m at!
    He did. I asked Him to give me a clear path. He did.
    Your words and thoughts brought it all home. Thank you!
    We are never perfectly, but perfectly in him all things are possible.

  22. says

    Sometimes the “going” is in His leading us right into the very next moment, perhaps even this one; for, ALL. Is. For. Purpose., and not a single moment is wasted; all are necessary for the next.

  23. Spencer Daniel says

    When you’re getting ready to take the next step…

    and you are unsure of what God is saying.

    One thing we can always do is worship God.

    I like the Message bible translation of Psalm 34:9

    Psalm 34:9
    The Message (MSG)

    Worship God if you want the best;
    worship opens doors to all his goodness.

    And part of His goodness to you can be clear direction

    as to His perfect will for your life right now.

    If you need a worship song to start with–I can suggest–

    Our God by Chris Tomlin as one such song to start with.


  24. says

    You got me thinking Holley… Yes it is better to follow God out the door, instead of banging your head against the wall, asking “Why?”. Sometimes the move was clear, and I jumped out the door. Sometimes I was pushed out the door. Sometimes I had to wait for the door to open. It can be confusing, so prayer and worship are key to knowing when to go.

  25. Betty says

    Good Morning Holley…GOD is an On Time God…I thank you for sharing this message. Very encouraging…move when He move, stop when He stop. No matter where I may go in the direction He calls me out to go…He will be with me. He said that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He know what’s best for me as I continue growing spiritually. And I love that song “Our God” by Chris Tomlin…I listen to it alot to get lifted up in Praise and Worship to Jesus. I like the T-shirt as well, and the Words that is on it. Agape! Be Bless Holley… :)

  26. says

    I want to follow God with all my heart. But what if you don’t feel Him moving HERE, but you also aren’t sure where a THERE might be? You can wait – but you can’t put things on a forever “hold” button. This is where I’m at – and it’s decision time. And I want to make the right one.

    • Spencer Daniel says

      Dionna, you said something very significant–

      “I want to follow God with all my heart.”

      Psalm 139:1
      New King James Version (NKJV)

      God’s Perfect Knowledge of (Woman) Man
      For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

      “O Lord, You have searched me and known me.”

      From what Psalm 139:1 says– it seems clear to me that

      God knows you want to follow God with all your heart.

      And I would venture to guess that He is very, very pleased with you.

      Just because you do not feel Him moving HERE

      does not mean He is not moving where you are.

      If He is not giving you a new direction to go in

      He must be pleased with you right where you are right now.

      I like Psalm 27

      Psalm 27:4-6
      New King James Version (NKJV)

      An Exuberant Declaration of Faith
      A Psalm of David.

      One thing I have desired of the Lord,
      That will I seek:
      That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
      All the days of my life,
      To behold the beauty of the Lord,
      And to inquire in His temple.
      5 For in the time of trouble
      He shall hide me in His pavilion;
      In the secret place of His tabernacle
      He shall hide me;
      He shall set me high upon a rock.
      6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
      Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
      I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

    • Cindy says

      😀 Would be nice, wouldn’t it? God does know how best to communicate with us and we can rest in His promise to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Praise Him!

  27. says

    I love this. I travel for work. I also have my house for sale in hopes of a relocation. Both, at times, can be very frustrating as I am a person who has to work on being patient. I tell myself daily to “Go, go in blind faith for God has a great plan in store.”

  28. says

    Thank you Holley for this beautiful post. I love how you said, when God moves He is not leaving us – He is leading us … I long to be lead more and more by my Father. He is doing new things in our midst, praise Him!

  29. Sandy says

    Hi Holley,
    I just leapt in with both feet at my church”s womens group meeting. Our President was stepping down after 10 years and no one else was volunteering so I said I would give it a try. Our group is small, usually about 10 women per meeting but I hoping to bring some new ideas to the group that might be of interest to some of the younger women.
    With God’s help I’m sure I can move forward with interesting, new ideas on how to serve Him.

    Shalom, Sandy

  30. Cindy says

    AMEN, Holley! When I finished reading this, I threw my arms up in praise – or fist pumps. :) YES! Follow God out the door with courage, trust and obedience. I believe this involves stopping and listening intently for God’s voice. He loves to talk with us, and we need to hear Him. Let’s be sensitive to His Holy Spirit and follow closely! God bless you and your readers richly! Because of Jesus…..


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