I first heard the phrase, “Do the next thing,” from Oswald Chambers. It comes up numerous times in his biography, Abandoned to God, and it stands as a simple, yet profound, “working out” of his life and trust in God. I came across this old poem and I suspect it is one that Oswald read at one time or another in his life.
From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Thrust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, doe the nexte thynge
Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.
I can hardly consider the phrase "Do the next thing" without also thinking about the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (NLT)