There are two types of Christians: those who seek God’s guidance on everything before they make a move, and those who take bold leaps of faith and pray they grow wings on the way down. When it comes to making major decisions, I find myself on the latter side of the spectrum.
I’m not one of those Christians who thinks I need a word from God on every detail of my life. Somethings really are up to us. If you want to cut your hair, buy a new car or try a new menu item, by all means, do it. Unless it will have an impact on God’s plan for your life, he really does give us free rein to make normal everyday decisions. We’re not robots after all.
However, it is important to recognize when God’s hand is working in your situation. It is in those times that being able to recognize his voice over your own (or the voice of the enemy) will help you stay on the right path and avoid unnecessary heartache and distress.
So How Do You Hear From God?
There are many ways that God speaks to his children. Sometimes his answer comes from that inner voice of wisdom that wasn’t there before. I’ve had times where I was completely confused about something and then the answer just came to me plain and clear. It used to blow my mind, but as I matured in Christ I began to recognize those sudden moments of clarity as the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Basically, it means God has stepped in and provided the answer.
Other times, it comes through ministers or from reading the Bible (the Old Testament provides great insight into the mindset of God). Recently, I was dealing with a tough situation that I didn’t quite understand. I had hit a brick wall in my life and no matter how hard I tried I was not able to move it. Of course, this frustrated me to no end. I had no idea what God was doing. I felt like I was having a Job experience (but not to that extreme, thankfully.)
I didn’t know what to do so I got angry, I cried, I gave up and then I got up and sought God again. Why are you taking me through this, was my constant cry. It took me going to church one night and hearing one line in a sermon that echoed the words God had placed in my spirit all year-long about something I needed to do, but never got around to doing it.
I would like to say that after that night I realized the answer and then went about fixing the problem, but like the true procrastinator that I am, I pondered on it a little further and as a result stayed stuck in my situation just that much longer. It took me hearing the same one line from two other ministers before I finally realized God was speaking to me about my situation. I can truly say that once I went about fixing the problem, that hard place broke and I was able to move forward.
“God is not nearly as concerned about the place as he is about preparing you for the place.”
That was one of those times where I had to seek God for an answer because I didn’t know how to move forward. Then there are those times where I know how to move forward, but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do. Times that call for major moves such as a change in career, location, church home, or relationship scare me to death and although after each one I resolve to never do it again, I always find myself faced with the challenge of once again stepping out into the unknown, because as a child of God we ought to always be moving forward.
God has so much in store for our lives that we do him a disservice when we settle for less out of fear of what’s up ahead. God knows all things and we know God…that’s all the assurance I ever need. Man looks at your seemingly irrational decisions, your confused mind, and your bold moves but God looks at the silent meditations of your heart and at exactly what is the driving force behind those decisions.
Some say when you don’t know what to do, do something. Others say that’s a terrible idea. I say, when you don’t know what to do, seek God’s voice continuously for wisdom and guidance, and if you still don’t know what to do…go with what your heart is telling you and rest in the blessed assurance that when you step out on faith, with the right intentions, Jesus will never let you fail. He might reroute you if that was not the way you should go, but he will also give you the wisdom needed to get back on track.