There are many times throughout the life of the Christian where we must seek the Lord for direction and guidance. I am currently in one of those places of my life. It can seem like the Lord isn’t listening to your prayers or is ignoring your petitions for guidance, and this can frustrate us and cause us to go and do “whatever seems right in our own eyes”.
It is good to trust the Lord for the outcome of our lives and to guide us into good decisions, but there are a few things that can hinder our receiving God’s direction. If you are like me and struggle with obedience it can cause your heart to get hard, and the harder your heart is the harder it will be to hear the Lord.
So here are three things that the Lord has shown me when I asked Him for guidance:
I want to know where to go and what to do in life, but all that God wants from me is to be obedient to Him. This can seem like too simple of an answer, but if you think about it for a moment you know that it is the root of the problem. Are you being obedient to God’s word in your daily life? If you are then you will naturally (supernaturally naturally) be led into making the right choices in life. The apostle Paul speaks about this in his epistle to the Romans,
[Rom 6:16 NKJV] 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin [leading] to death, or of obedience [leading] to righteousness?
In human terms, we become the slave of whomever we present our bodies to. If we consistently present our bodies to acts of sin then we will become the slave of sin. On the contrary, the Christian has presented their body to the Lord and has been freed from the slavery of sin — so it is time to use that freedom to be obedient to the Lord out of love for his salvation.
So the first question to ask yourself when you want the Lord’s guidance is if you are being obedient already to the revealed will of God found in His written word (the scriptures). That is the first step to guidance.
[Mic 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
When you are being obedient to the Lord you are then in a place for Him to show you more precisely what His will is for your life. Often times when we begin to be obedient we then rush out and hope to make His calling happen in our lives. When you don’t know what to do, wait. Wait for him to show you then wait for Him to call you to act. In the mean time, be obedient to the Word and to the things He has already shown you and given you to do.
An example was recently put to me like this: there are people who God has shown that it is His will that they are to marry, but they then rush out and find the first person who is willing to start a serious relationship with them. Oftentimes, they then find themselves in a marriage where they never really loved that person in the first place. Then they are stuck. With God’s help of course He can turn ashes into beauty, but it is wisdom to wait for the right woman, or man, that God has for you.
That said though I must make a disclaimer. Waiting doesn’t mean sitting around and doing nothing. Waiting means actively seeking the Lord, prayerfully considering each step, moving forward in faith, and trusting in the things that He has already revealed to you. Waiting is a stage that the Lord sometimes desires for us to be in, so we can learn to trust in Him and follow Him, but waiting is not the place that we should stay at forever. Eventually the Lord will call you to go, to move, and to trust.
[Psa 27:13-14 NKJV] 13 [I would have lost heart], unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Lastly, we must learn to trust in the Lord when we seek direction. Maybe you are being obedient, and you are waiting, but you still don’t know what to do. Trust in the Lord. Trust that He has a plan for your life and will bring it to pass. This is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. If you fail to do everything else, but you at least trust in the Lord, then the other two will eventually fall into place.
[Pro 3:5-6 NKJV] 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.