Monday, October 14, 2013

How to know what God wants you to do in a given situation

Have you ever been faced with a major decision and had no clue which way to go?  I think many of us have been in that situation. Which college should I go to? Where should I live? Should I buy a home or rent? Who should I marry? Should I take this job offer?  How should I best discipline my child? And there are countless other major decisions and tons of smaller ones that face us daily.  Yet as Christians, we are supposed to be followers of Jesus. We are sheep following the great shepherd. Yet how can we know for sure what He wants us to do?

I've often told God to please send me an email, voice mail, even a tweet, and tell me what to do!! Please! I will be obedient if I only knew.  But I've discovered an important secret over the years. God isn't as interested in  telling us what to do as He is in US. He wants US. He wants us to get to know Him, to learn to know His unique voice, His unique presence. And the only way to do that is to spend time with Him. I know I've said this before but there's no way around it. If you truly need direction. If you truly need an answer to your question, then you need to stop everything and get alone with God. You can't just rattle off a prayer here and there, read a devotional and be on your way.

Yes, I know you're busy. I am too! I'm a housewife, wife, mother, (soon to be grandmother, yay!) and I work full time as a writer.  I spend over 8 hours a day on my writing business. Time is the one thing I'm very short of! Well, maybe that and patience.

1. Anyway, first step, if you want God to lead you, spend time alone with Him and learn to listen for His voice. This is cultivated over time.

2. Next step is to lay out all your options. Spend time talking to God about each one and listening. He will lean you toward one of them. I can't quite describe it but when it happens, you'll know. It's sort of an excitement, a peace, a knowing. It may even be the path that makes you the most nervous..it may even be the hardest path,  but you will still feel that it is the one God wants you to take

3. Next, start down that path and ask God to show you if you're, indeed, on the right path. He will! I guarantee it. I recently had a huge decision to make about my writing career. I had several options before me, but every time I took them to God in prayer, only one of those options made my heart leap. So I started down that road. I was nervous, unsure. Everything was and is still new to me. But God showed up Huge! Doors were opened, people came alongside to help, my questions were answered, I got conformation from both people and events. Now, I know this is where God wants me. (more on that later)

Too many people stall at Step 3. They pray for direction but then are too afraid to step out in faith. Step out of the boat! The Lord will not let you sink!  If you're on the wrong path, He will gentle turn you around and get you on the right one.





20 comments:

  1. First off, congratulations of your grandbaby! What an exciting time for you and your family!

    I prefer the much simpler use your Christian liberty and reading your Bible. I believe we are given liberty when choosing a lot of the decisions in our life. I think it is weird how when it comes to something like salvation, a lot of Christians stress the importance of our part in making a decision. But when it comes to something like where to live or what job to take, then we have to wait for God to lead us where to go. That seems a little backwards to me. I am happy with reading my Bible, knowing the clear commandments that God lays out for us, and then taking that knowledge and using my liberty to make the rest of decision(s).

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  2. Emma, thank you for your congrats!! We are very excited for this new precious life. I appreciate you viewpoint on seeking God's will and I do agree we have great liberty in Christ, but I also know that if left to my own devices I'm quite apt to make the wrong choice. I desperately need guidance on major decisions and I love going to my Father in Heaven and asking Him what to do. Why wouldn't I ask Him ? He loves me. He knows what's best for me and He has a plan for my life. He knows I want to be obedient.. so I think it pleases Him when I come to him. Besides, He has guided me so many times now, I never want to make a decision without Him. :-) Have a great day!

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    1. I understand what you are saying. And, naturally, even though I believe we have great freedom, I would never just choose to make a big decision without prayer. I don’t want you to think that I do! And I agree with you, that left our own devices we will make bad decisions...and that is one reason, I so dislike this wait for a "feeling" to know it is right. Because, while I am forgiven, and while the Holy Spirit does dwell in me, I am still a sinner, and my heart is naturally inclined to sin. So, by me listening for God, or waiting for a peace or a feeling, in most cases, is just my own sinful flesh, telling me what it wants. Which is why I keep it simple. I study the Bible, so I know what pleases God and what does not, and I make decisions based on that. :)

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  3. MaryLu, you've hit it right on! When I have a decision to make and I just don't know what to do, I ask the Lord. He knows the beginning and the end of my life (and each of ours). Even if my flesh is scared, but my spirit feels peace about it, that's how God shows me (if it is NOT in His word- such as what job am I to take, etc) which way to go. It's our hearts that God wants to make sure that are completely His and if we happen not to hear correctly, but our hearts want to please Him, He will lovingly let us know. Heart attitude is what counts! Thanks for the excellent post!

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  4. How timely this post was for me... thankyou so much for sharing this. :)

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  5. Thank you Cherie! Amen. Its the heart attitude. I once heard a preacher reply when asked what does faith feel like. He said Peace. I loved that and remember it to this day.

    Bush Maid, I'm so glad!! Thanks for coming by. :-)

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing this. I'm in a huge fork in the road right now myself!

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  7. MaryLu,

    You are absolutely right on all 3 points. I've had to learn the hard way over the years, and I've come to the same conclusions you have. God is very personal & loving. He wants walk with me in every part of my life, not just when I'm praying, so I try to include Him in everything I do. I'm usually thanking Him a lot during the day, but whenever I need help, He's right there, and I hear Him most clearly. He's the very best friend I've ever had. :-)

    Lora

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    1. Me too.. Lora, the more I know Him as my Father... the more I realize how wonderful He is.. how loving and kind and forgiving and how much He wants to help me.

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  8. Thank you, MaryLu, for your post & reminder - you are SO right on all points!

    I am a perfect example of someone who made some disastrous choices, because I wasn't trusting, & consulting God in the direction of my paths. I am a slow learner, & put myself, & my family, through much unnecessary pain for many years, before acknowledging that my choices were definitely NOT working! I was miserable, unhappy, & had hit bottom - before turning my life over to God. Some of the decisions I made, will have life-long effects. However, I have been forgiven by Him, & am happy in the assurance that His way is always the best way, & consulting Him in all decisions - big, or small - has become as natural as breathing.

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    1. You and me both, bonton! I'm still paying the consequences for going my own way and not asking for God's direction. I, too, had to hit bottom before finally waking up. I praise God both of us finally came to our senses. :-)

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  9. This has been a topic my sister and I have discussed a lot over the last few weeks. How to hear God's voice. Last night we just decided to start a Bible study about it. I know many who seem to have a direct ear to Him. They don't bash it over other people's heads, but know what God is calling THEM to do. And like you said, they've cultivated it over years. I've always been in awe of these people, wondering how they could be so certain of His Will in their lives. Watching my sister, who came to the Lord many years after me, I'm starting to see how important #3 really is. She stepped out in faith, even when she wasn't sure, but her heart was for God. She messed up a few times, but now she's making decisions that God is confirming for her. I was always afraid I didn't hear correctly so hesitated to step out and do it wrong. But I believe if my heart is for Him throughout, He will constantly be beside me, correcting me and even cleaning up my mess. I just need to be faithful.

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    1. Excellent thoughts, Connie! I agree.. we must cultivate hearing from Him... it takes time and effort, but even then we still have to sometimes step out.. but the cool thing is, even if we step out wrong but we have the right motives, He'll help us get back on the right track. What a wonderful God!

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  10. Thank you so much for that post. That is something I am struggling with right now. I have a big decision ahead of me that will change my life greatly. I have been praying to God about it, but I haven't spent some alone time with him, I know that's exactly what I need to do. Despite my fear of the unknown, I need to trust God because he knows what he is doing. God has spoken to me through you. Thank you again.
    Starla

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  11. Thanks so much for this post. I am a beginning writer with so many stories in my head and always wondering which one to pursue. Thanks for reminding me that we have a loving Father who has plans for us and will lead us and guide us in everything.

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    1. No problem, Judy. May God direct you in your writing. :-)

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  12. Splendid POST! it was just the answer i needed...confirmed to me again. I heard my savior tell me the exact same thing in my devotion this morning. I need to stop seeking for what I want (the answer i want) and just love him--LadyS

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  13. I'm thrilled God used me to help you, LadyS!!

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  14. That is such a good point--He wants US. That's why it's so important to get to know God for yourself. Thanks for sharing this.

    Lily | http://redwinemag.com/

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