Have you ever had those moments where you are wondering, “Am I in the right place?” It could be a relationship, job, or geographic location, but I have found it is easy to question every part of our life. Below is a quick reference to help you discern God’s will:
Scripture: Many will debate about the reliability of Scripture. Number of years, translations, written by people but there are a few things to keep in mind. It is the only ancient writing that describes humanity as broken and God sacrificing Himself to secure eternal life. Every other ancient writing describes humanity in a weakened condition and having to do something on their part to improve their condition. Also, it is written by 40 different authors over 1500 years and it all points to faith alone in the atonement for our sin. Therefore, many of the questions we have in life are clearly given in Scripture.
Counselors: When we have questions about life we need to have people we can trust. We don’t want to ask everyone, we do want to ask people who value Scripture, and sometimes God will give great wisdom and insight through other people. After all, Scripture calls us to be spouses, friends, parents, professionals, live for Him, and try not to end up in jail. We need some other people in our life to help us move in that direction.
Prayer: Prayer is something we tend to only turn to when things get really bad, but prayer can be a great way to ask God, “What do you want to do with my life? How can I live for your glory?” You might be surprised what He reveals to you in prayer. As a side note, we want to make sure we are looking at all three of these together. For example, we don’t need to pray about something that doesn’t line up with Scripture.
But, what about when those things don’t answer our questions. What happens when we look to Scripture, friends, and prayer and we still are not really sure how to respond? Here’s the next step:
Make A Plan: God’s will for tomorrow starts today. Throughout Proverbs it teaches us the importance of planning. It is sitting down and planning through our children, finances, marriage, education, and prayerfully considering what God might want to do in your life over the next 6 months to a year.
Work Your Plan: When you come up with a plan take the time to put it into action. You might ask, “But what if I do the wrong plan? What if I do something stupid? What if I mess up?” Scripture teaches us God is involved in every one of our steps. In fact, it tells us that God determines everyone of our steps. It also teaches us that we are responsible for every decision we make. I am not sure how it is possible, but somehow we are 100% responsible and 100% determined by God at the same time. That means we feel the weight of every decision we make, but it also means we can never, ever, ever, ever think God isn’t involved in our life. It means we might do something stupid, but God is going to use that painful event in our life for something good. Therefore, there is freedom to come up with a plan and work your plan.
Hold Your Plan With An Open Hand: What does that mean? That means we don’t know the future and as much as we plan we need to hold it with an open hand. It really means when those plans change we have to trust God. We have to lay aside our preferences, our control, our comforts and trust God is using these changes in our life for our good and His glory. That could happen on the way to the grocery store, it could happen when you get a speeding ticket, and it is even how we see our past experiences. Our past experiences, as painful as they might be, have shaped how we see God, ourselves, and other people. I am not sure why, but God has allowed those things to take place for our good and His glory.
Some of us might push back and say, “Why does it have to be so complicated?” Why can’t it be like the television show Touched By an Angel where an angel shows up and fixes everything. Because life doesn’t work that way. If God told you what to do you wouldn’t listen anyways. Did you do what your parents told you to do when you were a child? No, and it wouldn’t be any different with God because we tend not to listen until we are in a place to listen. Sometimes God uses the “changes” of our day / life to help us listen so that it is ultimately for our good and for His glory.