Whether you are faced with a life change or simply at a mental crossroads, seeking God’s direction can seem very challenging. We may spend hours in prayer, seek the wisdom of others, and often look for “signs” along the road. However, I would argue that seeking God’s direction doesn’t have to be as complex as we perceive it to be.
As a teen, I remember being so frustrated with my parents’ decision to homeschool me along with my much younger siblings when I was just two years away from graduating high school. I had a “serious” boyfriend at the time, was very active in school sports and clubs, and had a very tight-knit group of school friends that I would no longer see everyday. I remember asking God why He would change my course so drastically: I was a “good” girl excelling academically, and it didn’t seem fair. What was I supposed to do with all of my life plans? How would I still get into the college of my choice? What about my social life?
Then we physically moved away from the home of my adolescent years about six months later: Geez, now what? In my heart, I really wanted God’s best for my life, but I felt even more displaced and unsure. I remember praying for direction regarding college, where to invest my time for new friendships, whether to date — all the while simply wishing that God would drop a big golden note on my pillow with specific directions for what I should do next to move my life forward.
As you can imagine, that was just the beginning. Many more decisions and turning points lay ahead, and for most of my early adult life, I maintained this dream of a personalized roadmap for a “blessed life” falling in my lap courtesy of some type of miracle from God. I have no idea why I thought I deserved any special attention, I just felt like discerning God’s will was so much harder than if He would simply speak to me very clearly. Because if He did, I would obediently comply — of course.
But I was wrong about myself: I wasn’t ready for a note from God with specific instructions to follow. In fact, it took many years of floundering on a road of my own choosing to recognize that all along, I really wanted what I wanted — I just wanted God to bless it. The desire for “confirmation” was really just about me wanting to feel secure that it was OK to choose the path and make the choices that felt right to me, forgetting that what “feels right” to an imperfect believer who is waging mind battle with the snares of this world isn’t likely to be right in God’s eyes.
Have you ever been there, sister?
Over the past two years, I’ve been working intentionally on renewing my mind with God’s word (Romans 12:2). A verse that I have known since childhood (and sang many times over, thanks to Amy Grant) began to make a lot more sense to me:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” — Psalm 119:105
In the past, this verse puzzled me because I sure couldn’t find anything in the Bible that “shed light” on my specific situations. How could words written thousands of years ago speak to my situations? Women didn’t work outside the home back then, so how could God’s word help me make career choices? Most children didn’t go to school back then, so how could God’s word help me decide what educational path to choose for mine? What about realizing the modern American dream?
All the while, God’s word did have very specific instruction that could shed light on all of my questions. I simply wasn’t spending enough time in His word to see what His light would reveal. I was seeking quick answers instead of wisdom.
No matter what situation you’re in, the Bible is a clear starting point for seeking God’s direction. In my personal journey, I have found that five Biblical directives brings God’s will for most situations into clearer focus. They are:
- The Greatest Commandment (Read Matthew 22:36-40)
- The Ten Commandments (Read Exodus 20: 1-17)
- The Marriage Covenant (Read Matthew 19:4-6 and Exodus 20: 1-17)
- The Parent’s “Commandment” (Read Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
- The Great Commission (Read Matthew 28:18-20)
In my next post, I will explain in detail how these five Biblical directives shed light on God’s direction for your life today. In the meantime, your “homework” is to read the passages above and meditate on how they might guide you when seeking God’s direction in your everyday life, from simple choices to life-changing decisions.
Please visit Managing Your Blessings next month for Part Two!
Have you ever found yourself “stuck” in search of God’s direction? Have you ever wished God would drop you a personal note or clearly defined road map so you could stop wondering what to do next? What role does the Bible play in your search for direction? What about prayer and seeking the wisdom of others? What questions do you have about how to discern God’s direction in your life? Tell us what you think in the comments below.