Every once in a while (like this week) I hear people talk about waiting for direction from God, or feeling anxious about decisions they have to make. Jus as often, I am the person trying to be patient for the direction and the wisdom. I thought surely I had written about this before, but can’t find it anywhere on my blog, so thought I’d write about it now to remind myself and pass it on.
These are 4 lessons God taught me many years ago about seeking His will. It’s all founded, however, on WANTING to know and do God’s will. If you don’t have that issue settled, you have to start there first. But once you do, I pray these thoughts will encourage you like they have helped me so much through the years. God has never failed to be faithful. Here are the lessons He has taught me.
1. DON’T TRUST IN MY ABILITY TO LISTEN; TRUST IN GOD’S ABILITY TO SPEAK. He can speak through a donkey and through dreams and He can write on walls. When I was trying to figure out whether or not I was supposed to marry this certain guy my Sr. year in college, I agonized about whether or not I was going to hear from God. What if He tried to tell me and I just didn’t hear? In response to that He told me – over and over – not to trust in my ability to listen, but in His ability to speak. Wow. What a relief! John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
2. TRUST THAT BY THE TIME I NEED TO KNOW WHAT TO DO, I WILL KNOW. Sometimes I look ahead at a fork in the road (that’s coming and I don’t know which way I’m going to go!!!) and I fret and fret about which way to go, begging for a SIGN, only to get there and discover that the sign is laying flat on the road and just couldn't be seen from far away – but it’s there nonetheless. No matter what, by the time I need to know, I will. Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it.”
3. THE SHEEP WILL NEVER CARE MORE ABOUT GETTING TO THE RIGHT PLACE THAN THE SHEPHERD CARES ABOUT GETTING THEM THERE. If I have such an intense desire to know what God wants, how could I ever think that if it actually matters, He might not lead me? He’s the Shepherd. I’m a sheep (and sheep are sort of dumb!) and He knows that. Just like I would never ever leave my kids to figure out how to get to school or to Thailand by themselves, God will never leave me to figure it out for myself. He is always with me. As a mom, this verse is especially meaningful to me: Isaiah 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
And lastly, perhaps the most important lesson:
4. Don’t seek God’s will. SEEK HIM. Over and over in the Word God tells us to seek Him. I have discovered that when I take my focus off of the decision or questions or whatever and just choose to intentionally SEEK GOD it’s like taking my eyes off of the map, putting my hand in His and just taking a walk together. He loves me. He teaches me. He heals me. He prepares me. He equips me. He helps me. And all of a sudden, I discover that we’ve ended up exactly where He wanted me to end up – and I didn’t even realize it. You likely know Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“In all your ways, ACKNOWLEDGE HIM…” That means basically to KNOW Him. And the more we know Him, the more we will TRUST HIM. Trust Him. Trust Him, trust Him, trust Him! Then He will make our paths straight.
Oh, how I love Him!!!!! I hope you do too...