Finding God’s Direction in Your Life
EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)– God loves to do astounding things. Most of the time, they are in response to the prayers of His people. Throughout my years as a pastor, a number of people have come to me for counsel on how to find the direction God has set forward for their life. I have to admit, my straightforwardness is not lacking in my response to them: “Have you prayed about it?” More often than not, the reply affirms my suspicions.
Asking God is not only a good place to start, it is the only place to start! I have never understood why anyone would come to me before approaching the Creator of the universe. After all, God has a blueprint plan of our lives, written in the palm of His hand. “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me” (Isaiah 49:16).
The Bible says we do not have because we do not ask. Therefore, if we don’t know God’s direction in our lives, we simply ought to try asking Him for guidance. By prayerfully seeking direction, surrendering completely to Him, and listening attentively to His will (whatever it may be), what once seemed mysterious and unrecognizable will become amazingly clear. It’s like staring a little cross-eyed at one of these two dimensional computer-generated pictures that suddenly leaps out in three dimensions. Suddenly we begin to see things we couldn’t see before.
God our Heavenly Father, loving Counselor, peace-giving Friend, and gentle Shepherd is laden with gifts that will change our lives. However, we must be prayerfully attentive to the direction He has for us and to discern the path He has chosen from the one we have chosen for ourselves. When we follow God’s will and live according to His divine plan, our perspective shifts. Our vision expands and we begin to look at life not in terms of what we can do, but what God can do through us. We soon realize that nothing can distract, destroy, discourage, disappoint or defeat us when we follow God’s direction.
For instance, consider distractions. Isn’t that when most of us get lost along the way? We start out to accomplish our purpose, then some other good thing comes along and before we know it, we’ve taken a left turn, landed just a few degrees off target, and lost the goal completely. But when we keep God’s purpose in mind, we are empowered by the Spirit of God to accomplish it.
I submit that when you live according to God’s plan, not only can nothing distract you, but also nothing can destroy you. Isn’t that exciting? Jesus did not fear destruction because He was on target with His plan. He knew what God had prepared for Him and He lived in the confidence and the courage of that understanding without discouragement.
It is often easy to get discouraged. However, when we focus on God’s direction as it is laid before us, we can overcome the urge to flee His plan. By doing so, we won’t be disappointed and consequently, by living according to God’s plan we will not be defeated.
My friends, it is possible to lock onto the goal and purpose that God has for your life. But it takes fervent prayer and a desire to accept His will, whatever direction that may take, to begin to see His direction. My prayer for you today is that you will become convicted to consistently ask God for His direction in your life. When He shows the path for you to follow, then trust Him and His plan with all your heart. Charge down that path with all you’ve got. Pursue His will with a passion. You’ll quickly find that there’s no more fulfilling, peaceful, and thankful place to be in this life than soundly in the center of God’s will.
Finding God’s Direction
By: Ron Vanderwell
Scripture Reading — James 1:5-8
When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
—James 1:6 —
As a child I often played a game with friends in which one player would be trying to find someone or something. The rest of us would try to guide the “seeker” by saying how “warm” or “cold” they were getting. The closer they got to the target, the “warmer” they would be; but when they started to stray in the wrong direction, we’d warn them that they were getting “colder.”
Sometimes we try to play that game with God. We pray for guidance, but what we really want is God’s support for something we already have in mind. When it seems God is helping us toward our desired outcome, we cheer him on: “Warmer … warmer!” But when it seems he is veering away from the goal we want, we warn, “Colder … COLDER!”
When it comes to praying for guidance, prayers like that are just plain backwards. We’re not really asking God to guide us; we’re asking God to let us guide him. Instead of looking to serve God, we’re really trying to get him to serve us.
James warns against this role reversal. When we ask for God’s guidance, we must have his goals in mind, not ours. And we must ask and believe that God will answer. We must steer straight to avoid being tossed about by the wind.
When you ask God to guide you, are you looking in his direction?
Lord, I Don’t Know What to Do
JUNE 11, 2014
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalm 25:4 (NLT)
Are the constant appeals of our world pulling you in a million different ways, causing you to question if you’re headed in the right direction?
If you’re like me, you have plans and dreams you want to fulfill. But life is confusing at times. And most days it seems like you’re just surviving instead of living out those dreams or accomplishing your goals.
Too many choices.
There have been days I’ve felt like one foot was fixed to the floor, while my other foot scurried in every direction. Expending a lot of energy and mental fatigue, but going nowhere. Can you relate?
Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up every morning and be assured you’re on the right path towards your goals? To know with certainty that you’re headed in the right direction? To feel confident with each step, without constantly questioning yourself?
Too many times I’ve second-guessed a decision I was confident about. I want so desperately to follow God’s will that I’ll pray, but then feel uncertain, not wanting to make a wrong move. I wonder: Maybe this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing. Maybe this isn’t part of God’s plan for my life.
As I’ve wrestled with indecision and insecurity, I’ve sought God’s Word for help. A few months ago, I found a priceless nugget of truth in the Bible. It addresses our desire for guidance and shows us what to do when we need clear direction.
King David composed these words in a beautiful psalm, tucked within the pages of the Old Testament:
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 25:4-5).
These verses reveal David’s humble and teachable heart. He wanted to be guided by God and led by His truth. David knew God was his Savior and placed all his hope in the One who created the right path for him.
We find the answers to David’s request for guidance only a few short passages away. Promises we can claim for our own lives:
“The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands” (Psalm 25:8-10, NLT).
Based on these verses, when our hearts are humble and truly seeking God’s will, we can be confident of this:
1. God will always show us what is right for us.
2. When we get sidetracked, God will direct us back to the right path.
3. We are not alone. God leads and teaches us along the way.
4. God leads those who obey Him with unfailing love and faithfulness.
If you’re unsure about some things in your life, don’t wait another day to figure it out on your own. Ensure your heart is in the right place of humility, and then ask God to help you. Once you’ve asked, trust that God is directing you.
If you know you’ve gotten on the wrong path, seek God for direction instead of looking to the world for answers. As you take steps to follow and obey God’s voice, He will lovingly show you the way.
Months ago I asked the Lord to etch these verses onto my heart and mind, so I’d always have them with me — especially on days when I feel like I’m going in circles and lacking direction.
Today, I’m praying these verses over you.