Wouldn't it be great if God sent us a daily email that outlined all the things He wanted us to accomplish? We could simply go through our day checking off His to-do list. And we'd never have to worry about whether we're in the center of His will.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. As committed as we may be to pleasing the Lord, it's not always easy to know what we should be doing, which can be a significant source of anxiety. So what do you do when you feel rudderless and unsure about your direction? How can we figure out God’s will?
Here are four tips to consider when looking for divine direction.
1. Ask for revelation
James's Epistle gives us two essential bits of advice, and they both have to do with receiving from God:
- If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5).
- You do not have because you do not ask God (James 4:2b).
So when it comes to wisdom, we need to ask God. And if we don't have the wisdom we seek, we need to examine how seriously we've pursued an answer. Are we continuing to ask, seek, and knock? God is our very first stop when we're looking for direction.
2. Encourage feedback
Hopefully every Christian has a community of believers who support and encourage them. We rely on the informed guidance of people who love God and know us well. And we need trusted people who will seek the Lord on our behalf and can offer us helpful feedback.
Godly counsel doesn't replace seeking the Lord's will on our own, but it's a critically important supplement. If you feel directionless, don't keep it to yourself. Look to your community for help.
3. Do what you know to be right
Sometimes we have a wrong idea about how much guidance people received from God. Abraham's story started with God instructing him to leave his home and family without any clarity (Genesis 12:1). And like many biblical heroes, God doled out information on a need-to-know basis.
Scripture is clear about the kinds of attitudes and behaviors that God expects from His people. And in lieu of clarity, we can go about our day-to-day business learning to be the kind of people God called us to be. Through these simple acts of obedience, we often discover God's will.
4. Start saying yes to opportunities
Remember when you didn't want to try a new type of food and your parents would say, "How do you know you don't like it unless you try it?" On some level, all of life is like that. One of the things we find so attractive about identifying God's will is that it instantly weeds out all the other options, which makes life so much easier. But what if God wants us to have new and revelatory experiences?
If we're not entirely sure what we should be doing, let's take advantage of other options. Let's say yes to volunteer, ministry, and service opportunities. Let's be open to new experiences. It might be in them that God chooses to speak to us.
Growing our faith
Learning to trust God when we don't entirely know what's next is critical. It builds our faith and our confidence. And once we know what God desires from us, it will make it a lot easier to follow through when the path isn't clear or as we encounter resistance.
If you're interested in growing in your faith, check out the article What Does It Mean to Trust Jesus?