It’s frustrating trying to find God’s will. Especially as a phlegmatic, I tend to see decisions as battles to be gotten through, not adventures.
I’m wondering if part of the confusion comes because God has so many ways to communicate with us, and it’s easy to expect He will always use the same medium that He used last time. In my experience, He seems to like being a whole lot more creative than that! It means I really have to fix my eyes and ears on Him and “stay tuned,” and I think He likes that, too.
The life verse given me by mom when I graduated from high school is from Proverbs: “In all your ways acknowledge Him (my job), and He will make your paths straight.” (His job.)
There have been many times in my life when I simply made it clear to God that I wanted to please Him, and then (since I’d opened the door to let Him work) simply did the most sensible thing.
To mix my metaphors even more, there’s the saying “God controls a moving ship.” You set your sails towards His wind, weigh anchor, and assume that He’s blowing you in the right direction.
Then there is, of course, what Katie mentioned: conscience and the “closed-door” principle, not to mention studying Biblical principles and getting advice from godly friends: other ways God “gets through” to us.
There are also verses in the Bible that indicate that sometimes He’ll actually talk to us. Isaiah: “Your ears will hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.'”
I’ve experienced this as well, although nowhere near as often as I would have liked. (Again, it means I have to trust Him!)
I think a lot of frustration with this last principle can come when you view it as a pass-fail test. It’s a lot more encouraging to think of it as learning a foreign language. There will be misunderstandings and mixups, but slowly you’ll get more and more fluent.
God, after all, is my Daddy! He wants to lead me, and (as I constantly remind myself) He is plenty smart enough to communicate with me, no matter how inexperienced I am. And I am so glad He won’t throw me out if I make an honest mistake.
The Emmaus Road Adventure at Boundless