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.

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The Emmaus Road Adventure at Boundless

4 Comments

  1. I love that, Elizabeth–“He is plenty smart enough to communicate with me, no matter how inexperienced I am.” That was one of my greatest fears when I have faced important decisions in the past…that someonehow in my human-ness, I would “miss God’s best.”
    What I was really forgetting is that my heart is what God cares about, and that if my heart is set to obey Him, He *will* bless my decision making! When I am thinking that somehow I can “thwart His best” by my human error–am I not magnifying human weakness above God’s glorious power?
    I will never forget the freedom of the moment He showed me that He is “big enough” to work past my humaness and keep me in His way!

  2. Oh, Elizabeth, thank you! You put into words many thoughts that I have been thinking.. reading your words was such a breath of fresh air! Thank you again; that was so encouraging.
    God bless!

  3. I really like what Elizabeth had to say, and Catherine, too. God wants our attention – all of it. It stands to reason, then, that He would use different methods all the time, to address the many different facets of the personalities and minds He created for us. It also makes sense that we would feel dreadful when we are ignoring Him or haven’t spent time with Him.

    It’s just really hard sometimes for me to think of my interaction with God as a “relationship.” I cry to God that I wish I could have seen and known Jesus in the flesh. Who is this Person I am getting to know? Where is He? Then I look at a tree, or a sunrise, and it hits me – He is right there, holding every atom of this beautiful thing together. Those are His fingerprints in the sky. Then I feel better, for a little while. 😛

  4. Avatar Catherine says:

    *laugh* The topic of “God’s will” is such an interesting one! We want to know, and yet it seems so hard to discern sometimes!
    But when we think about it, doesn’t it seem that it is something that God wants us to know? He wants us to seek Him… wants us to desire Him… wants us to desire His will. The more I have considered how we are to know God’s will, the more it seems to come back to seeking to know Him. In any other relationship, the better I know someone, the better I will know their desires. Does it not seem logical that the same would be true of knowing & understanding God?

    And there are some things that we already know are “God’s will for us.” When I was feeling very discouraged and unsure about what I should be doing, I went to talk to a godly older friend. She had me do an interesting exercise which helped immensely. She had me look through Scripture and write down everything I could find that was already revealed to be God’s will for me.
    Submission to authorities… thankfulness in all things… my sanctification… loving others… I was amazed at the long list I ended with! She advised me to focus on the things I already knew, and keep seeking God & trusting Him to be directing me. How He might do that is varied, as has been brought out in previous posts here on the subject.

    To realize that God wanted me to know His will; to realize that He had already revealed things that were part of His will for me; it was a turning point in my perspective. Somehow, I had thought that God was holding “knowing His will” out as something that I would always be seeking, but never have a chance of truly finding! It seemed so wrong, so unlike Him…
    And it was. It’s not that I never wonder what I’m to be doing with my life. Presently, I do wonder what the future will hold. But I know that I can trust God to be directing me, and I know that He wants to lead & guide me. The trouble comes when I want to run ahead & know all of the answers- “when,” where,” and such 🙂

    As Sarah shared: “I can discern what God wants me to do, because I know more of what His Word says that He wants. The perfect certainty is a feeling, but it is more than that. It is emotion and reason working in harmony.

    Conversely, when I am upset and disturbed in my soul, it is often because some part of me knows what I should do and has rejected that choice as preposterous.”

    That is so true. I’ve been there. Heh. Been at both sides of things!
    It seems to come back to knowing God better.

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