Waiting on Guidance:  How to Listen for that Still Small Voice of God

How can I know what God’s will for me is?  How do I know if God wants me to do this or that?  How do I know when to take action?

Discerning God’s will can be a very difficult process for many Christians.  When we move forward with plans that we feel are God`s will, because it is what we want or what others say we ought to do, or it seems to be the logical route of action we should be very cautious.  So how do we know when what we are doing is within His will or how what we are planning is something that He would have us to do?

God’s Word reveals His will for us.  It is God`s will that we would look to Him for everything.  He wants us to give Him complete attention, focus, and worship.  We are to love Him with all of our heart, minds, strength, and soul.  We are to obey His commands.

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Matthew 22:37-39   37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Prayer, godly counsel, God`s word, and God’s Holy Spirit are the tools that God has given us to know what He desires of us today.  Charles Stanley said it isn`t all of those external voices that make us believe that we “should” or “ought to” or even “must” do this or that.  We have to set aside their voices and even our own voice of desire and want to be quiet enough and humble enough to say to God “Thy will be done.” and mean it!

Man, wouldn`t it be easier if God just met with us face to face and told us what He wanted!?  But the reality is He DOES!  As believers, we have God`s Spirit.  He resides IN us.  Learning to listen to the Holy Spirit`s promptings, learning to obey those subtle internal messages, is an imperfect process of growing in your faith.

In my life there are several things that God has taught me and confirmed over and over that have helped me to learn how to have ears that hear and eyes that see spiritually.  He has taught me to trust in Him in all things.

Pray first.  Ask Him for discernment and wisdom.  Ask Him to reveal what you are to do.  Tell Him that you are ready and willing to do what He asks of you.

Read His word daily – He speaks to us in and through it. His principals always apply to what God`s will is.

God is never in a hurry.  We must be patient and at the same time ready to obey what He tells us right away.

The answers to my prayers that I can expect to receive are specific.  Yes, No, Not Yet, Never. Do this specific thing.  Sometimes God will answer my prayers so quickly that I haven’t even finished praying and other times I feel that I have been praying for something for years (regarding someone’s salvation).

He has never given me the whole picture nor grand, pride building tasks. Usually it is just the next little step – rarely, if ever, do I know the full purpose of WHY He has asked me to do a specific thing, even after I have done it.  He wants me to be obedient and faithful in those little daily things.  He multiplies our faithfulness for His glory.

If I expect to move forward with God, He expects me to be faithful with each little step that He has clearly revealed.  He will leave me where I am until I do as He has told me.  And I must be vigilant to confess my sins to Him and others as needed.  Confess them quickly.  Do what you can to have nothing between you and the LORD, no sin that separates you from Him.

God`s calls are often impossible, crazy (from other people’s perspective – and sometimes from your own perspective – but NEVER from His), and NOT on my bucket list of things that I want to do with my life.  His word also tells us that His call will never be revoked.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Obedience to God almost always comes with sacrifice of some sort.  One of my prayers is that God will change what I desire to line up with what He desires.  I want to replace my dreams and passions for His will in my life.  I want to not live for Sheri but for Christ Jesus.  I fight this daily battle with my selfishness with the help of God’s Holy Spirit. Are you willing to do what Jesus asks you to do regardless of the cost?  Are you willing to give up your dreams, your goals, your material treasures, your comfort, your pride, your reputation, your job, your home, whatever it takes?  If not, why not?  God has better in store for you.

Matthew 19:28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Action within the body of a church congregation ought to be a unified decision as we all have the same Spirit who will always lead us to the same decision. When there is division about a decision, the body must pause and seek to find the source of the division.  God may be (or may not be) leading, but others may be refusing to bow the knee to God`s plan or are driving decisions that will please some decision maker`s personal preference.

Does what I discern to be God`s will, line up completely with God`s word?  If not, that is a huge STOP sign.

God will provide all that I need to do what He has asked me to do.  He will equip those He calls.  The reason I often feel as though I can`t do what He has asked of me is that it is true, I CAN`T.  Not without Him.  He works in those who are weak so that the world will see that it is He who is to be glorified.  Trust in Him.  Lean on Him.  Walk in faith that He will accomplish all that He has called you to do as long as you are seeking Him and trusting in His provision.  He is able.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

His call may require dramatic, life change.  God`s calls are rarely convenient, easy, or ego building; they require a humble, willing servant who is ready to let go of all that life has to offer in exchange for being used by God.  If you are busy spending your life building your own little kingdom God may very well let you have it, but trust me when I tell you that building God`s kingdom is better in every imaginable way.

God is faithful to affirm His call in my life.  He brings to mind affirming scriptures.  He randomly places reminders of my call where I will encounter them.  He uses people to affirm His call in my life.  The timing of His affirmations is uncanny.  And His Holy Spirit within me knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the affirmation is directly from God.

Finally, sometimes obeying God’s call means that we will face trials and persecutions.  We may suffer for Him.  But He is always with us.  He sees what we are enduring for Him.

1 Peter 2:19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Father God, may our lives bring glory to Your great Name as we learn to listen and to follow You.  Help us to have eyes that see and ears that hear.  Help us to be humble servants for You LORD.  Teach us.  Show us.  Strengthen us.  Give us wisdom from above.  For the sake of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

God desires to have an intimate relationship with you.  All you need to do is to seek Him, submit to His will, follow after the example of Jesus, and place your full trust in the only one who is worthy.  He will show you things you never could have imagined in your life.  God is good all the time.  Jesus loves you.  Never forget that.  Be encouraged.  Press on.

 

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