When You Just Want God To Guide You…

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday– write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “guide.”

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It was starting to get frustrating.  For months I had been considering the decision of what I should do next.  I had looked at different options, I had discussed it with others, and I had prayed a lot- I had probably prayed more about this decision than any I had ever made before- and yet I still had no clarity at all about the way ahead.

Why wasn’t God guiding me?  I really wanted to do his will and I was genuinely open to whatever that might be, but no matter how much I prayed, no answer came.

Soon I would have to decide one way or the other, but fear of making the wrong decision paralysed me.  How was I meant to choose if God wouldn’t tell me?  It all seemed so simple for people in the Bible- a pillar of cloud or fire to lead the way, angels appearing with messages, prophets with unambiguous instructions from God.  They knew exactly what God wanted them to do.  I longed for him to guide me, but all I heard was silence.

I was starting to despair, thinking that maybe God didn’t have a plan for me at all, but then I read an article that changed my perspective.

It talked about how we already know 95% of what God wants.  It’s easy to think the choices that matter are about where we should live or what job we should be doing, and to focus on our external circumstances.  But while those are important and we should be seeking God’s will for them, it challenged me that the choices that are really important are the internal ones- the choice to love, to show kindness, to seek God, to bless others- that what God is most concerned with is our character.

It encouraged me that if I was truly seeking God and focussing on what I did know of his will, he would show me the way.  And it freed me to make the choice.  Wherever I went, I could work on developing a godly character.

So I prayed, and I chose.  I still had no certainty about whether it was the right decision, but I stepped out, asking God to show me if I was wrong.

Obviously I have no idea what would have happened if I had made either of the other two choices I considered, but I do know the decision I made led to one of the hardest years of my life, but also to one of the most intense periods of growth I have ever experienced that made every one of the challenges absolutely worth it.

There may not have been an angel or a pillar in the sky but, looking back, it seems God was guiding me, even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.””  (Psalm 32:8 NLT)

 

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24 thoughts on “When You Just Want God To Guide You…

  1. Thank you Lesley for sharing your wrestle. I think many of us feel unsure at times, praying as you did to follow God’s will for you. I heard someone say once that if you choose, and God doesn’t stop you, then you know you made the right choice. Either way, I love your point of character growth whichever steps we take. Have a blessed day, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. Yes, I think sometimes if you’ve been seeking God you just have to make a choice and trust that God will stop you or let you know if it’s wrong. Hope you have a good day!

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  2. Someone gave me a very little book about knowing God’s will a long time ago. It basically said what you did in this post. It’s freeing isn’t, it? Not that we don’t still want very specific answers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lesley! Thanks for your take on this today- as you said, our posts are very similar today! I once read a book called, ‘Just Do Something’, which reminds me a lot of what you’re saying. Sometimes we’re looking for the cloud and the pillar of fire, but God is being much more subtle! I guess that’s what faith is all about, right?!

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    1. I’ve heard good things about that book but haven’t read it yet! I agree, God is often more subtle than we would like but it does help us grow in faith as we seek him.

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  4. It’s times like this that I yearn for God to be more clear about where God wants me to go etc. I wish God would show me traffic signs or a burning bush or something like that! I’m over in the 50 spot this week.

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    1. I agree, I often think it would be easier if God would direct us more clearly, but I think sometimes he wants us to make the effort to listen and really seek him.

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  5. It is so easy to overcomplicate things…especially when it comes to being in His will. No doubt – if we will be faithful with (the 95%) that we know He has told us to do…He will be faithful to guide us in the other five percent.

    Have a great weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s really easy to overthink it and end up paralysed, afraid of moving forward in case we got it wrong. I think if we are seeking him and doing our best to obey him for the bits we know he has told us, the rest will fall into place. Thanks for visiting, Jennifer. Hope you have a great weekend too!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your heart in this post, Lesley! Sometimes we miss the obvious because we don’t consider its importance. Integrity in anything is intrinsic to its effectiveness. Our walk with God must have integrity so that we mature in our faith, reflect His glory in this world, and honor Him always.
    God bless!

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  7. Pray for clarity and get a response that’s “clear as mud.” Yep, I’ve had that experience! But you’re right. We really do make following a lot harder than it should be. If we only DO what we already know to do, the rest will come. Building that character through obedience is key.

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  8. It’s so hard to step forward sometimes when we don’t feel as if God is listening or providing clear direction. I’ve learned over the years that He wants us to take a step of faith, often into the unknown. He will always be by our side and if we choose wrong, He is faithful to guide us to where we need to be. I’m in the #7 spot. Have a blessed weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so reassuring to know that God doesn’t abandon us if we get it wrong but he stays with us and guides us back. Thanks, Barbie. Hope you have a lovely weekend too!

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  9. Your story is the perfect example of learning by faith. As described to me, learning by faith consists of an integrated process of seeking for assurances, acting, and then looking back for evidences of God’s hand. There is no particular order to this process. Sometimes we act without assurance or evidence but the assurance comes after we make the bold move, just like your account illustrates.

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    1. Yes, I think often I want the assurance and the evidence first- I want to understand what to do and how it will turn out- but often God wants us to take a step of faith and we only understand it later.

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  10. I’ve been in this place too, and I’ve found myself paralyzed by fear of failure to make the right choice. As I grow older I have more questions than answers, but I’ve also learned that my choices have never been un-redeemable. It is so freeing!
    Love this: “It encouraged me that if I was truly seeking God and focussing on what I did know of his will, he would show me the way. And it freed me to make the choice. Wherever I went, I could work on developing a godly character.”

    Liked by 1 person

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