Have you ever wondered if you’re making the right decisions for your life? I’m sure you have. We all question ourselves constantly…it’s become part of the world we live in.
Am I good enough? Is this what I should be doing? Should I pursue that promotion? Should I have another drink? Should I eat that cheeseburger? What would my family think about this?
I’m thankful that there’s a compass for my life, in that I believe in the inerrant word of God and believe that He is with me at all times. While that brings me great comfort, I still find myself doubting on a daily basis. It’s human nature. We re-visited in church yesterday the stories of several people in the bible with the same struggles, even before there was such a microwave mentality in society, and certainly no technology to distract them all from the truly meaningful things in life. Even still, they still sinned and strayed from God’s true intent for their lives. The moral, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual struggles were just as present back then, in a simpler time, as they are now.
So what can we do, in this life, to understand if we’re heading in the right direction?
As a Christian, I know the answer, but it pains me to admit that I don’t actually utilize the answer nearly enough in my every day life. That answer is dive into the bible! God’s word, through his followers, is the only truth that I can personally stand on, and it literally sits next to me on my nightstand every time I go to bed. It’s available in my phone on a nice fancy app I have that makes it extremely simple.
But I still don’t absorb it nearly as much as I should. I have no excuse.
So, the church message yesterday broke it down into three simple steps, that anyone (who is believes in the word of God, at least) can follow and obtain such wisdom.
- Walk closely with God. In my experience, this is so much easier to say than to do. We live in such a sinful and fast-paced world, that if I don’t SPECIFICALLY set aside time to give thanks, ask for strength, etc, that the world will very easily consume me. Knowing this, I have specifically set aside time in my calendar every day in order to pray, read the bible, remind myself what I’m thankful for (I actually have an ever-growing list), and ask where I can bless people with my time and money. Obviously, I will never be able to PERFECTLY follow this plan, but the fact that I’ve become intentional about walking closely with God will certainly help.
- Ask God continuously to speak to us (through His word in the bible, and through prayer). Again, I obviously need to walk closely with God in order to ask Him to “speak” to me (just as a caveat, I’ve never audibly heard God speak to me, but countless times i’ve felt His presence prompting me one way or another…or i’ve been through an experience where there’s just no way I could possibly believe He hadn’t arranged it that way). I have so much to be thankful for, and I love giving thanks to the one who designed my entire life here on Earth. There are no surprises to God, so I am trying to make more of an effort to have conversations with Him to lead me in the right direction…for myself, or for others.
- Test every impression you get in every way you can. This is the part where “wise counsel” becomes SO important. If I do not surround myself with other Godly men and women who I can bounce ideas off of, I know I will undoubtedly start making up my own answers. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I had an “inspired” moment, only to find out that once I talked through it with people I trust and respect that they suggested it might not be the right thing, and they were right. It’s amazing that God speaks to me, and my human instinct is to twist and turn it into my personal agenda, thus diluting the true will He has for me. It’s not ALL the time, but I’m very aware that I’m in a fallen world, and I usually think my plans are the best. I’ve heard it said before, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him all about your plans for your life.”. I need to constantly humble myself before my savior, and openly communicate with the people closest to me to make sure what I’ve “heard from God” is actually on course with my life and what God’s will is for it.
In what ways are you able to decide which direction to take your life?
These thoughts were inspired by the following scripture: