There are so many decisions and choices to be made in life. A lot of times, we can feel very passionate about something. This passion leads us in a certain direction and we label it. We label it with a “God must be wanting me to do this” kind of a thing. When in reality, that may not be the case at all.
We can change directions or take a lot of different steps in life based on our own deep-held convictions. We can feel very strongly that God is leading us to make those changes and decisions. Yet, we can still be very wrong.
I think we need to be super careful about labeling something “God endorsed” or “God approved.” Just because we feel something deeply doesn’t mean that it is something God wants for us! A lot of times we can be impulsive or we can be led by our emotions – never seeing something clearly until way down the road.
So how can you know – truly – if it’s God telling you to do something or not? That is a very tough question because it’s one I pose to myself often. I cannot tell someone else whether or not they are really hearing God’s voice on an issue or not. What I can say are there are always some good guidelines to go by.
- Take whatever it is and hold it up to God’s Word. God will never tell you to do something that directly contradicts what He says in Scripture. Whether or not you feel He wants you to be “happy” doesn’t mean He is blessing the fact that you want to leave your marriage and start life fresh with another man. That’s just not the case.
- Pray about it. The longer you pray about something the clearer God will make His will. I’ve found that He has an awesome way of weaving my questions in with life that is going on around me. Suddenly, I’m seeing that question addressed or symbolized everywhere and in different ways! If you truly are seeking God’s heart and will and not just simply wanting to have Him “Bless” yours – He WILL make it clear to you.
- Seek Godly counsel. Don’t just talk to your best friend or someone who you know will agree with you. Talk to a variety of people. People you respect but know are walking with the Lord. Talk to them and get their advice. Take what is said to you and ponder it in your heart; bringing it before the Lord and asking Him to help you sift what has been said. On the whole, if everyone is advising you a certain way – it’s good to heed that advice.
I just think we need to be careful about heading in certain directions in life and USING God to proclaim that this must be the thing to do. We need to be cautious about tacking Him onto our projects and adventures simply to convince others that this is the right thing to do. God never makes mistakes. So if you often find that what you ended up choosing was a disaster; the fact is, God probably didn’t lead you there.
We are a headstrong people. We can dive into things because we feel them so earnestly. But an earnest heart isn’t necessarily a God-led one.
It’s good to remember that.