Have you ever faced a key life decision and wondered why God wasn’t giving you clear direction? I mean, how hard would it be for Him to rent a billboard or at least shoot you an e-mail to say, “Click here to know what to do next.”
Doesn’t God own the data on a thousand servers as much as He owns the cattle on a thousand hills? I confess that I have never needed any cattle, but I sure could have used an email with divine direction at key times in life.
When we don’t hear clear direction from God, why is it we always assume it is God’s fault?
What Does God Have to Do?
Not long after we first moved to the Atlanta area, we awoke to a strange, siren-like sound coming from my phone. I don’t use ringers or audio alerts much at all. (Part of that whole introvert thing, I suspect. I don’t like being interrupted by beeps, bells, and whistles.) So I wasn’t expecting to hear anything from my phone.
When I rolled over and groggily peeked at the screen, I saw an alert from the National Weather Service – a tornado had been spotted nearby and was on the ground not more than 20 miles from us.
Needless to say, we all woke up quickly and headed to the basement where we spent the next hour waiting to see if we would experience our first southern tornado.
We did not, fortunately. But we now pay closer attention to weather forecasts.
When it comes to knowing God’s will, we tend to treat God like the National Weather Service. We ignore Him until He sends us an alarm, something we can’t miss that breaks through the fog of daily life and forces us to listen for His direction.
Maybe it’s a financial crisis or a job offer. For some it might be an unexpected illness or a relationship disaster.
Whatever it may look like, we tend to live on autopilot, as if we don’t need to hear from God at all, until it becomes obvious that we don’t know what we’re doing.
I’m not saying you need to memorize the Farmer’s Almanac or watch the Weather Channel all the time, but what if we stayed plugged in to the One who controls the storms of life?
How much more prepared would we be to make wise decisions about what God wants next in our lives?
How much more likely would we be to hear His voice for major life decisions if we listened for His guidance in what we might call the “small stuff” of life?
As Caedmon’s Call once sang, “For I know the plans You have for me, because You can’t plan the ends and not plan the means.”
In other words, there is no “small stuff” with God. It all serves the purpose of accomplishing His will, including preserving and protecting His children.
Which brings me to the seventh and final secret in this series: If you want God’s guidance now, listen for Him always.
Develop the Habit of Listening to God
You can’t just turn it on and off when trouble comes. It’s about relationship.
We ignore God so often that even if He were to send us an email, it would likely get caught in our spam filter.
Here’s a radical concept: what if we started waiting before we started moving?
I can’t stress this enough. We often blow right past Him and then claim He never tells us anything.
Or we have so much interference in our lives, we fail to receive His signal in the first place. When we remove what inhibits reception, we may realize that He has been speaking to us all along – through the Word, counsel, circumstances, and yes, even our smartphones.
He can use it all to lead us, but only if we’re actually in the habit of listening.
The still small voice of the Almighty often gets drowned out by our rush to do — anything.
The apostle Paul tells us to make the most of the time we’ve been given. He warns us not to rush about like fools:
Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Maybe we would hear God more clearly if we made a habit of listening more often.
Question: What is one step you can take today to tune in more purposefully to what God is trying to tell you? Share your thoughts by clicking here.
Photo credit: Ryan Marshall