“Real men don’t ask for directions” should be the bumper sticker on most men’s cars. Typical males, of which I am one, are willing to drive aimlessly for a seeming eternity without stopping to ask someone for directions. We are stubbornly independent. But, we are not alone. Many believers in Christ live as though “real Christians don’t stop and ask for directions” was gospel truth.
We are stubborn, self-willed, proud, and self-sufficient. We, at times, have no sense of direction. We cannot see ahead into the future. We need Someone to guide us. God is more than enough to meet our need for direction, but we need to understand the following.
- God’s desire is that we pursue the Guide more than guidance.
In seeking God, His plan will be revealed. The most important principle in discovering God’s will is to seek God above all else. The Guide is not an “It” or “A Thing.” The Guide is a loving Father. God’s guidance is relational. It is the Guide—even more than guidance—that we need and want.
Which would you prefer when you are new in a community and can’t seem to locate a certain destination, a bundle of maps from Welcome Wagon? Scribbled notes from someone on the phone trying to explain directions by describing landmarks? Or a neighbor who says, “Look, I’m on my way there now. I’ll go with you and show you the way”?
That’s what God promises. We may seek guidance, but God provides something better—Himself. God guides relationally.
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2. God’s will concerns itself more with the present than the future.
Asking “What is the will of God for my life?” may be the wrong question. We usually have in mind some decision we must make regarding the future, about which we are uncertain. God’s will has less to do with the future and more to do with the present. We may not know in precise terms what God wants us to do in the future. God is much more concerned about your present.
We may have difficulty discovering God’s will because we misunderstand the biblical concept of time. God dwells in eternity; He is, therefore, not bound by time. There is no past or future to God. All times are present to Him. But we are bound by time. There is a past to our experience, just as there is a future. We carry the past with us in the form of consequences of decisions that we have no power to change; we anticipate the future as a range of possibilities that may or may not be realized. But we can only live in the present.
If we associate God’s will with a bad decision we made in the past, we will become preoccupied with the past and live with regrets—the “if only” syndrome. If we associate God’s will with a decision we must make in the future, we will become preoccupied with the future and live in anxiety—the “what if” syndrome. But, if we associate God’s will with decisions we make in the present, we will be empowered to do God’s will we already know—the “Yes, Lord” attitude. We will direct all of our energies into the now. What is more, we will receive grace for the past and we will experience peace of God concerning the future.
3. God’s guidance has less to do with geography and more to do with morality.
God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. He wants us to be right and do right—pure, holy, clean. His supreme plan for us is to be like His son (Rom. 8:29). He can accomplish that plan whether we are living in Montreal or Miami, graduate of Wheaton College or the University of Wisconsin, or working for GE or UPS. In other words, it is better we make a mistake about geography than about morality.
4. God has more at stake with us doing His will than we do.
We often want to know and do God’s will for our sake. Knowing God’s will, we think, will make us happy, cause us to be blessed, give us provision. God says I want you to know and do My will for My sake.
God’s reputation is at stake by the way His followers live. We are His hands and feet in the world. We are His ambassadors. We represent God to a watching world. When we fail to live righteously we are hurt, but the name of God is hurt more. When we fail to take God’s lead we are damaged, but God’s reputation is hurt greater.
So stop and ask for directions. Make a habit of being consciously aware of God’s presence, listen to His voice, follow His Word, then you will get to where you need to go.
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