Contrary to popular opinion, God’s Spirit is communicating far more to us than we care to acknowledge. He’s at work far more than we care to notice. God doesn’t leave himself without a witness. He uses any and many means to inform the paths we should take but we have to pay attention to the signposts he positions for us along the path of our life’s journey. God’s always speaking, it’s whether we are listening. God’s always revealing, it’s whether we are seeing. Just as a freeway has signposts directing you from where you are to where you want to be, God gives us signposts to help guide you from where you are to where you want to be. His signposts range from people we bump into, to the circumstances we face, to the opportunities before us, to the words we receive, to the impressions in our hearts and everything in between. What are the signposts God maybe using to lead you right now in your life? Pay attention and you’ll get to your destination!
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord orders his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
God is a lifesaver! We live in a day and age where we are encouraged to follow our heart, as if, each of us intuitively know what we should do by consulting our own hearts. This is not helpful advice because Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it?” The answer is no one but God can actually help us understand our own hearts. We are complex and simple at the same time. For this reason, I take courage from the fact that even though, my misunderstood heart, may plan my way, the creator of the universe orders my steps. There have been several times when my heart wanted to head in a certain direction but God has patiently aligned my steps with his purpose and plan for my life. Truth is, I’ve bucked against his alignment at times but in hindsight, I’ve always been grateful for where God has positioned my feet.
Too many of us are leading ourselves around, rather, than being led by the Spirit. There is a tension that exists between using my brain to live and following the leading of the Spirit. Head knowledge is helpful and important. It does make a difference. But sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is more important and separates the men from the boys. God gave me a brain and I’m convinced he wants me to use it but I’m aware that my brain can get in the way of my heart and what God is trying to teach and lead me in. We must learn to live out of what God’s spirit in our spirit is revealing to us. A renewed mind is critical if I’m going to make healthy and productive decisions. There is a critical connection between a renewed mind and a full spirit. My life is shaped by the decisions I make and my choices need to be shaped by the leadership and counsel of the Spirit of God. He’s not passive but very active in seeking to guide me. I foster clarity in the Spirit by regular times of communion and being still. Life can sometimes feel very jumbled up and upside down. It will get back on track if you will surrender and seek more to be led by the Spirit of God.
Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
Wow! I love this verse of scripture. Here is a beautiful picture of God leading his people through night and day seasons by going before them in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. The people weren’t left without a witness to follow and this must have been so encouraging for Moses in his leadership of what sometimes was a group of very difficult people to lead.
In our lives, we can too easily get distracted by the opinions and voices of the crowd. The crowd can have far too much influence in our lives than what God wants or intended. There will always be someone out there who thinks they know best for you and who has a wonderful plan for your life.
It’s in these moments, that you and I need a conviction that heaven has spoken and that God is going before us to make a way in both dark and light seasons of life.
What about you? Are you following the crowd or the cloud? God loves you and wants to lead you in such a significant way. Stay focused on the cloud before you.
I’ve found discerning the will of God to be one of the most challenging issues to work through. Most people I talk to have shared the same sentiment. Life presents us with a plethora of options and opportunities that can leave us feeling confused and exhausted. In the process of having to make a decision, we can feel like we are going crazy. The pain in the process comes from not wanting to make a bad decision that leaves us disconnected from God’s purpose and the desires in our hearts.
Even though it may feel like God is playing hide and seek with you, God delights in revealing his heart to you and giving you the direction you need to move forward with faith into the future. One of the key mechanisms in discerning God’s will is the peace of God ruling in our hearts.
The language of God is multiple and varied: visions, dreams, still small voice, angels, creation, scriptures, tongues, impressions, prophetic acts, signs and wonders, word of knowledge, circumstances, spiritual encounters and an overwhelming sense of his peace.
It takes real skill, testing and experience to interpret what God is saying to us at any one time. Why? God’s not human, He’s Spirit. His primary language isn’t english or russian or mandarin, its spirit. As we grow in our relationship with him, we learn to discern how God speaks to us and what the content of his messages to us are.
Throughout the bible we read of God asking Abraham, Moses, Gideon and Esther, to do things that their flesh wouldn’t have felt a peace about but because they learnt to walk by the Spirit and not the flesh, the peace of God ruled in their hearts and empowered them with confidence to obey God. Don’t underestimate the power of God’s peace to propel you forward in discerning God’s will for your life.
While God’s ultimate will is for us to have a relationship with him and to become more like him, his will does need to be discerned and applied in more specific areas of our lives. Gods peace ruling in our hearts is one of the master keys to moving forward. Don’t judge by circumstances alone but by the peace of God.
First, he is utterly consistent in his love and nature toward us. Second, He is completely unpredictable. This paradox, two seemingly conflicting ideas contained in the same truth, is at the core of who God is. God loves to do things unpredictably. Gods unpredictability means we have no security in what God is doing. We can only be secure in who he is. Our mission as Christians is learn how to live in Christ and let that be the bedrock for our life. God will ask each of us, at some point or another, to do things that are outrageous, impossible and unpredictable. Unless we live in the consistent nature of God, we will never step out in faith.
One of the parts of Gods nature we must come to understand is that God is usually silent. This silence doesn’t mean disapproval. In fact, when God is quiet, it is generally an indication that he is happy with us. He doesn’t need to constantly reassure His mature sons and daughters when they are doing well. He just lets us be until we look like we are heading off track. It is incorrect to think that God is continuously revealing his will to us. However, he does carry the responsibility of putting us back on the rails when we slip off. We can trust him to steer us back if we are headed in the wrong direction.
The key element in determining the will of God is always confidence. The Father does what is always right, and he is amazing in his consistency and faithfulness. He always finishes what he starts and we can absolutely trust that he will complete his purpose in us. Holding onto our confidence is a major part of being mentored by the God of paradox. Mentors provide assurance and our personal security is built upon our own understanding of who God is for us. Assurance in God allows us to become like him. As we abide in him, our confidence grows in us to fulfill what God has called us to do.
One of the boundaries God has given to us in our lives is PEACE! Peace is our umpire in the game of life. Peace lets us know when we are in danger of falling off the edge and when we have hit a home run.
Using peace as an umpire in our life makes perfect sense when we consider that the foundation of our relationship with God is peace and rest. Christians should be the most peaceful people on planet earth because we are ultimately connected to the Prince of peace. Peace, therefore, should be a byproduct of our lives. Peace empowers our sensitivity, it enables us to wait patiently and listen.
We can mature to a place in God where it is impossible to worry. When we rest in Him completely, we frustrate the enemy. The kingdom of darkness cannot find us when we are in our secret place of rest in God. We need to learn how to allow peace to be our umpire. A referee only stops a game when things get out of hand or when a rule is broken. Great referees let the rest of the game proceed naturally. When we discover that living in peace is God’s absolute design for our life, we can trust him to shake us up when we move out of his will. As long as we are fulfilling the conditions of a right relationship with God, we are at peace. If we begin to move away from God’s purposes, He will blow the whistle on us by lifting our peace.
God wants us to choose what we do with our lives. If he doesn’t like our choice, he will make that clear. God is in the business of producing mature sons and daughters who can think with the mind of Christ, not a bunch of spiritual babies who need a word just to brush their teeth in the morning. In your choosing, pursue peace because the path of peace is to become spiritually minded (Rom 8:6) and mature in God.