When one starts walking with God, we quickly learn two things about him.
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.
Colossians 3:15 says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”
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.
God takes great pleasure in planning our lives (Jer 29:11). The revealing of those plans can be relational through guidance or ministered through prophetic direction. Guidance comes from the Lord through our ongoing relationship with him. The goal of the Spirit is to teach everyone how to hear the voice of God for themselves. In the joyful practice of the simple disciplines of prayer, worship, being still and meditation, we learn sensitivity to the Spirit.
If we do not stay in fellowship with God, life can get ahead of our intimacy, and we come under pressure through events, circumstances, and people. We all need Jesus much more than we need external prophetic direction. Failure to upgrade our relationship with God is ultimately what makes us tired, weary, and open to oppression. When life increases, our fellowship must increase also.
It’s important to have a firm conviction that our steps are ordered by the Lord (Psa 37:23) however direction for the next step in our lives will often come through a 3rd party. The Holy Spirit will take sovereign action, in response to our prayers, to give us the external direction we need in our lives to compliment the internal process of guidance that God is working into our hearts.
There will be occasions when we miss something of God’s plan and purpose for our lives. In these moments we must trust that God is more than able to reveal to us our error and get us back on the right path again. To ensure this, we need to keep an open heart and a short account with God. As we enjoy fellowship with God, our hearts become sensitive to his leading and if repentance is needed, we must confess our error and align our thoughts and actions with the new pathway God is revealing to us. Remember, along your spiritual journey, there are only learning opportunities. We only fail, if we ignore the signs God is giving to us and selfishly choose our own pathways in life.
Radical faith is developed by waiting on God… Waiting on God literally means to wait on him.
Waiting on God isn’t about just waiting on him for guidance or direction but waiting on him to cultivate our relationship with him. It’s out of a right relationship with God that guidance will flow. Waiting is a relational activity.
If we don’t plan to worship, we wont do it. If we don’t set aside time to sit in the presence of God, we’ll never get around to it. We’re so busy working through the issues of everyday life that we have completely forgotten how to interact with the very source of it all. This is the currency that our lives run on. Time is precious and to spend time with someone shows them how much we love them.
Waiting on God cultivates anticipation in our hearts for what God is going to do next in our lives. It’s not our job to seek God’s will. It’s our joy to seek his face. Relationship is the key to out working all that is in God’s heart for our lives both in the present and in the future.
Psalm 37:34 says, “Wait for the Lord and keep his way and he will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.”
We don’t have to worry about our future, destiny or identity because God has got all of that covered. All of these things are simply added to us while we bask in his presence. The plans he has for us unfold in his heart. Once we ensure that we are in his presence and ready to receive them, they will surely flow to us. We may stumble at times but God holds our hand. Relationship belongs to us, but guidance is His alone.
I’ve discovered that guidance from God is not always what we need. More often than not we know what God’s will is but what we need to complete it is assurance from God that he will be with us.
This is no more true than for Gideon after God called him to strike down the Midianites. The Lord said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor… Go in your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” Gideon said, “How shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manessah, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the Lord said to him, “Surely, I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”
Gideon has an initial conversation with God and then goes on a journey of giving God his final response. On a personal level Gideon feels much like us when asked by God to complete his will, he feels inadequate, insecure and lacking in confidence. When God issues a call to us, it raises our insecurities to the surface but this is a necessary part of our training to complete God’s will for us.
The very thing we think disqualifies us to answer God’s call (our weakness) is the very reason why we have been chosen, so we don’t confuse God’s glory with our ability.
Gideon knew the will of God but he puts out a fleece, not to get guidance but to get reassurance from God that he was in fact called to do what God had asked him to do. Why would someone who knows the will of God need a fleece to double-check? The fleece had nothing to do with finding God’s will and everything to do with his own poor self-image. Gideon wasn’t seeking guidance, he was asking for reassurance.
When it comes to our own calling, what we need most, is not more direction but reassurance that we are the one’s to fulfill it. Reassurance is a key part of Gods intention for us. When he commits us to impossible situations He knows that it will throw us into a crisis of self-confidence. It is in these moments that God will answer our insecurities with confirmation that he is with us and that he has called us to head in a certain direction.