As Christians we often say that we want to do only what God wants us to do. Yet this is something that is much easier said than done. Granted, some things are easy to decide on: Do not steal, do not commit adultery, honour your parents and so on. Many have been taught these things from childhood and some of these “black and white laws” are so entrenched in society that believer and unbeliever alike do not have any problems complying with this. From a moral perspective we instinctively know what the right thing to do is.
It is when things start getting “grey” that we are not always sure what to do or what God wants us to do. There are many categories of decisions that fall under this so-called grey area. Often we are faced with an ethical issue – when we are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. You are “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. This is often the case when we are asked to do something that we are not comfortable with by an employer or a client. However, even here it is relatively easy to discern what the right thing to do is. It has been suggested that one should ask yourself whether your spouse and children would be proud of your decision. This is a helpful guideline for ethical questions.
But there are many other cases where it is not a question of doing the right or the wrong thing. It is rather a question of which road to take – when there are no moral or ethical questions surrounding your decision. Should I take this new job or take on a new client? Should I employ this new person? Should I start this new product line? When we are faced with these decisions, there is no evident right or wrong. Yet, we still want to do what God wants us to do. So how can I discern what God’s heart is for me at this point in time – knowing that God only wants the best for me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 – NIV)
These decisions can be daunting. You often instinctively know that this is a “big one”, but you do not hear anything. How do I know what to do?
The first thing that we must acknowledge is that God promises help. In Isaiah 30:20-21 we read that “your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (NIV)
This is a promise that we can hang on to. But that still does not answer the question as to HOW God will speak to us. Let’s face it; most of us do not hear a voice behind us, telling us exactly which way to go. I have been faced with this situation on countless occasions. The fact is that God does speak to us in many different ways. One of the first principles is that God will not necessarily repeat himself. If He has spoken to you in a certain way in the past, do not look for that again.
A second principle is to look out for signs. Asking God for a sign feels arrogant. Surely God cannot be forced into giving me a sign just to ease my own unbelief? However, we serve a gracious God who knows our hearts and will meet us where we are. The story of Gideon in Judges 6 has always been an inspiration to me. Here is someone who is required by God to do a great thing, but despite a visit from an angel and very specific instructions regarding what to do and what not to do, he still asks for a sign. He puts out the wool fleece and asks God to make it wet with dew while the ground around it must remain dry. When God gives him the sign, Gideon is still uncertain and asks again; this time asking for the sign in reverse.
If God was willing to do this for Gideon, and many other characters in the Bible, why will He not do it for you? As long as you come to God with a pure heart, genuinely wanting to do His will and only His will and for His honour and glory, He will confirm. That is a promise!Tweet