People often ask how they can determine God’s direction on a particular decision or matter in their lives. It is not uncommon for people to be very uncertain about a decision that they are trying to make. Yet, we are sure that the Lord does not want you to be unsure of his direction in your life. Therefore, let’s consider a few passages of scripture that should help you see how to be sure of God’s direction. Finding God’s direction:
Man cannot direct his steps – Jer 10:23 – the first thing to consider in finding God’s direction is that you cannot direct your own steps. Men, of course, are always directing their own way. And that’s why you find so many Christians in so many messed up situations. You direct your life until you get to a situation or problem that stymies you and then you look to God for help. You are way late at this point to start trying to figure out what God would have you to do. You must look to God for direction in everything you do at all times. You need to be like Solomon when he ascended to the throne. He said, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in,” [1 Ki 3:7]. You need to be like Jehoshaphat and Judah when they were attacked by Moab, Ammon and the children of Seir [2 Chr 20:3-4, 12-13]. Jehoshaphat prayed, “neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” It’s much better to do what these men did than to wait till you have made a big mess and then cry out to God to bless it or fix it.
The Lord will direct your steps – Prov 16:9 – because you are a person, you are going to devise your way. Men do that. But you cannot direct your steps. Only the Lord should do that for you. He is the one who knows what the next best step is for you right now. So, you must look to him to direct your steps. Prov 3:5-6 shows you what to do. First, trust God with all your heart. Second, don’t even lean to your own understanding. Third, in all thy ways acknowledge him. He’s not going to direct your way if you aren’t doing all three of the things he said in this passage. However, if you will do all three of these, then he shall direct thy paths. If you don’t have direction from the Lord, after doing these three, then wait. He will direct you.
Truth will direct your steps – Is 61:8 – when you want to know what to do, read the Bible. An old friend of mine, who wasn’t even a Christian at the time, used to say to me, “When I don’t know what to do, I pick up the Bible and read. Within five pages of reading, I find the answer.” Now you ought to be reading the Bible every day. When you read the Bible every day, the Lord will speak to you out of the words of God. And if you will listen, you will see his direction in the words where you are reading. Just the other day, I was reading in 2 Timothy. A lady came for counseling and the verses she needed were the last ones I had read just before she arrived. The last time I preached in church, the Lord’s message for us that night was right there in the verses I had been reading that day. When you regularly read the Bible, the Lord will bring to your remembrance something he said to you [Jn 14:26]. He will use his truth to speak to you and to direct your steps.
Wisdom will direct your steps – Ecc 10:10 – this kind of wisdom about which Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes is wisdom that you gain through experience, observation and counsel. Pay attention as you go through life. See how things work and see how things are done. Remember these things you observe. They will help direct you. The trouble with so many people today is that they aren’t paying attention. They are distracted. Furthermore, go to others who are wise and ask for their counsel. Godly people who have a history of good counsel are invaluable. They can help you in so many ways. For one thing, they are not emotionally involved in your decision so they can be much more objective. Emotional decisions are irrational. A good counsellor can help you sort things out so that you can peacefully discern the Lord’s direction.
Righteousness will direct your steps – Prov 11:5 – about 90 percent of the problems with which Christians deal would never have become problems if they had simply followed righteousness in making their decisions. When seeking the Lord’s direction, you should ask yourself the question, “Is this right?” If it’s not right then there is absolutely no reason in the world to pray about it or to ask anyone else for counsel. It’s wrong. And that’s all you need to know. Christians have left off to “do right” these days. You don’t need to seek God’s direction when you already know that what you are doing is wrong, no matter how many people you can find who might tell you it’s okay. Follow righteousness because it will direct your steps.
Conclusion: no matter whether you have already made the mess or you are trying to avoid making a mess, you need to follow these verses in order to find God’s direction. If you will stop directing your own steps right now and start seeking God’s direction, he will lead you. You will be amazed, down the road, how well things turn out when you go God’s direction.