I stayed up all night with the youth group on Friday night at an event called “Mania Marathon”. Each year a local church has it on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the New Year and to have a worship service followed by Laser Tag, Bowling and movies or games. This year it was on the 30th instead of the 31st so that we could get into church on the 1st which was on Sunday. It was a fun event and our kids were awesome! I like going because it gives me some extra time to visit with the kids and to see what is on their mind. This year several of them asked questions about how does a person know what they should do with their life. They were asking questions from a college and career perspective.
I tried to explain to them that they can count on the Lord to help them in this area. The Lord promises to help us guide us in these types of decisions. He promises to lead us in the way we should go. With that in mind, I submit the following steps for seeking God’s will for your life.
1. Pray! While we may not audibly hear God’s voice we can still expect Him to instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. The bible says in Psalm 32:8
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
We can expect God to place certain desires and motivations upon our heart. We all have certain gifts, strengths and talents that He has blessed us with which will help us in our pursuit of a career or in fulfilling the tasks that He has placed before us. Pray and think about what it is you would like to do. Pray and think about what it is God would want you to do. Sometimes these two things do not always match. Sometimes we do not want to do what God wants us to do. If you struggle with that, please bring someone else into the struggle with you to help you pray about the matter and give you some guidance so that you can sort it out. Talk to a trusted Christian friend or your pastor. But please pray about what you believe the Lord would have you to do. Many times you will find that He is okay with you initial inclination. (He has plans of growth and change for all of us and is more concerned about getting us moving!) But please understand that the Lord who we trust with our eternal salvation is more than capable of guiding us with our earthly vocation!
- Plan! Once you have an idea of what you want to do, you need to make some plans. The bible says in Proverbs 21:5
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage…” Prov 21:25
When you think you know where you want to go, when you have the destination in mind, you need a road map for getting there. Don’t just jump in the car and wander aimlessly in life, squandering time and resources. Do you want to be a writer for a newspaper or a magazine? If so, you probably need to go to college and obtain a degree in English and/or Journalism. And you definitely need to be engaged in writing. Do you want to sing? Perhaps voice lessons or music theory classes need to be in your future. Do you simply want to help others? Volunteer at a school, food bank or nursing home. The list is endless. Begin your search with prayer. Perhaps you look at this roadmap you now have and think that you cannot make this journey. Perhaps you look at it and you fear that you don’t have the resources to fulfill some of the requirements on your list. Some will rightfully point out that Jesus said in Luke 14:28
For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘’This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28 – 30
I find that whenever one is faced with such a list or such a situation that those times are perfect times for prayer. Has God placed this goal, this desire upon your heart? Do you truly believe He has called you to this task? If so, ask Him to provide the resources and the wisdom and the insight for you. I have faced such a list before and I can assure you that anything God asks you to do, He will help you to do. For scriptural support I will offer up Philippians 4:19 – 20.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Phil 4:19-20
3. Place your boat upon the water and let the winds and waves of God take you where He will. Once you have prayed and made your plans and prayed again place your boat upon the water and get busy! Continue to pray along the way and allow God to make navigational changes along the way. The bible says in Proverbs 20:24
Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way? Prov 20:24
The Lord may make some changes to your plans along the way. Continue to pray and in absence of any distinct direction from the Lord do what makes sense to you. When you are in doubt about what to do next or about some decision that you need to make, get counsel from trusted Christian advisors. But always lean on your faith and always make room for the Lord to change your plans. One scene from the bible that comes to my mind is from Joshua chapter 5. Joshua has taken over for Moses and is now leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua has been a commander of the army, he is a battle-scarred veteran and now he is staring at the walls of Jericho devising a military plan of attack to launch on that city. At this point Joshua has not received any distinct direction from the Lord so he is going to do what makes sense to him. I am sure that Joshua already has some idea in his mind as to how to go about taking the city when the Lord appears to him at the end of chapter 5. Joshua is probably thinking about scaling the walls or having spies sneak in and open the doors and the Lord tells him in chapter 6 that they are simply going to march around the city, blow some trumpets and the wall are going to fall. It probably seems crazy to Joshua but the Lord has brought him this far and Joshua is not about to stop trusting Him now. The Lord changes Joshua’s plans…and it works out great.
The Lord will change your plans too at some point. And at first it may seem crazy. But if you trust the Lord, it will work out great. Your steps are ordained by God, you cannot understand His way. You simply need to place your boat upon the water and prayerfully let the wind and the waves of God take you where He will. That does not mean you just sit back and do nothing, you still have to row the boat, batten down the hatches and do all the other things required on a boat. But you need to understand that God will make navigational changes in your life. Trust me. I know. I never dreamed I would fill a pulpit, I never dreamed I would write a blog to encourage others to seek the Lord and His best for them in their lives. But now, I cannot imagine doing anything else. May God bless you on your journey.
If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org