“I have some decisions to make. How do I know when God answers?” The young man who approached me didn’t doubt God’s ability; he simply wanted to make sure he heard clearly.
The human desire to proceed on the right course is hard wired into our system. No one gets lost on purpose. We use MapQuest, Bing and GPS systems to assure our arrival at the desired destination.
Unfortunately, life’s decisions-particularly those with spiritual dimensions, aren’t so easily reached. This young man was only a high school senior, but he desired God’s help with important decisions just as adults do.
The psalmist requested clear direction as well. Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow (Psalm 5:8 NLT). But since God doesn’t speak audibly, how can we hear him or, more importantly, how can we know we’re hearing him correctly?
Difficult decisions are made simpler through prayer. Prayer periods often involve spouting off our “I wanna” lists to God instead of listening for his still small voice. Getting in a “prayer closet” forces us into silence where the world’s clutter is extinguished. And where our own thoughts are controlled so the worries of today and tomorrow don’t prevent us from hearing God.
Making difficult decisions sometimes entails listening with our hearts instead of our heads. God communicates to our minds but also to our hearts. Occasionally the only affirmation God gives is an overwhelming feeling that the decision is the right one-without any proof to back it up.
Decisions aren’t always easy, but praying and listening with your heart will give you peace of mind you’ve made the correct decision.
Prayer: Father, enable us to listen with our hearts and heads for Your still small voice.