Seven steps when seeking God’s will
July 12th, 2018 / By: Chuck Lawless | Southeastern Seminary / comments
I’ve been there. Perhaps you’re there today. You’re seeking God’s will about some decision, and you simply don’t have clarity. Maybe these steps will help you as you press forward.
1. Be faithfully in the Word of God. I know this first step might sound too basic, but that’s the point: you’re not going to determine what God wants if you don’t put yourself in a position to hear from him. Neglecting the Word won’t bring clarity.
2. Follow what you do know to do. The problem with most of us is not that we can’t figure out God’s will; it’s that we don’t obey him in the things that are clear in the Scriptures (like giving thanks and avoiding sexual immorality—1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18). Why should God show us any more details when we’re not faithful to what he has revealed to us?
3. Deal with any unrepentant sin issues. I’m not sure we understand how much our ongoing sin hinders our following God faithfully. It blocks our prayers and hampers our fellowship. It robs us of joy and risks the judgment of God. Moreover, it makes it difficult to hear God clearly.
4. Be faithful to your last point of clarity. I trust you are where you are today because you followed God to that place and that work. If so, trust that God has you there until he gives you clarity in some other direction.
5. Serve God in the present tense. This point, of course, connects with #4 above. Yesterday is gone, and God already has tomorrow in his hands. Leave tomorrow there – and be faithful today.
6. Keep talking to God about your confusion. He already knows it, but it does us good to confess it to him. Somehow, simply talking to God has a way of helping us think through our options. Proclaim your trust in him even as you express your questioning.
7. Ask the Lord to help you delight in him—and leave the next steps in his hands (Psalm 37:4). When we know him, the unknown is not nearly as troublesome. After all, nothing is unknown to him.
What steps have been most helpful to you?
Chuck Lawless is dean and vice-president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions.