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Where when how why could I should I would I?

I’m finding recently that when growing up one has alot of decisions to make. Whether it be decisions I’ve already made that are affecting ones I make now or brand new things that I’ve never had to think about before, I’m feeling pretty swamped! This got me thinking about how all too often people tend to wait around for a dramatic sign from God telling them to do something specific and they usually end up rather complacent and dissatisfied in life. It is my thinking that yes, God is sovereign and His plan is perfect, but we have decisions we can make within that. God has blessed us with something called free will, enabling us to be people in our own rights and not robots in some little game called ‘Life’. While it is a good thing to seek God’s will and answer specific callings, how do we go about making decisions that we haven’t felt spoken to about by God, and that we have no internal ‘tug’ about? Do we wait around silently willing someone to prophecy the answer over us, or do we have many a sleepless night fretting over the fact that we can’t make that decision because God hasn’t spoken to us? I vote no! God blatantly calls us to be proactive in our faith, stepping out when the right path isn’t always clear cut and obvious. A good friend of mine recently reminded me  of the story of Paul in the Bible on his way to Macedonia. In Acts 16:6 it says that Paul, on his travels, was ‘forbidden by the Spirit to go to Asia’. So Paul tried to go to Bithynia instead, but the Holy Spirit said no again. So he went to Troas and slept. While he was sleeping he got the direction he needed through a dream from God telling him to go to Macedonia. Now you might say that is a pretty dramatic example but my point is, Paul kept walking. He was faithful to God and didn’t sit back waiting for something to happen. He was proactive and in that we see again that God never leaves us nor does He forsake us. Yes, we might be going in the wrong direction initially but God doesn’t allow us to go too far, according to His will. God lets us know in good time when we’re going wrong whether it’s by directly speaking to us through His Spirit or just closing the appropriate doors. If we make sure our hearts are in the right place – wanting to glorify Him no matter what and being active in making decisions, God reveals the correct paths when the time is right. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9). We should be planning and praying and making decisions, bearing in mind that ultimately it is God who establishes our steps. I want us all to feel challenged to stop fretting about which path to choose and about not having clear direction, but to ‘step out of the boat’ in faith that God will not let us drown.

Established steps

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

No matter how lost we are, no matter who we think we are and no matter how little we actually know about ourselves and our circumstances, God knows what’s going on. God knows exactly what will happen and when. And why, for that matter! We might think we know, but we didn’t exactly write down what was going to happen before the dawn of time – God did. Some people might say it is stifling and unfair of God to plan our lives out step by step, but I say it’s liberating! In circumstances where we might feel lost, confused, disorientated, is it not a huge comfort to know that God’s got it all under control? In situations  where we might feel scared and things seem out of our control, does it not place a sense of security in us to know that God knows? He knows what’s going to happen and therefore what needs to be done. He has established our steps. He knows what decisions you’ve made, are making and will make. In times when we feel uncertain – whether it’s about a relationship, a job, where we’re meant to be or what we’re going to do – we need to cling to the Father, the ‘solid rock’ that is Jesus. He is never uncertain. He is never confused or out of control, scared or disorientated. He is all knowing and never changing, always steadfast in love and faithfulness.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

 

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