No, this isn’t about the song made famous by the Clash. It’s the essence of the number one question I get from both churched and non-churched folks. “How do I know what to do?’, or “How can I know what God wants me to do?” And the answer is…well, it’s difficult.
The answer is probably more simple than complex. But if we can make it complex, I’m sure somebody will write a book about it. Deep down I think most of us know exactly what we are to do; we just have a hard time surrendering to it. To surrender to what you know is outside your norm means that you are most likely battling some of these:
- What will my family think?
- What will my friends say?
- How will my boss take it?
- I’m afraid that I’ll fail.
- I’m so confused about what I want to do vs. what I think I should do.
And the list goes on and on. At a point in time, preferably sooner, rather than later, we must all choose a path, follow a leader, or blaze a new trail. Some of us are natural entrepreneurs, others are natural 8-5 workers, and some of us are artistic geniuses (if only in our minds). But after hundreds of hours counseling people on making decisions, or choosing a career path, or saying yes or no to an opportunity, I DO believe there is a fail-proof system to knowing how to choose. I rarely can offer a clean answer of “you should this,” but I have personally proven this system to be a healthy model for you and me.
- Get practical. What are the pros and cons – list them!
- Meditate on the decision – daily – and don’t just ask the Divine for clarity, HUSH and listen for His voice to deliver clarity. I can promise you, that the Divine has a plan for your to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). Ask, hush, and you will receive!
- In your time of meditation, ask the Divine for three things. 1) Wisdom, 2) Discernment, and 3) Other trusted Followers of Jesus to come alongside you to assist you in getting to His decision for your life.
- ACT! Don’t wait forever. There is a not so fine line between “waiting on the Lord” and laziness or apathy. When you know – ACT. Stop overthinking everything and go!
Most often the decision comes down to two things:
- What God wants for you to do.
- What you think everybody else wants you to do, and sometimes what you want to do.
I’m a firm believer that what the Lord calls you to, He has been equipping you to do for years.
He has most likely used failures, flops and foibles to get you here. When I left the dream to make a billion dollars and set my course for ministry, it was later in life. I knew I was supposed to be in vocational ministry starting in 9th grade. I just thought I could do a little part-time ministry gig and God would smile as I wrote checks for others to do what He called me to do. That, my friend, is a sure fire way to fail miserably!
I would suggest that you get in the book of James and determine what constitutes faith and what is action in the Divine’s plan for you to prosper. Then work through the steps above. AND THEN ACT ON IT!
Yes, it’s risky. Yes, it’s foolish to some. Yes, it doesn’t feel like there is a net to catch you as you swing out into life like a trapeze artist. If your desire is to truly answer the Divine with an affirmative, prepare for a bumpy ride. God’s will is rarely like running water. Flowing water will follow the path of least resistance. The will of the Divine might splat you against a boulder, or even allow that boulder to roll back over you. BUT!
You will also find you fulfilled, contented, challenged and rewarded. It’s always worth the effort to know for sure. It’s always a winner to follow in the steps of Jesus, and it’s always awesome to lay your head on your pillow at night and know that He has you in the palm of His hand and that you are never more secure than when you are in the center of His will.
Step Up – Step Out, and Step Into a place only He can carry you.