Looking for Direction?
Life in a sin-sick, broken world has always been uncertain. But lately? Lately, we’ve been experiencing uncertainty on steroids!
So in the midst of such uncertainty, how do we find our way? We seek God’s direction, but recognizing the answers are not always clear . . . or are they?
Frankly, when I seek God’s leading, my preference is for God to speak to me with the clarity of neon-lit billboards. Unfortunately, though, I have yet to see one of those billboards speaking to me. That doesn’t mean God isn’t still leading. It just means that I haven’t always paid attention to the way He chooses to direct me.
God promises to lead us (Psalm 32:8), but how? Recognizing God’s leading is not as mysterious as we think it might be. In fact, God has clearly shown the ways He works to direct us:
Written commands in His Word:
I might wonder what I should do in a given situation and be blind to the commands in the Bible that already address the topic. But John reminds us, “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4 ESV).
Principles in His Word:
But what if there isn’t a direct command? What if I’m buying a car and trying to decide between a Ford and a Maserati? There aren’t any verses in the Bible that tell me which brand of car to buy. But there are principles in Scripture regarding how to handle my resources, including:
- Avoidance of debt: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Prov. 22:7 ESV).
- Family responsibilities: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).
- Good citizenship: “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed” (Rom. 13:7).
- Giving: “Honor the Lord with your wealth” (Prov. 3:9).
So, back to the car-buying decision . . . my vehicle choice may not be in the Bible, but the principles that govern how I should spend my money will guide me in making a wise decision. Which car will enable me to honor all of them? The answer will vary for each of us, depending on our unique circumstances.
People in His Word:
In the absence of commands or principles, God also gives us the example of people in His Word. We see people who make wrong choices and reap consequences (King David with Bathsheba in 2 Sam. 11 or the example of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). We also see the results of people who obeyed God (Joseph in Gen. 41:39-40).
The Bible tells us God will give wisdom when we ask for it:
- “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).
- “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Prov. 12:15).
Confirmation of the Holy Spirit:
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13) and that the fruit of being surrendered to His Holy Spirit includes peace (Gal. 5:22).
God is still sovereign, still leading, and still ruling. And He promises to give us the direction we need to navigate life in an uncertain and chaotic world. We just have to be looking for direction in the right places!