Like many of us when wanting to know God’s leading and will for a particular direction in our lives, we struggle at times to see through the clouds of doubt, anxiousness and concern. We want to know his will, but we find ourselves wavering in a sea of confusion. “What should I do, is this the direction I should go, or is it another way? Should I wait on the Lord, or take the first opportunity that comes my way and hope that it is God’s leading. Should I do what was done in the casting of lots in seeking God’s direction for the apostles, that is, in who was to take Judas Iscariot’s place?” The choices go on and on with endless possibilities it seems. See: http://carm.org/what-casting-lots-in-the-bible Here within this hyperlink the author speaks about how lots are replaced with the Holy Spirit in discerning God’s will.
There are many collective sayings going around, “ A ship in the harbor may be safe, but it is in the midst of the storm that the boat goes forth.” “Every journey begins with one step.” But is it God’s desire for me to be in the midst of the storm, or for me to seek a safe haven instead? Should I wait upon the Lord or begin with a first step?
There are cult groups throughout time that have determined in their own minds that if the right sequence of numbers or letters are derived at, then the secrets of the Bible will be revealed and all the answers to our many questions will be answered. On the other hand, many believe that it is wrong to place our prayers up to God without reflection and self examination first. They say that our prayers cannot be treated like a drive through window with an order placed before his throne with hopes that God chooses to answer our prayer in time.
I believe that these questions are good to have. It compels us to examine our relationship with God. I believe that the truth is, there is no perfect way to approach God. It is a growing process in walking with our Lord. We want to know everything and we desire to walk the right paths in life, paths that God would support in our walk with him. But, the truth is, we many times don’t choose to go his way. Feelings, hidden desires, outside influences, health, the climate around us all play a part in our decision processes. And this makes for much confusion and despair at times. In 1st Corthinians 13:12 Paul writes, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Paul states that we can only see God’s will and purpose for the time and duration that he has set for this season of our life. So what do we do, walk in darkness and wonder if God isleading us?
Perhaps a glimpse of the life of the apostle Paul can reveal to us his walk with God. In reading 2 Corinthians 2: 12-14 Paul is talking about his journey ahead.
“12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-by to them and went on to Macedonia. 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.”
Reading in these passages we see that Paul went forth in faith and believed that God was going before him. He saw that God permitted Paul to go to Troas and yet Paul found no peace of mind. Evidence was shown to Paul by the fact that his fellow disciple, Titus was not there. We see that Paul was sensitive to God’s leading by the LACK OF PEACE that he felt in his heart. Outward evidence was true as well, by Paul “seeing” that Titus was not there. Paul was using his senses to confirm the way that God was leading him.
We see in Acts 16:9-10 that Paul is given a vision by our Lord in guiding his walk.
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to
God in this instance used a vision to guide the apostle Paul. Did God always use this method, the answer we view in the New Testament is, no. We see that there are countless methods God has chosen to use in relaying his message and direction for his people throughout the New Testament. He speaks to us through many methods, but in all of these approaches, God uses “his” way to communicate. http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/8-ways-god-speaks-to-us-today.html God asks us to have an open heart, a willingness to follow his leading, and the desire to listen to his voice, and as well, a yearning to do “God’s” will as he leads us.