We don’t have to, and in fact, we quite possibly shouldn’t, keep asking for God’s guidance. Now, before you gasp and wonder, Mackenzie, how could you have been led so astray from Biblical truth, please read this post in its entirety and remember the word I have italicized in the last sentence.
No doubt, not asking for God’s guidance is a novel idea. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent most of my life asking and seeking out direction. Should I take a gap year after high school? What college should I go to? Where should I live after I graduate? Should I stay in Colorado? Do I stick with this job or find a new one? Should I marry this guy that I met three months ago? You get the idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I crave God’s guidance!
In every big decision, and most small, too, I have sought God’s guidance. And, in many of these situations, He never clearly answered me. I never had the “Aha!” moment or saw the lighted arrow flashing toward the right path. For me, that caused anguish at times. I genuinely wanted to be certain that I was walking in His will, accomplishing His desires. To think that we shouldn’t ask for God’s guidance seems absolutely absurd and possibly even sacrilegious.
That said, now would be a good time to clarify. I gathered this concept on God’s guidance while reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest devotional. I highly recommend it. This is my third year going through it, and boy the LORD has used it again and again to strike a chord or bring comfort at just the right moment.
In the November 14 entry, Chambers writes, “We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance.” I added the italics to highlight the dividing line here. Asking for God’s guidance is absolutely Biblical and good. But, there is something to be said about not needing to always ask.
Remember the priests.
A few years back, my mom shared an idea with me that continues to help me move forward and make decisions when I feel like I’m not getting God’s guidance in a situation. She told me, and has reminded me numerous times since, about the story of the Israelite priests stepping into the Jordan river before God stopped the rushing waters.
The priests had to make the first move trusting in what God had already told them. They were called to live in the promised land, so crossing the river was inevitable. They knew that if God called them to this place, then He would remove or help them through any obstacle that stood in the way.
Sometimes we have to keep moving forward without having clearly received God’s guidance on a specific issue, circumstance or opportunity. We have to remember what the LORD’s said in the past through Scripture, friends, family, life, circumstances, etc., and walk forward holding onto what we know about Him and what we feel confident would honor Him.
This is all about trusting God.
The beautiful part is, we can trust that He will provide an “intuitive jar” or “check,” as Chambers puts it, when we need to be redirected. “When He gives the check, we have to stop at once and be renewed in the spirit of our mind in order to make out what God’s will is,” he writes.
So, next time you feel stressed or anxious about a decision, pray, listen, and if you feel like you haven’t received God’s guidance or a check, then take the next step. And, talking to myself here, trust that God is with you and that if He wants you to make a certain decision or go a specific way, He’ll provide the necessary nudge.
Okay, now I can finish the sentence: We shouldn’t be asking for God’s guidance … when we’ve already sought His direction and He’s decided to stay silent, or in the day-to-day when He hasn’t stirred us to question and “check” our choice.
Remember, His silence isn’t out of anger or punishment. If you really think about it, it shows His trust in us and belief in our spiritual maturity. He knows that we can take the next step without a clear word from Him because we are already walking daily in His will. It’s up to us to courageously take the next step trusting in who we know Him to be and in what He’s spoken to us in the past.