How do we know which direction the Lord wants us to take in life?
1. Ask the Lord to cleanse you from all secret sins. David prayed, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psa. 139:23,24)
2. Follow the instructions found throughout the scriptures. Solomon wrote, "For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life." (Prov. 6:23)
3. Listen to Godly counsel. Solomon wrote, "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. The fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult."(Prov. 12:15,16)
4. Be open to any way that God's sovereign will takes you. Solomon wrote, "The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps." (Prov. 16:9)
5. Consistently ask the Lord for His guidance in prayer. Solomon wrote, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insights. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct you.
6. Do not insist on having to understand every reason for God's guidance before obeying His will. Solomon wrote, "The Lord directs a man's steps. How then can anyone understand His own way?" (Prov. 20:24)
7. Carefully develop a plan for carrying out all of the will of God. Solomon wrote, "A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways." (Prov. 21 :29)
8. Accept correction as we all have a long way to go before becoming like Christ. Solomon wrote, "The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother." (Prov. 29: 15)
9. Accept whatever path the Lord gives you without questioning His reasons. Isaiah wrote, "This is what the Lord says - he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters... See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert.
10. Admit to God, to others and yourself that it is not in your human abilities to discern what is best. Jeremiah wrote, "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but only with justice, not in your anger, lest you reduce me to
nothing. (Jer. 10:23,24)
11. Follow the patterns of Jesus. Jesus said, "Pray then in this way, Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:9)
12. Be willing to follow an unconventional way to do God's will. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matt. 7: 13,14)
13. Follow God's three greatest priorities for people: 1). Worship 2). Evangelizing 3). Discipling people by planting and helping churches grow. Jesus said, "In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of God over one sinner who repents than over 99 who needs no repentance. "(Luke 15: 10)
14. Ask Godly people for personal advice. Dr. Luke wrote, "Apollos had been instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, but he knew only the baptism of John. Apollos began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately." (Acts 18:25,26)
15. Realize the futility of resisting the will of God. Peter said, "So if God gave the gentiles the same gift as He gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God's way?"
16. Ask the Lord for the Spirit's intercessory guidance. Paul wrote, "In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us.
17. Do not hinder others from doing the will of God. Paul wrote, "Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put a stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way."
18. Plan ways to maximize your contributions to the cause of Christ. Paul wrote, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Therefore, I run in such a way as not without aim...No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (I Cor. 9:24-27)