‘God, give me a sign!’ we say. Though God often guides us in subtle ways, and will sometimes remain silent to deepen our faith or spiritual maturity, there are ways to finetune our ability to listen and be sensitive to His ‘nudges.’ These tips can also help us see if we are on the right track, and whether whether a decision we need to make is aligned with His will.
1.Tap the Scripture
Think of the Bible as God’s centuries-long conversation with His people: reminding them of what matters, giving hope, and always calling them back to His loving arms. Sometimes the Bible may contain a verse or passage that perfectly fits our situation; sometimes the connection is unclear. Either way, it’s good to keep a diary, recording the passages that God has led us for each day—the pieces of the picture may fall into place later on!
And it is always, always important to understand the context of the verse. While the Bible is divinely inspired, it is still written within human history and culture, and it is our responsibility to study the books and turn to scholars and reflections so we don’t misunderstand what He meant.
2. Check your own peace of mind
God sometimes works with our feelings. If we have a prayerful life, attuning ourselves to His words and directions, then our heart can send us messages, ‘This isn’t right.’ As Colossians said, “Let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts” and while our rational mind may tell us to rush forward or grab an opportunity, our hesitation may be His spirit telling us to wait. Just make sure that you aren’t stalling because of fear or insecurity—that’s not the voice or way of God. The best gauge is whether you feel serene, or comfortable. You can be serene and still be taking a huge risk; you could be comfortable and running away from a challenge, and be as fearful as Jonah.
3. See patterns in your circumstances
God always orchestrates our life, opening and shutting doors and leading us to events, people or opportunities. Step back and see if there is an underlying pattern in your situation, and if He seems to be pointing you towards a particular life lesson or pushing you out of a comfort zone.
4. Seek counsel of other people
Ask advice from someone who shares your values and your faith. They can pray for you, or help you gain insight. God may also use them to explain something that you don’t understand.
Photo from pastorstanrussell.wordpress.com