When we become Christians one of the several challenges we face is; figuring out what God’s will is when we’re making decisions in life. How can we seek God’s voice and know the plans he wants us to make?
Many of us will go through the experience of having to make what seems like life-altering decisions. We will have to decide which University to go to, which career path to follow, or even who to marry. In fact, every single day we go through a process of making countless minute choices, that at times can also feel life-altering. When faced with such decisions, we are often left with the question; ‘what is God’s will?’
Whilst at university, I was faced with this exact conundrum. I had to make a decision that could shape the rest of my life. In the moment, I was worried that making the wrong decision could possibly be contrary to God’s will for me. At that time, it was vital for me to hear God correctly, otherwise, I would be at risk of disobeying him. The decision? Well, the age-old decision of every soon to be graduate, which job to apply for.
I spent some time “listening out” for God’s voice, looking for a sign, waiting for the correct path to be revealed to me. Eventually, I thought I got what I wanted. I felt as though I heard God tell me “Apply for this job, you’ll get it”. Excitedly, I applied with all the confidence and all the faith in the world just to find out a few months later that I didn’t get the job. You can imagine the disappointment that overcame me. Of course, I was disappointed that I didn’t get the job but I was even more disappointed I had “heard God wrong”. This led me down a journey of questioning and rediscovering how God speaks to us as Christians. I wanted to learn how I could be certain when God is speaking to me.
Don’t Look Up, Look Down
I discovered that, the surest way to know God is speaking is by opening the Bible. One of my favourite quotes is one by Justin Peters that says, “If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read your Bible out loud”. I love this quote because it simplifies the idea of “hearing the voice of God” and makes it accessible. The wonder of hearing God speak personally to us is no longer reserved for a few but has been given to all through the Bible.
Oh, how precious is the Bible. It is the very word of God. In it God speaks in the twenty-first century.John Piper
When we read the Bible, we are not just opening some old relic that has been passed down from generation to generation. Instead, we are reading the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16) that is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). God’s word in scripture is not dormant, dead or to be skimmed over. God’s word, is a source of life (Psalm 119:93); God’s word, when hidden in our hearts has the power to keep us from sinning (Psalm 119:11); God’s word, provides illumination and guidance, giving us the wisdom we need to journey through life (Psalm 119:105).
The Bible does not just contain the words that God has said, they also contain the words that God is saying. So when you are faced with a decision to make and you ask yourself what is God saying, don’t look up into the sky, look down on to the pages of the Bible.
Complete And Equipped For Every Good Work
The Bible may not tell us the specifics of which University to go to, which career path to follow or who to marry but the Bible always equips us to make godly decisions. In 2 Timothy 3 Paul speaks about how these inspired words of scripture do just that.
16All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
Every good work! Not some, not a few but EVERY, including making decisions that glorify God. Where we can occasionally absolve ourselves of the responsibility of making decisions by saying “I’m waiting for God to speak”, the Bible tells us that God has already spoken the words that will equip us to make these decisions that we shy away from.
God’s will for His children has been revealed through Scripture. It is our duty then to devote ourselves to a life of studying these scriptures so that we may understand the will of God and ultimately make decisions that will bring glory to him.
The beginning of the year is the time where many make plans for the next chapter of life. Some of us are still yet to make these plans, waiting for God to speak before we commit to anything. Well, guess what, that closed Bible sitting on your bookshelf contains the very words of God you long to hear. Open it and enjoy the wonder of God speaking to you.