“Kerry, how do I know what God wants me to do?”
I’m not surprised the #1 question I’m asked has to do with how to follow God. Other times it’s asked this way, “How do I really hear God’s voice and know it’s God, not just a thought that popped into my head? How do I get God’s guidance?”
Whenever I hear those questions, I know I’m talking to someone experiencing a flood—a flood of indecision.
Lots of believers find themselves overwhelmed by a flood of indecision, because they understand a very important truth. They know our decisions determine our destiny. The truth is . . .
WE MAKE OUR DECISIONS,
THEN OUR DECISIONS MAKE US.
Of course, some decisions are trivial (like whether to have your morning eggs scrambled or over easy), but others can have profound implications that alter the course of our lives.
No wonder we’re often so fearful of making a wrong decision! Have you ever been so paralyzed by indecision that you made no decision at all?
I have good news for you. You don’t have to live in fear of messing up your future . . . of making the wrong choice. The scriptures are filled with examples of God giving direction to His people. One man in particular gives us clues to making godly, spiritually-guided decisions. His name was Noah.
Noah learned what to do when God put a door in front of him, when to move, when to wait and how to hear from God for the next step in his journey. Take a few minutes with me to think about his experience in the ark.
Imagine you’ve been living with a bunch of animals for months. You’re cooped up with the family, and you’ve just heard, “Are we there yet?” for the thousandth time. You’ve not seen the light of day for more than a year. Then suddenly your boat runs aground atop a mountain and comes to rest.
Obedience to God’s direction had served Noah very well up to that point. He saw that obedience brought blessing. Sitting locked up in that dark, smelly boat on the mountaintop, there was one (and only one) door for him to go through to begin the next phase of his life.
WHEN YOU MAKE DIVINELY-DIRECTED DECISIONS,
YOU THRIVE IN LIFE.
Noah went through his door only when he knew God had said, “Go!” (see Genesis 8:16). When you follow God’s guidance and wisdom for a decision, your life is better and more impacting. Why? Because you’re living in alignment with God’s highest purposes for you.
So, what was the process that Noah went through to make this critical decision? Here are just a few insights from Noah on finding your way out of the valley of indecision:
1. Start your day with God . . . Noah walked with God daily, a wonderful pattern that should also mark our lives. We can literally begin with a, “Hello, Father,” and continue that conversation throughout the day. Start your day asking for guidance, then be prepared to write down what God tells you.
2. Understand “windows” vs. “doors” . . . Genesis 8:6 says, After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark . . . (NIV). God will always open a window. As a matter of fact, the Bible speaks both of “doors of opportunity” and “windows of encouragement.”
The windows of encouragement are those little signs that point us to the right door.
As with Noah, God uses “windows” to lead you to and through your door.
3. Lastly, wait for God’s timing . . . There are few things that will try your patience more completely than seeing the God-ordained door right in front you but not being ready or able to walk through it immediately.
THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD’S
“NO” AND “NOT YET.”
Sometimes, when we pray, we think God says, “No,” when really, He just said, “Not yet.” I think that’s because God wants us to come to a place of rest when we are trying to make a decision. Nothing builds our character more than the waiting rooms of life. The wait teaches us to trust God. It teaches to have faith. It builds our character.