I don’t know what to do!
We say it or someone says it to us. The punctuation marks the depth of our exasperation, fear, stress, discouragement, or confusion.
Should I break up with him?
Is it time to look for a new job?
Am I supposed to confront her?
You and I are not supposed to have all the answers—or even most of them. There is not a “special type” of person who more readily has the right answers. God wants you and me to turn to him with confidence.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (I John 5:14-15)
So, how do we know if we’re asking according to his will? The more we know Jesus, we get familiar with his character and the kinds of things that align with his will. God grows us to discern his will through our pursuit of a close relationship with him.
God created all of us to need him. One way we learn our need for him is through questions that arise in our life—the ones where friends’ well-meaning suggestions or googled answers don’t satisfy our need.
Is this the house we’re supposed to buy?
Should I be less strict or keep my boundaries?
What is the wise way for us to get out of debt?
Every answer we need, God has. Sometimes he quickly gives us the experience of knowing his guidance because he delights for us to know what this is like. Or he provides confirmation through a person or circumstance, to encourage our discernment development.
It’s not a game or test. Our Good Shepherd trains us to learn his voice. He calls us near and hopes we respond. We wander a bit sometimes and think independent of him or dependent on another person. For our protection, he allows us to experience our need of him and sharpens our discernment to know his voice over the MANY we hear in a day—family, friends, peers, podcasts, social media, books.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16.8,9,11)
We want answers.
God wants our heart and our attention.
The closer we get to God, we invite him into the small and big stuff—with thanks or repentance or praise or a question. We know he is with us. And this is the best beginning to every answer.
“Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” (Psalm 27.7-8)