Life is permeated with decisions.
For a young person, some of these might include:
- Should I go to college or trade school or enlist in the military?
- Should I marry this person? If so, when?
- What do I want to do in life? Who do I want to do it with? Where do I want to be?
- How am I going to live self-sufficiently?
There are plenty of defining moments in your late teens and early twenties, and how do you navigate these crossroads? Who do you talk to? What factors weigh into your decisions?
Not to sound cliché, but God does want to know what’s going on in your daily life and to help you make good decisions. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Psalm 16:11 is also similar, “You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.”
So, how do we know when God is speaking to us?
In the Bible, God speaks audibly to Samuel and Abraham, speaks in-person to Moses, Joshua, and Elijah, and speaks in dreams to the Magi, Solomon, Paul, Jacob, and others. He also sent angels to give messages to Mary mother of Jesus, Daniel, Samson’s mother, the apostle John, Gideon, and many others. We also observe that he spoke through the law and the prophets of the past to David, Josiah, and Nehemiah.
And now, almost 2,000 years after the Bible was written, we have his perfect Word to guide and direct our life. All of it – the complete edition from cover to cover starting with the garden and ending with a time yet to come.
Paul writes to Timothy, “All 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. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Jesus also said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
No, the Bible will not tell you directly who you should marry, where you should go, and what you should do with your life. BUT, if you are planted in the Word, God will direct your paths to align to his perfect will.
Also, knowing the Word will allow you to know when you shouldn’t do something. It teaches right from wrong and as you grow in the Spirit you will have more discernment and wisdom if you pray and seek godliness (James 1).
The other two ways God can speak to us* is through other people and circumstances.
Sometimes, we need a “Samuel” in our life to encourage us but also to confront us when we are in the wrong (1 Samuel 15). Godly friends and family have both your interests at heart and seek God alongside you. This makes mentors, accountability partners, and pastors invaluable.
Keep in mind when we listen to the wrong people, bad things happen like in Rehoboam’s case (1 Kings 12).
God can also speak through strangers or speak to your heart in a sermon or worship (the Word). I don’t know how many times someone I don’t even know spoke truth into my life and reminded me to pursue God first in my life.
As for circumstances, this can be the “open or closed-door” philosophy (Acts 16:6-10). Sometimes, we might need a door to slam in our faces to move to the open window. Sometimes, these circumstances might not make sense right now but later we can look back and see where God was leading us and how he wastes absolutely nothing.
God wants to talk to you, and he wants you to talk to him. Give God space and place in your life. A space to speak and a place to speak at (perhaps the kitchen table over a cup of coffee). He should be your number one priority.
If you don’t have time for God right now, you need to put your life under a microscope and see what your life is full of. Something might need to be cut out.
But when God has priority in our lives, and when we trust in Him as our refuge and savior, we can experience true joy and peace that can flood into our lives and lead us to make the right decisions.
In love and truth,
*Disclaimer: if you believe God has spoken to you through dreams or audibly, that’s between you and God. I don’t believe he can’t speak directly, but I do believe he uses his Word, his people, and circumstances to lead us more often.
Copyright © 2021 by Melody Turner. All rights reserved. Written exclusively for MXTV (mxtv.org/blog) No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from MXTV.