“5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.” (Romans 8:5-6,9a NLT)
Knowing what deserves our God-given time and attention can sometimes be confusing. We know that as a child of the King, our energies are best placed in things that edify the Kingdom, as well as those things that yield Kingdom returns. But we can’t see into the future and we aren’t always exactly sure which path will ultimately lead to the Highway of the King. Just because we know the basic difference between right and wrong does not always mean that we have all the answers, or even which choice is right. Many times we are faced with a dilemma that has multiple options that seem good. Those types of situations can sometimes be the most frustrating to navigate.
Look back at our key scripture. As a child of God, you have received the amazing gift of the indwelling of His Spirit. That means that the Spirit of God is in control. I am going to assume that as a believer, you have likely been on a long journey of gradually identifying selfish ambitions and carnal, fleshy desires, and you have methodically been letting go of the things that keep you from fulfilling your calling. I expect you have also been learning more about the character and the heart of God, and with each passing moment you are growing and becoming more able to discern His will. But how do we apply that to everyday life?
I want to share with you a spiritual principle that I have been implementing for quite some time now, and it has been such a blessing in my life. When I’m not sure which decision to make, I walk out these God-confident, Spirit-led steps of faith. But I must warn you, these are not white-knuckled control tactics of human analysis. Obsessively analyzing your situation will not bring about spiritual clarity. It is quite the opposite. These are spiritual principles that will enable you to evaluate your heart, your situation and your calling, to ensure that you are destined for God’s will.
- Pray to the Father, letting Him know that you are not sure what to do, but you are going to trust Him to show you the way
- Listen for little cues and whispers from God that may help you make the right choice, but even if you feel like you don’t hear anything, realize that God can choose to use anything to lead and guide you into the right path, so keep your spiritual eyes and ears open to receive a nudge from Him that could come at any time, from any place or person and in any way that He chooses
- If you still don’t feel as if you have direction from God, stand on the promise from Romans 8 that His Spirit lives inside of you; choose a path that seems wise to you, based on what you know of the Father, His character and His heart
- While you are on the path that you have begun, continue to let God know that you truly want to do His will, not your own, and ask Him to make it clear if you begin to go in the wrong direction
- As doors open in front of you, walk through them as you continue to pray to the Father, reiterating your trust in Him
- Continue going through the path that unfolds before you, knowing that God’s Spirit is within you, He is guiding you and He will comfort your human heart as you journey
- Be prepared to continue going forward or to pause at any moment, as you receive fresh revelation from God on a continual basis
Does this mean that you will never make a mistake again? Of course not. You will fail again, and it will happen more than once. But another thing that will happen is that you will begin to more clearly recognize the voice of the Lord. Each time you follow Him with childlike trust, you learn more about His ways, His will and His amazing plan.
Not only that, God is bigger than any mistake you could ever make, and He is already on the scene, taking care of any unwanted ripple effects. This only happens when you have a heart that longs to do His will, not yours. Remember the takeaways from the scriptures we read last week?
- Even when you stumble, you won’t fall.
- If your motives are pure, you will receive from God what you have asked for.
- God will grant your heart’s desire, if you take delight in Him.
Applying God’s will to your everyday life is a simple concept at the core. Staying in constant communion with your Creator is the key. You must continually pray, share, ask, wait, follow, listen, walk and be open to what He is saying and where He is leading. 1 Thessalonians encourages us to pray about everything, to let God know what our needs are and to thank Him for all that He has done. You should never stop talking to the Lord. Tell Him everything, and continually thank Him for His goodness.
Trusting in God to lead you is extremely liberating and it will unentangle you from the chains of indecision, insecurity, fear and doubt. You will walk in freedom, knowing that your loving Father has an amazing plan for your life. You will live with the confidence that even if you trip, He will lift you up and continue to love you, teach you and bless you as your trust in Him deepens and your God-confidence grows. I can’t think of a better way to live. Pray with me as you begin to integrate this spiritual principle into your life, and allow it to become part of your identity. One that reflects the power and the work of Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, I trust Your plan and Your will, not mine. I have been known to make a mess of things in the past, but I am relinquishing control to You now. I vow to stay in constant communion with You and to share with You my needs as I put them in Your hands. I will continually thank You for Your infinite goodness and Your lovingkindness that never ends. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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