God has a distinct plan and purpose for each one of us. He knit into every person the gifts, attributes, weaknesses, and strengths necessary to accomplish His perfect will. While He fashioned us into unique individuals, we were given much attention. He determined our sex and intentionally placed us in the nation, family, and social setting that would best serve to mold and equip us for His good purpose. Knowing this, we can confidently trust God to lead and guide us in our spiritual race.
“ For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)
All seeming chance or random happenings, every sudden or unexpected turn of events…. Both good and bad were included in this plan before we were born. He places every believer in the Body of Christ that pleases Him. He has sovereignly determined our function and purpose and has given us the necessary spiritual gifts to perform our specific purpose.
“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.” 1 Corinthians 12:17-18
But how many of us have struggled to discover the will of God for our lives. How many have endured sleepless nights of angst, fearful of missing the mark and not clearly understanding His instruction. As God knows our hearts and motives, we should find comfort in knowing God sees our intent. Even if we make a “mistake” or go down a “wrong” path, God’s plan and purpose will prevail. He will faithfully GUIDE us so that we fulfill the plan He has ordained for us.
The only reference to the disciples seeking to determine the will of God occurs in Acts 1:24-26 (NKJV)
“And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
The Lord will always GUIDE His people! This is not to say we should set aside the act of seeking His will. We do have a responsibility to be knowledgeable in our decisions, asking God for wisdom and not doubting in His provision (James 1:5-8). However, we should trust and find comfort in knowing that He will faithfully lead and direct us throughout life. Sometimes He will send the Holy Spirit to speak to us though a dream/vision or directly through the Word of God.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
Seeking God’s will is prudent but when we are at a crossroads, anxious about our next step or a new direction, we have the confident hope of knowing He will lead us all the way. God’s plan for us is NOT contingent upon our decisions in life. God’s plan is not and never will be contingent. His will and plan are SOVEREIGN. Therefore, it includes our wise decisions AND our foolish decisions, sinful choices, willful acts of disobedience, and silly choices. His ways to guide and direct us are infinite! However, there is always the gift of free will, which causes some to deny Him.
His guidance is almost always a step-by-step process. Your obedience to follow His lead is determined by your measure of trust and faith in His love. Your willingness to die to self is also instrumental in running the race God has ordained for you.
Remember, even if you go in the wrong direction He will guide you. God knows how to clear the way, even in a wilderness. You can always get back on track if you look for God to lead, guide, and direct.
“He does not play games with us. He does not look down from heaven at our struggles to know His will and say, ‘I hope you make the right decision.’ Rather, in His time and in His way He will lead us in His path for us.” ~Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
“For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our GUIDE even to death.” Psalm 48:14 (NKJV)
“The Lord will GUIDE you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.” John 7:17 (NKJV)