July 27, 2011 by J. Truett Glen
I was talking with a good friend this morning over coffee about how hard it is to know what direction to go at times. There are so many crossroads in life that seem to lead to equally edifying paths. It’s not always clear which is the path that God would have us walk down. Some Christians would say that any of the paths are fine as long as they align with what God is trying to accomplish in this world. There might be some truth to that philosophy but I tend to lean toward the view that God is trying to communicate to us where and what he would have us do. I believe that our personalities and relational responsibilities play into his will and that he is not going to ask us to do certain things that would violate a relational obligation such as marriage or being a parent. I am also reminded of the fact that Jesus said of his relationship with the Father, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” (NASB) This is just one verse among many that speak of Jesus’ dependence upon the Father for direction. We, as Christians, are to embody the relational principles set forth in the life of Christ.
So, how can we discern that God is telling us something? We certainly need to continue in communication with the Father through prayer and reading the Bible. We also need to seek that direction from the body of believers that we associate with. Nor can we count out circumstantial evidence that falls in line with those other avenues of determining God’s will. These circumstances are what I like to refer to as sign posts. As the Hebrews were coming out of Egypt they experienced event after event that challenged their faith and trust in God, but also served as testifying sign posts to God’s desired direction for his people. The nation of Israel could look back to miracles, periods of discipline, victories, and open and closed pathways that all testified to what God was doing in and among them. My friend and I have both been going through a time of transition lately that has included multiple options that seem like godly options. However, the sign posts seem to be pointing toward one particular path for the both of us. The path may be horribly difficult to traverse, but comfort has never been the point. It is nice when comfort comes for a time (and I will celebrate it when it returns), but what God is achieving in and through the lives of me and my family is far more important than momentary comfort.
So what are your sign posts? Have you been relating enough with God and his people to even be aware of the fact that he is trying to work in and through you? We can’t even begin to discern what direction the Father would have us go if we don’t trust him, and it is hard to trust someone when you don’t converse with them often. These are important things to consider and I hope that I have inspired you to stop and contemplate these matters as we wade through the many distractions that this world has to offer.