This is a complex world and there are consequences to what we do. We need to be diligent to do those things that will cause good to ourselves and those around us and avoid those things that will cause unnecessary strife, contention, and division. Sometimes we need to do exactly that which will cause problems to bring things to where they need to be. What should we do in any given situation?
The Bible says:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We need some mechanism to help us make decisions. This post provides insight on communicating with God to gain knowledge and guidance on what we should do.
- Place: Helps with focus when there is a specific place to pray.
- Time: Helps with focus when there is a specific time to pray.
- List: Recording items to pray about keeps praying focused.
- Guide: Make a list of things to pray about like: leadership, ministry opportunity, etc.
- Specifics: Use lists for prayers and avoid general prayers.
- Notepad: Record thoughts that come to you during prayer.
- Journal: Keep a record of prayer items and how they were addressed.
- Aloud: Helps with thinking through prayer items.
When a new thought comes into your mind take the following actions and consider the questions to determine if it is from God.
- Holy Spirit: Ensure the feeling in your heart confirms the thought. (Hebrews 8:10-11)
- Scriptures: The thought should harmonize with the scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Godly Counsel: Gain insight and confirmation from trusted counselors. (Proverbs 11:14; Matthew 18:16)
- Circumstance/Timing: Is there a circumstance or is the timing such that it enables acting on the thought?
- Does it persuade you to do good?
- Does it promote feelings of love?
- Does it enlighten your mind?
- Does it build you or someone else up?
- Does it bring peace?
- Does it inspire you to be better than you are?
One of the things that can be received by listening to God is a calling. A calling is an invitation from God for you to carry out a mission for Him in this world. The Bible lists some potential callings:
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
This is received the same as any other thought placed in our mind by God. It may be a longer receiving process given the impact and importance of a calling to one’s life.