If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.
- Isaiah 50:10 NLT
I was recently faced with a major decision that had me completely petrified. I must admit that whenever I'm faced with the possibility of having to sign a legal document of some kind, my first reaction is sheer terror. My fears are often compounded by well-meaning people around me who take great pains to describe in detail the worst possible scenarios that could befall me. Years ago, I might have decided to just forget the whole thing. But these days, I'm in the habit of seeking the Lord about every decision I face, so I turned to Him for His perspective on the matter. I told Him that even though I was terrified, I wanted His will above all else, and I asked Him to guide and guard my every step. As the time approached for me to sign on the dotted line, I began pouring my heart out to God, telling Him my fears about trusting the people involved. It was then that I heard Him speak to my heart--"I'm not asking you to trust them. I'm asking you to trust ME." Hearing these reassuring words from the Lord calmed my fears, and enabled me to settle down and put my trust in Him.
At the same time I was going through this experience, a close friend of mine was faced with a major decision of her own. She was having many of the same misgivings that I was, and she was afraid of making a mistake. I told her that I would pray for her, and I shared with her some things I've learned over the years about following God's lead. After I pray about a situation, if I feel led to take a step, I go ahead and take one. If I sense that God is giving me a "green light," I go ahead and take another step, praying all the way. If the way seems clear, and if everything seems to be falling into place, I continue to take more steps. I have found that there's usually a "flow" present which encourages me to keep going. If things seem stalled--if I sense that God is giving me a "red light"--I pause and wait on Him for further instructions. Because I want God's will, and not my own, I ask Him to make me sensitive and obedient to His leading. I also ask Him to give me a sense of peace when I'm on the right track, because Scripture says that we should let the peace of God act as "umpire" in our hearts. (Colossians 3:15 AMP) This doesn't mean that we won't feel fear or uncertainty if we're in God's will, but that we'll have an unexplainable sense of inner peace in the midst of uncertainty.
My friend is a woman of great faith, and she asked me if I thought that God would be offended if we didn't trust Him for a positive outcome in situations like these. I told her that I think it's a mistake for us to assume that every seemingly wonderful opportunity that comes our way is God's will for us. If we thought that way, we'd be more likely to "kick down doors," and to try to make something happen that the Lord is trying to help us avoid. On the other hand, if we assume a "wait and see" attitude that stems from a lack of faith, we might become too passive and miss out on God's best for us. I believe that if we will ask the Lord to help us find the perfect balance between these two attitudes, and one that is pleasing to Him, He will equip us with everything we need to succeed.
The Bible makes it clear that God is eager to guide us when we turn to Him for help. Even so, there will be times when He will not allow us to have "all our ducks in a row" before He expects us to make a move. These are the times He longs for us to put our trust in Him, so that He can prove His faithfulness to us. Today, may this precious promise from the Lord encourage and reassure you: "Trust in God from the bottom of your heart. Don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. He's the one who will keep you on track"! (Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message Bible)
Prayer: Lord, when I'm faced with a major decision, help me to turn to You for guidance, and to put my trust in You. Give me the courage and the faith to follow Your lead, no matter where it takes me. Help me not to run ahead of You, or to lag behind. Remind me to seek You on a daily basis through prayer, praise, and the study of Your Word, so that I'll develop a sensitive and obedient spirit. Thank You, Lord, that when the way is unclear before me, I can trust You to guide and guard my steps!
- J. M. Farro