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Direction Without Doubt

 

Acts26 20 Repent and turn to God

 

Memory Verse: Psalm 25:12

I. Introduction: Christians can face difficult decisions with confidence knowing God is willing to give them clear direction in every situation. However, those who fail to seek or wait for His guidance will experience uncertainty, confusion, and frustration. Feelings of inadequacy or the fear of making wrong choices prevent some people from taking advantage of wonderful opportunities. Others miss out because they rush ahead and hope everything works out for the best. With so much at stake, we desperately need God’s wisdom to direct us.

The Lord wants you to make the right decision in every circumstance. He’s not trying to keep His will a secret. However, your attitude regarding His guidance makes a difference. His instructions are reserved for those who fear Him (Ps. 25:12). So when you acknowledge that He alone has the right to direct every choice you make, He’ll give you the wisdom you seek.

II. A Pattern for Making Decisions. The following six steps will help you discern God’s directions no matter what situation you’re facing.

A. Clear the pathway. In order to hear the Lord’s voice, you must remove all obstacles by:

1. Clearing your heart of sin. Any sinful attitude or habit must be removed before you can proceed because sin clouds the mind like fog obstructs your view on the highway. Ask God if there’s anything in your life that doesn’t fit your identity as a follower of Christ. If He reveals a specific sin, immediately confess and repent of it.

2. Bringing your desires to the point of neutrality. There will be times when what you want in a situation is not in line with what the Lord desires. The only way you’ll receive His guidance is by submitting to Him. When you can honestly say that you desire His will be done more than your own, He’ll give you clear direction.

B. Exercise patience. Some decisions are urgent—at least from a human perspective. However, demanding an immediate answer from God is a sign of distrust. Patience requires a willingness to trust the Lord and submit to His timing. Examine the situation from God’s perspective and remember that those who wait for the Lord will not be ashamed (Ps. 25:3).

C. Be alert to pressure. When seeking the Lord’s direction, be careful not to let anyone or anything persuade you to choose a path other than God’s. Be cautious of:

1. External pressure. Sometimes people don’t understand why you’re waiting, and they may offer advice or push you to make a decision. Instead of giving in and jumping ahead of God’s will, fill your mind with His Word. That way, you’ll be able to discern if the advice aligns with His desires.

2. Internal pressure. Other times, the pressure to make a decision comes from within. Fear of losing an opportunity may cause you to enter into a situation or relationship instead of waiting for God’s guidance. He may lead you to a decision nobody else will understand, but if you take the first step of obedience, His blessings will follow.

D. Persist in prayer. Just because you don’t receive an immediate answer from the Lord, it doesn’t mean He isn’t listening. The point of persistent prayer is not to force God to do what you want but to see the situation from His perspective. As you wait, He deepens your relationship with Him and deals with issues in your life that are preventing you from growing spiritually.

E. Rest in God’s promise. In order to find out what the Lord wants you to do in a situation, you must believe His promises. He assures us He’ll answer the prayers of those who ask, seek, and knock (Matt. 7:7), and if you’ll faithfully read the Word each day, the Holy Spirit will lead you to passages with the guidance you need for any situation.

F. Wait for Christ’s peace. The last step in the decision making process is to let the peace of Christ act as the “umpire” for your choice (see Col. 3:15). When the direction is from God, His peace will enter your heart and mind. This is the final proof that you are following His path. There are no more doubts—just confident assurance.

III. Conclusion: When you’re faced with a decision and don’t know what to do, remember that God’s Word is His primary method of speaking to His people. You can also receive guidance by humbly seeking the Lord in prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to help you apply Scriptural principles to your particular circumstance. When you patiently wait to hear His voice and heed His instructions, you can make a confident decision knowing that God has given you clear direction.

(By Dr, Charles F. Stanley. Copyright 2012 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org.)