How do I know I’m going in the right direction?
Are you the kind of person that likes to go with the flow in life, or have you got your five-year plan mapped out?
If I had to pick one of the two, I definitely fall more in to the ‘I need a plan!’ category. But whether you’re a planner or a flow-er, the thing that unites us is our desire for direction. We want to know we are on the right path, and I think that’s okay.
As a Christian, there can be an added layer of mystery here because we don’t only plan our lives based on our own goals and aspirations, but we also consider if we are in alignment with what God wants for us. If we believe the bible to be true, then we know that God’s ways and thoughts are higher, and way better, than our own (Isaiah 59:8-9) – so we really don’t wanna miss out on that!
But to be honest, that thought has often left me stuck, frozen, and unable to make a decision for fear of making the wrong one and potentially throwing my whole life off-track. I so badly want to please God and to have my life be submitted to his will and his way, that I end up doing nothing at all, which isn’t really what God wants for me either! There is a whole world to explore and adventures to be had. We are God’s CHILDREN and what great parent wouldn’t want their kids to just get stuck in and give it a go, rather than always standing on the side-lines for fear of putting a foot wrong?
So, in these moments of not knowing what step to take next, not sure what direction to go, I remind myself of this simple bible verse: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”-Proverbs 16:9.
I can trust that God is a good Father, and that if I am going off-track he will lead me back. So what does that look like practically? Proverbs 3:6 puts it simply: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
My job is to acknowledge God in all that I do. That means not just going about my life making decisions that serve only me and my own desires, but prayerfully considering each choice I make and always inviting God into the process. There are times that I do this and I’ll feel a real sense of peace and know that I should proceed with whatever step I’m grappling with, other times I’ll feel unsettled and it’ll be clearer that it’s a closed door, and occasionally I’ll feel/hear nothing at all. In those instances, I’ll either proceed or pause with caution, but the important thing is that we keep on acknowledging God, and keep our hearts and minds open to Him. I believe if we do that, we’ll never go too far off-track.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6