“I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” ~Psalm 40:8
Several qualifiers are involved in the answer to this question. First off, it must line up 100% with the word/law of God. Whatever we feel we are being led to do must be in full accordance with the Bible. And secondly, we must truly want God’s will rather than our own, and then ask for signs from Him for assurance that it is He that is leading and not the great deceiver.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~1 John 4:1
Satan is the master counterfeit. He has deceived mankind since the creation and continues to lead us astray to this very day. He is totally aware of every weakness of every single human being. He will shroud his deception in a multitude of ways. He will do everything in his power to get us to look away from God and onto whatever it is that he’s dangling in front of us. He will seduce us and increase our desire to succumb to his plan. On our own we are incapable to resist his temptations.
With this awareness, we must be vigilant and stay connected to God in everything that we do. If we are doing something that isn’t conducive to a Christian lifestyle, we must ask God to empower us and then stop doing it rather than turning away from God in order to partake.
There have been many times in my life that I knew what I was doing was wrong but did it anyway. Yes, God will forgive us for all of our past sins and iniquities, but comes a point when we must repent and turn from this weak state of mind to the empowered mind of Christ. Once we accept that we have the power of Almighty God within us, we can turn away from Satan’s temptations and stay connected to our only source of empowerment.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” ~Jeremiah 33:3
We must ask! We must take our case before God and then wait for His answer. This is where I really get messed up; the waiting it out part. I get impatient waiting for God to answer me and I jump ahead of Him with what I think is the best course to follow. Inevitably I wind up making a great big mess of things and have to start all over from scratch.
I am finally learning that my idea of how things should be going and His are two very different things. When the Bible says do not lean on your own understanding, it is serious. Your heart is deceitful, your emotions fluctuate, your limited understanding does not see the big picture, but God does. Trust Him!
“ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
I kind of see my life like this; I’m riding down the road on a tandem bicycle and I honestly believe I can handle this big bike all by myself, as well as find my way to wherever I’m trying to go. The farther I peddle, the heavier the bike (my life) seems to get. I know I need some help so I call out to God. Suddenly I see Jesus on the side of the road, so I stop and ask Him to please get on the front seat and take control of the handlebars—which He happily does.
Now, we’re off down the road and I just keep peddling. He does such a great job of steering that I start to believe I’m a superstar and can actually handle my life all by myself cuz I’m doing such a great job! At this point, I’m no longer asking for His help and truly believe I can take it from here, so I push Him off and peddle off into my prideful future.
After a while I start to get concerned, the bike is getting heavy again, the road seems unfamiliar and it’s starting to get very dark. I know I’m lost but I’m too proud to call for help. Not until I’m lost in the darkness and crashing my big bike to the ground do I finally concede—not until I’ve completely sabotaged my life again do I cry out to Jesus. And there He is once again! He dries my tears, gives me a hug and hops back on!
“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.” ~Micah 7:8
How many times are we going to boot God out of our lives? How many times are we going to listen to that liar and allow him to fill us with pride?
God is in control of everything, He has always been and will always be. All we have to do is submit to Him. Satan can not outsmart Jesus, so he trips us up in order to make Jesus sad. Every time he hurts us, Jesus is hurt—every time he gets us to turn away from God and go the wrong way, Jesus cries.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” ~James 4:7
Oh, when are we gonna get it? When are we going to let go of trying to control this heavy and complicated life? He so wants to lighten our load. When are we going to stop trying to be in charge—the boss of everything—let go and accept that God doesn’t need our help? I do believe the desire "to control” is the greatest addiction on earth, as well as the greatest deception. Because, honestly, what can we really control anyway?
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30
Is this really you, Jesus . . . ?
So, how do we know if we are hearing the Lord? How do we know if we're in God’s will or not? We must be in line with His word—test the spirit that is leading us, if it isn’t lining up with the Bible, it isn’t God! And, we must be willing, (this is the hard part) to wait! He will open the door He wants us to go through when the time is right. In other words, opportunities will present themselves; suddenly someone will approach you with the exact thing you’ve been praying for, or the solution you’ve been seeking will seem to come out of nowhere.
For me, patience is the biggest obstacle but when I finally accept God’s timing and truly give it all up to Him, He always comes through. He will direct my steps. He never ever fails us . . . we fail Him.
“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” ~Jeremiah 10:23
Q: Are you ready to submit to God’s plan?
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