Ways to Listen for God’s Direction
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Before setting out to make the 490 mile trip back to Missouri from Cincinnati on a recent weekend trip to visit a friend, I programmed my Google Map app so that my phone could guide me home.
I traveled along the first stretch of interstate and marveled at the beauty of the trees, all with leaves in the process of changing from summer green into the reds, yellows, and oranges of fall. As I drove, I prayed…thank you, Lord, for dear friends. Thank you for safe travels. Thank you for blue skies and colorful trees and…
And then from my phone I heard a voice, “In half a mile, exit right and merge onto Interstate 74 South.” I paused my prayer to hear the direction and than began praying again, thankful for my many blessings. The voice interrupted me again, “In a quarter mile, exit right and merge onto Interstate 74 South.”
“Yes, yes, “I spoke back to Google Maps as if there were a little person in there to hear me. Despite my dismissive response to my inhuman travel companion, it occurred to me (as I drove in a thankful state) how grateful I was for the step-by-step directions. I wondered at the idea of what it might be like if we had someone who would give us step by step directions at each turning point in our lives. I wondered at the thought of God giving us detailed instructions. Wouldn’t it be nice to carry Him with us and have Him plainly speak to us?
And then I also marveled at the fact that we do carry Him with us, and He does plainly give us step-by-step directions.
In what ways can we listen for God’s direction?
–Through the study of scripture, He tells us of His ‘big’ plan for our lives.
–Through daily (hourly, minutely) prayer, meditation, reflection, He tells us which way to go through specific moments.
–Through others, He teaches us compassion and empathy and helps us know we aren’t alone.
And how about when we get off course? When I veered from the path laid out for me, the correct path, and exited to stop for gas and a much needed break, Google Map Lady made sure I heard about it. “Turn left, turn left,” she told me. I knew she meant business by the urgency in her robot voice. “Turn left and make a U-turn…”
God does that for us, too, doesn’t He? When we push things in order to meet our plans rather than listening to His, we also can hear the urgency from Him. “Turn back,” He tells us. It’s our job to listen. Remember those times when a decision just didn’t feel ‘quite right’? Think about those times when no matter what you did, things just wouldn’t work out. Over and over. And how about those times when the thought or the knowledge came to you that you needed to move in a different direction? Those are just a few of the ways He talks to us.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for providing step-by-step instructions for my life. Help me to learn to listen and to trust. Guide me in all I do. Amen.
Can you hear Him? Do you take the time to listen? Are you willing to develop and trust your relationship with Him? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below