Ok, God has spoken to me…what do I do?
Ok, God has not spoken to me…what do I do?
These are important questions that must be answered and Dr. Willard deals with them on the last pages of his last chapter. There is an Epilogue to this book and I may comment on that but let’s spend today discussing his advice on these two important questions.
First of all, listen to God carefully and “deliberately.” If we don’t pay attention, we will miss His words to us. If we do hear His words, give thanks to God for the messages.
Dr. Willard is not averse to giving us practical advice. He says we need to write down God’s messages to us, especially if we are not used to hearing from God.
Meditate on the message from the Lord. That basically means that we need to think about the message. Don’t rush off “half-cocked” and do something quickly but also don’t wait forever to take action on what God has told you to do.
Carry out the action in a suitable manner. I would imagine that means that God is not going to ask you to do something that would be too disrespectful of those around you; however God may ask you to defy convention. Use common sense.
When God does not speak to you, think about what you are doing “in the inner forum of your mind” to block His word to you. Dr. Willard surprises me when he says that when you need an answer, don’t wait more than three days in anxiety waiting for the message. Have faith that you will get the message in that time span. He quotes Abraham Lincoln’s words on this subject “I am satisfied that, when the Almighty wants me to do, or not to do a particular thing, He finds a way of letting me know it.” Lincoln had faith.
Meet with at least two people who are not your best friends to get counsel concerning God’s word to you. Of course, this needs to be private.
If you can figure out why God is not speaking to you, fix it. Dr. Willard says “Correct it. Mercilessly. Whatever it is. Just do it.”
If you still cannot get a word from God, you may have to act. You need to pick the best alternative. Just remember that whatever you pick, pray that the Lord goes with you in your decision.
The fact is, He will.
I am going to share a prayer that I pray every time I get on my bicycle. It might apply. I began to ride in the early spring of 2015 and every day I rode, I prayed for safety. Of course, I did not want to wreck so I asked God for a safe ride. Then it began to occur to me that a safe ride may not be God’s will for me. I may wreck any day and that may be His plan. I changed my prayer. I began to not only pray for safety but I began to pray for God’s presence on the whole bike ride where ever I ended up [upright or in the ditch]. I just asked for Him to be with me.
We all make mistakes and if we don’t get a reassuring word we still have to act. God will be there no matter what action we take.
Lamentations 3:22-23 says “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” These words were written by the prophet Jeremiah when God was absent from Israel; in fact, God was punishing His people.
They still had faith that He was present.
In this way, Dr. Willard says he has given us advice about what to do when God speaks and what to do when God does not speak.
The thing to remember is that God wants us to mature as Christian brothers and sisters. He wants us to grow, whether He speaks to us or not. He wants us to be better members of His Kingdom even without His guiding hand.
He is our Father.
He is always there for us.