July 25, 2014

Looking for Clues

James 1:5-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God . . . and it will be given to you.
—James 1:5


It may be reassuring to think that God has a unique story line for each of our lives, but how do we figure out where that story is supposed to go? Wouldn’t it be nice to have step-by-step directions for making our real-life decisions?

But most of us don’t get that luxury. Sometimes it seems we just have to guess as we stare through each open doorway.

God does, however, offer some clues that can help us make decisions. The greatest clue can be found in Scripture. The teachings of Scripture present clear boundaries and values for our lives. If you’re looking at an opportunity that would likely lead to increased temptation and sin or a lifestyle that is not in line with the teachings of Christ, then you can be sure that’s not an opportunity God wants you to pursue.

Another clue can be found in the internal prompting of the Holy Spirit. This happens best in prayer. If continued prayer about a decision leads to a growing sense of the Spirit’s peace, that could well be a sign of God’s affirmation.

A third kind of clue can be found in the discernment of loved ones who are also Christ-followers. Their collective wisdom, also based on Scripture and the Spirit’s leading, can help you see whether an option is within or outside of God’s will for you.

God promises that he will not leave us on our own. His guidance is available; we just have to ask.

God, we believe that you will lead us. Show us how to listen to the clues that you provide. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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