When I start to drown in these questions, I hold tight to Proverbs 3:5, 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will direct your path”. Praise the Lord! If I keep seeking, he’ll keep directing. It doesn’t have to make sense or ‘feel’ a certain way, I only need to seek and trust in God, and as I take steps in faith he will show me which way to go.
He has directed my path in different ways. Sometimes I’m directed by a ‘voice’, sometimes a picture in my mind. Other times it’s a feeling of peace or, if I’m on the wrong track, a feeling of uneasiness. Sometimes words from a friend speak right to my soul as though from God himself or, as I read the Bible, I won’t be able to take my eyes off of a certain verse. And sometimes I step out in blind faith hoping to get it right and eventually stumble upon the place where God wants me to be.
Hearing God’s voice builds our faith. When we start to get lost in doubt or questions, we can refer back to previously answered prayers. They further demonstrate God’s faithfulness, truth and goodness. He is loving and patient enough to speak to me, even me. He is omnipresent – he knows everything, sees everything, and works it all together for good for those who love him. His plans really are good. He’s the only one who can see the big picture and I can trust him.
A helpful piece of advice I received was that hearing God’s voice takes practice. It’s difficult to discern among the many voices competing for our attention – our own desires and Satan himself compete with Christ for our souls. I believe, like any relationship, knowing God is a process. The more we seek and follow Him, the more we’ll know his voice. How can I know if the answer I’m receiving is true and of God? It may be helpful to consider how law enforcement personnel can tell the difference between a real and a fake dollar bill. A counterfeit could look like anything – is there any way to tell? Yes, they study the real thing. That’s what we need to do. The more we study God through his word, the more we’ll know his will and be able to discern his voice and know truth. Yes, we’ll make mistakes and fail. Yes, we will take wrong turns and make bad choices. But if we keep seeking God, striving to know him and follow Christ, he will restore us and lead us along paths that bring him honor.
“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left”
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and discipline.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
And have made the Lord their hope and confidence