Here are 3 signs that God is calling you out into the unknown with him.
1. If Walking Into the Unknown Is the Only Way to Be Closer to Jesus, This Is a Sign God Is Calling You to Step Out Into the Unknown with Him
The only thing that made the disciples special was their proximity to Jesus. The disciples were not the elite men of their day. They were people just like you and me. Even when the disciples became apostles, their apostleship was not based upon their special gifting, their bloodlines, or their wealth. They were only considered apostles because Jesus chose them and because they walked with him while he was on earth in the flesh.
We don’t always know what God wants us to do in life when it comes to morally neutral decisions that are unique to us: Does God want you to ask her out or not? Does God want you to give him a chance or not? Does God want you to switch jobs or not? Does God want you to confront that family member or not?
One way to cut through all the confusion around questions like these is to ask yourself the more important question, “What decision will bring me closer to Jesus?” As Christians, the Holy Spirit is always in us and God’s omnipresence is always near us. But that is different than having a true, personal fellowship with Jesus.
Notice that Peter and the other disciples were greatly confused when they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water during the storm. Matthew 14:26-33 states:
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’
And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”
When Peter wanted to know if it was really Jesus, he knew the only test would be to walk on the water to where Jesus was. Notice Peter didn’t ask Jesus to prove himself by letting Peter walk on water while Jesus was on dry land. Peter’s test to see if it was really Jesus was not based upon asking Jesus for a miracle to walk on water. He just knew that the true Jesus would always want him close. So he knew the true Jesus would invite him to come to him.
One way you will know it is really Jesus is if he gives you the ability to walk on top of the chaos in your life so you can be closer to him. The only way you will be able to have faith and be fearless in the unknown is if Jesus is the one sustaining you. Jesus will never tell you to stay away (Matthew 11:28). Jesus will never condemn you if you are a Christian (Romans 8:1). Nothing will ever be able to separate you from the love God has for you (Romans 8:38-39).
If walking into the unknown will bring you closer to Jesus, this is a clear sign God is telling you to walk into the unknown with him.
2. If the Holy Spirit Is Convicting You About a Sin of Omission, This Is a Sign God Is Leading You Out Into the Unknown
Essentially there are two ways to defy God. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. When we think about sinning against God, usually our minds think about sins of commission. These are the sins you commit actively by doing something God does not want you to do.
But there are also sins of omission. These are the types of sins that occur when we don’t do something that God does want us to do. As James 4:17 teaches us, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
One of the underlying reasons we don’t do what we sense God telling us to do is because we don’t know what will happen after we obey. You may sense God leading you to open your heart to someone who has shown themselves to be a mature Christian who really loves God. But what if you do and it doesn’t work out? You may sense the Lord leading you to share the gospel with a close friend of yours. But what happens if they get offended and don’t want to be your friend anymore? You may sense the Lord leading you to bless someone in need with a large financial donation. But what if a big expense comes up and you need that money for yourself?
It’s in moments like these where God is calling us into the unknown with him. God won’t always tell you to walk into the unknown like this, but certainly he will sometimes in life. So if you sense the Holy Spirit lovingly convicting you because you know you are committing a sin of omission out of fear of what will happen if you obey, this is a sign God is asking you to trust him and step out into the unknown with him.
3. If You Know What You Must Do But You Don’t Know How You Will Do It, This Is a Sign God Is Leading You Into the Unknown with Him
I love reading about the women who served alongside of Jesus. They loved him so much and he loved them so much. Even when Jesus had died and they did not know that he would be risen from the dead, they did everything in their power to honor their Lord. In Mark 16:1-3, it states:
When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’”
These women are an example to us all. They didn’t know how they would roll away the stone but that didn’t stop them from walking to the tomb. They knew they had a job to do. They knew they needed to honor their Lord. They just didn’t know how they were going to do it. But that didn’t stop them from getting up and going to do it anyways. They did their part, and then God did his part. Mark 16:4 then states, “And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.”
Just as God sent an angel to do what the women could not do in their own power, God will provide for you too. But you first need to start walking into the unknown with him. If the women would have stayed home thinking about how there was no one who could roll away the very large stone, they would never have experienced this miracle. But since they were determined to honor Jesus no matter what it took, they walked into the unknown despite all of their unanswered questions.
If you know what God wants you to do in order to honor Jesus, but you don’t yet fully know how you will accomplish this, this simply means God wants you to start walking right now into the unknown with him.
You don’t need to know how the stone will be rolled away. You just need to start walking with God. He will take care of the rest when he is calling you to honor him.