Here are 4 biblical steps to take when you need guidance from God.
Step 1: Ask
I have two children and there are times when one of them will ask me for something and when I give it, my other child gets mad. But then I say, “Did you want one too? All you needed to do was ask.”
So many times we forget this most basic step to receive what we desire from our Heavenly Father. As Jesus taught us:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)
I’m a sinful man, but even I know how to give something good to my children when they ask. How much more will our Heavenly Father give us guidance when we ask this of him (James 1:5)?
Step 2: Look
Your life is meant to be a partnership between you and God. God does not do everything for you like you are a mindless robot, nor are you to do everything for yourself, as though you are your own god and not a dependent creature. God gives what we need and he supplies the grace, but we still must take up the gift and use it (1 Peter 4:10-11).
Therefore, once you ask for God’s guidance, don’t expect him to just force you to see it. God will send you the guidance, but you will still need to look for it. Of the wicked, Psalm 82:5 states, “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” But the righteous say, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Don’t walk in darkness expecting to find God’s guidance. God is light (1 John 1:5), and he gives guidance in the light to those who look there.
Read the Bible, spend time in prayer, ask other mature believers for counsel. Yes, ask God for guidance, but then search for it (2 Corinthians 4:18, Colossians 3:2, Hebrews 12:2, Psalm 119:18). Call upon the Lord (Jeremiah 29:12), but then seek the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13).
Step 3: Accept
Sometimes it feels like God is silent because subconsciously we are ignoring what he is saying because we don’t want to hear that answer from him. Sometimes we wait and wait and wait for God to say what we want him to say, but if he is saying something else, it will feel like he is silent. If you want God’s guidance, you have to open your hands and be willing to accept whatever he says.
Don’t assume God will always say the opposite of what you want to hear. Sometimes God will say exactly what you hoped he would say. But to hear God’s yes, you first must be willing to hear a no. When you know in your heart you are only willing to hear what you want to hear, you won’t trust what you are hearing.
Only when you are willing to accept any answer from God will your heart be free to know God is actually speaking to you (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Step 4: Obey
God won’t waste his word (Matthew 7:6). If you are not prepared to obey God’s guidance, oftentimes God will wait to give it to you. If you want to have the clarity of a prophet, you have to prepare yourself to obey like a prophet. As Jeremiah 1:4-8 states:
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.’”
Just as God combined his guidance to Jeremiah with obedience, so too will God give you guidance once you are prepared to obey it (Romans 8:5-8). As Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28, NIV).
Do you know how to receive a sign from God through the Bible? Here’s an article called 4 Ways God Will Send You a Sign Through the Bible.