As we pray God’s direction, how do we know His response? How do we know the difference between His direction and our desires?
Unfortunately it isn’t always black and white, and we don’t always make the right choice. But that shouldn’t prevent us from moving forward. Just as your GPS will “recalculate” when you miss a turn, so the Holy Spirit will do when we’re heading in the wrong direction. But we must be willing to follow His direction, and course correct when necessary.
Thinking you have a better way, or know shortcut won’t turn out well. (I speak as one having experience)
You can also take comfort in knowing God is never caught off guard, and if we’re headed in the wrong directs, He’s already made provision for our journey.
It is also important to know the difference between direction and confirmation.
When God speaks to you, He may confirm it through various means. Could be a song, a sermon, or another individual. And in some cases, the person God may use isn’t even aware. Many times it doesn’t come as the result of a direct question, but rather casual conversation.
The Word says there is wisdom in the counsel of many, and out of the mouths of two or more witnesses let everything be established. Seeking confirmation before you step out is wise. Peter didn’t step out of the boat until he was invited.
Understanding the difference between confirmation and direction is crucial.
Direction comes from God, confirmation from man.
Always go to God first. Sounds like the obvious choice, but too often we reach out to others (even a post to social media) and get multiple opinions and voices in our head. Then, with all that noise, attempt to discern the voice of God.
Be particular in who you engage in this process. Hopefully you have someone in your life who is a mature believer and walks in wisdom. Seek only Godly counsel, rejecting the wisdom of the world.
Lastly, be very cautious of anyone who comes “with a word from God.” I believe in the gift of the word of knowledge and that it is operational in the church today, but I’ve also seen its abuse. Just because someone says “this saith the Lord,” does not make it true. If it is true, it will confirm what God has already spoken to you. This is confirmation, not direction.
If what you are hearing, you are hearing for the first time (direction) do not be quick to act upon it. Pump the brakes, and if indeed it is from the Lord, it will also be confirmed. Ask God to provide discernment, and wait…
Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV)
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Matthew 18:16b (NKJV)
b by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
James 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.