You have a sudden inspiration and wonder whether it is Divine. Now you have a decision to make: what do you do about it and when?
According to Myers Briggs Type theory, the timing of our decisions depends at least partly on our personalities. Those who have a “judging” or “J” preference tend to be more comfortable after a decision has been made, while those with a “perceiving” or “P” preference tend to be more comfortable before the decision. “Let’s play it by ear” is music to the “P”, while the “J” breaks out in hives. Therefore, the urge to act quickly may or may not be from God.
So, what do you do when you might have a God-idea? Pick up the phone, delegate tasks and get to work? Or marinate, analyze, and eventually talk yourself out of the idea altogether? Neither response is ideal.
Galatians 5:25, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
Whatever our personality, we should rely on the Holy Spirit, keeping “in step with the Spirit,” as Paul says in Galatians. But, what does this look like? Prayer. Prayer. And more prayer. It looks like asking God about each and every step we take instead of saying, “thanks for the idea, I’ll get back to You with the results.” A beautiful part of being used by God is that we getting to know Him better in the process.
In Andy Stanley’s book, Visioneering, he says that “time allows your heavenly Father to transition what begins as an idea to a moral compulsion.” Basically, if that good idea is really a God-idea, then prayer and waiting gives us a strong conviction to move forward to avoid disobedience. Now we walk with confidence. If we are uncertain of God’s will then we will doubt our actions with good reason. The promises come when we ask according to God’s will.
“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
Clarification of God’s will sometimes requires patience and perseverance. If you act before this clarification you can probably expect confusion and closed doors. To act according to His will, you can look forward to Divine connections and open doors. After all, God knows everyone so He is all we need to network! I have been on both sides of this fence. As one who likes to fire and then “ready aim,” I have seen closed doors that should have been easy entries. But when I had a conviction to move forward, I have had God introduce me to people I never expected to meet and open unlikely doors, giving me further confirmation of His will.
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” Isaiah 45:2-3
Taking this step of obedience still takes courage. Praise God He did not leave us alone to try to do this!
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
The Holy Spirit who gives us clarity to discern God’s will and will also give us power to act.
If you are stuck in a place of confusion or fear the answer is always to run to Jesus! Because He IS the way, the truth, and the life.
“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:5-6
Discerning and following God’s will is not a perfect formula but we do know that we have a perfect Guide. Welcome to the adventure.