There is a lot of change going on in our lives. And any change to out normal and expected way of life usually brings an extra level of stress over the unknown that lies ahead.
And the Lord tells us –
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Psalms 32:8 NLT
But don’t we have a responsibility to follow His leading? He says that He will guide us and advise us and watch over us – but He doesn’t say that He will force us down His path. So isn’t there a point, a crossroads at which we might wonder, “Where are we going? Which path should I take?”
In fact, doesn’t the next verse make it clear that He shouldn’t have to force us into following Him –
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Psalms 32:9 NLT
Our perspective and relationship with God is not meant for us to be striving against His will, with Him pulling and tugging at us as He tries to keep us from stepping into the traps of this life, as He tries to lead us into the safety of His stable and away from the slaughterhouse.
“So how does that help me know the right way? I’m looking for answers here, coach, not vague warnings about what to be on the lookout against.” This might be a normal response during those stressed out times where we are facing change or major decisions in our lives. It can even be our response when we are overwhelmed by the situations and circumstances of our lives. And isn’t it better for us to be honest and transparent with God in our prayers? He already knows our hearts and our thoughts anyways, right?
In fact, He promises that He will guide us and lead us. So what is it that we are overlooking? What is it that we are missing here? Why isn’t our direction clear? Why is there a tension? Why is there stress?
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NLT
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
2 Corinthians 5:2 NLT
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.
2 Corinthians 5:4 NLT
For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
2 Corinthians 5:7-10 NLT
So we have to ask ourselves, is our stress over silly things that really don’t matter? Are they over the material things of this world? Or is our struggle truly over which decision would please God – over which is good and which is evil?
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9 NLT
So we have to ask ourselves whether or not we’ve asked Him, whether or not we are trusting and following Him, whether we are seeking the road that is in His will. And again, we might say, “I’m not sure” – and I’ll tell you – if neither path clearly leads you contrary to God’s will, remember that you are free to live your life for His honor and glory. He is not some harsh taskmaster for His children. Not every decision is a test, nor should we be walking constantly in fear and heavy burden if He is our Father God and Lord of our life.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:16-18 NLT
If you do not trust your own deceitful heart because it has tricked and fooled you so many times before, that is good. But God does not want to trick you or mislead you. Trust Him. He is faithful and true. He doesn’t wish that even one will perish.
Trust Him. Have confidence in Him. He is faithful and true. The trust and the closeness is what matters. Maybe this situation is meant to bring you closer into His presence in prayer. Maybe it isn’t the situation itself that matters, but it is the opportunity that will bring you closer to Him in heartfelt prayer. Maybe it is what is necessary to bring you into a place of greater trust in Him, and less reliance upon yourself. I really don’t know the answer, friend. But He does.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Philippians 1:6-11 NLT