Our Bible verse for today: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (N IV)
Our thought for today: “Be sure you do “due diligence”
Did I shake your confidence yesterday in your ability to discern God’s leading in prayer? If so, I’m sorry, but in truth that is what I intended to accomplish. You see, we can become too casual in assuming our ability to discern God’s leading in prayer. We can believe that just because a thought came into our head during prayer it must be the leading of God in answer to whatever we’re praying about. Sometimes that thought is from God, but many other times we confuse our feelings with God’s leading.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone confidently declare, “God told me to do (this, that, or some other thing)”. And I’m frequently amazed at how often this thing that God “told” the person to do, turns out to line up perfectly with what it was the individual wanted to do to begin with. Hmm … pardon me if I’m a little suspicious. I don’t doubt the person’s sincerity, but I do wonder if they’re really hearing from God or maybe just responding to their feelings.
So, how can we have confidence in the leadings we believe we’re receiving from God in prayer? Two ways: First, we check and confirm the leading in the ways I described yesterday. We compare what we believe God is saying in prayer to what we know He has said in the Bible. Then we also discuss it with one or more trusted advisors. We should also give careful, prayerful thought to how the leading lines up with circumstances (God’s leading through circumstances is a lesson unto itself but for this morning it will suffice to say that God is amazingly consistent in how He works in our lives, and through our circumstances He is often pointing us towards something).
Once we’ve done our “due diligence” by giving God lots of opportunity to confirm His leading, then we can claim the promise of Proverbs 3:5-6 and move forward with confidence. Trust God with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will then make your paths straight. In other words, once you have done your genuine best to understand His will in this matter, you can trust Him to lead you.
The fact is that God wants to be understood by us so that He can then be obeyed by us. The only way that can happen is if He communicates with us. He may not provide you with a detailed roadmap and He may not dictate every step you are to take, but if you do your part to understand Him on this issue you’re seeking guidance for (due diligence), you can trust that He will then guide, direct, and nudge as necessary to move you in the right direction. It’s all part of the love relationship He has going on with you.