I have simply lost track of how many times I have been in serious prayer about some serious decision in life. If my memory serves me right, the majority, or possibly all, of those times I asked a question either identical to or similar to this post’s title. I assume we all have at some point. I won’t pretend for a second to have a clearcut answer, but maybe I can offer some thoughts.
First, there was a time I could “hear” God, or at least I thought so. I’m not so sure now. No, my faith hasn’t died; I just find that it is extremely difficult for me to tell the difference between hearing the Lord and hearing what I want to (or what I don’t want to simply because I expect His desires to not perfectly align with mine). One thing I am sure of though that led me to believe I could hear was that God seldom, if ever, yells to us. I always go back to a place in the Bible where God revealed Himself not in the whirlwind, etc, but in a still small voice. I believe God is answering, I (we) just aren’t hearing because we’re listening for the wrong thing, a whirlwind or some kind of sign.
On a side note, I pleaded for a sign one night (not something I encourage) and could have sworn that He honored that request. It was very specific, and it threw me off when I discovered I had apparently misunderstood something. I’ll let you know when/if I ever find out what that was all about.
Throughout my current job search I have sought more answers than normal with, you got it, no audible answer. Sometimes I interpret an open door as the answer; sometimes I interpret peace as the answer. Yea I know, there are times when there seems to be no peace. I worry and overthink things so much that sometimes I think I create un-peace (my new word) even when He is trying to give it to me.
It would be great, or easy at least, if we could just simply hear a voice say, “accept the job” or whatever it is we’re concerned with. The thing is, God’s focus in our lives isn’t making it easy, but building our faith. Check me on that. You’ll find over and over in scripture that God does things and allows things with the purpose of increasing our faith. An audible voice won’t do much for that.
A really close friend who seems to have a lot more spiritual things happen for him once suggested that maybe I don’t get all the confirmation because it doesn’t take that for me to do what I should. I don’t know about that, but it’s something to think about.
Maybe the point is to offer it God, try to listen for the still small voice, and do what we have peace about as if it’s directly for Jesus (Colossians). Perhaps it’s much more important that I am a light wherever I am than the specific place itself. I’m not saying there’s never a specific place we should be. I’m just saying this is a confusing life, yes probably because of us, but confusing all the same. I doubt we should ever start holding our breath until He answers out loud though.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m sure someone out there can completely shred this post and make a fool out of me with the Bible, but for now let’s just agree to keep praying and keep moving. K? K