My way? God’s way? Or both?

“God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Crossroads in life are hard as we try to figure out what God wants for us. How can we be sure we are choosing the right path? The Gospels show at least two ways God guides our lives.

Sometimes he gives instructions directly. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and he would be the Son of God, she is shocked, but then says, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38b). God told her what he wanted. She said “I’ll do it.” God often initiates his will in our lives and we need only to respond. The Bible is generally the conduit of or at least the confirmation of those instructions.

Sometimes he hears our cries. We want something and begin to pray about it, asking God to lead and to fulfill our desire. We initiate and wait for God to respond. When the Centurion asked Jesus to heal his sick servant, Jesus commends the man for his faith and then says, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed” (Matthew 8:13b). Sometimes God wants us to tell him what we want, and he will respond in a way that keeps us in his perfect will. Our faith, our desire, and our initiative matter to God!

Whether it’s our idea or his, we need to ask him to show his signposts, then follow. An adventure awaits!

“. . . the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:17