Listening to God's Suggestions
When God Speaks...
There are times when God's presence overshadows your life. You just know that He is there beside you, guiding you, showing you answers to the questions you have about your life. Often you might have a gut feeling about something, or you feel compelled to ask or do something that ultimately is an answer to your prayer or someone else's.
One way to connect with God on a regular basis is with prayer and devotion. Many things become clearer to you when you are able to look beyond your problems and just focus on the authority of the Lord. You don't have to always go around fearing Him and punish yourself for not following whatever rules you think you must keep in order to be "saved". But at the same time, if you call yourself a Christian, there are things you have to do as part of your beliefs. By believing in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit and accepting them into your heart, you take on the promise to live humbly and take good care of your entire body, treat others as you would want to be treated, be baptised, and teach others about God.
When you feel that you've heard God speak to you in some way, it is wise to examine what you've been told or led to realize. Test it with the scriptures. Is it in keeping with the Bible? Does it draw you closer to God? Will it benefit your relationships with others?
Obviously there are many voices we hear that may not all be from divine sources. Satan is a cunning entity himself - he enjoys tricking people into thinking that he is the voice of God, when in fact it is a trap for us to follow our own paths separate from God and giving in to foolish, selfish choices. Aside from Satan, we too can be our own worst enemies. Here again, if ever there is uncertainty about what we are led to believe, it is wise to test it with the bible. Because our thoughts can get us in trouble just as surely as we can be swayed by peer pressure.
If after examining the advice you still are unsure, it is wise to take a step back and pray about it. That's not to say that it is bad advice, because there are times when we love a sin so much that it is hard to agree to stop (doing) it. For example, you know it's wrong to live with a partner while not being married, but you don't want to put a stop to that because you don't care. Or you rationalize it as that you are both believers, so it is ok. Or perhaps you have some extra weight to lose, and you need to abstain from eating certain foods, but you feel like you don't have enough willpower, or you say "God will take care of me" and continue to do what you do.
There are times when after everything's been picked over with a fine-tooth comb, and you are sure that God is talking to you, it still doesn't make sense. Well, that is when you have to live by faith. By that, I mean you must trust God and follow through with what He tells you to do. It might be a life-altering decision, but by obeying you open yourself up to learning about the bigger picture. When we are in the middle of a situation, we don't see what we do in hindsight. Fortunately, God sees it all and knows everything about our lives from the beginning to the end, so when we put our lives in His hands each day, we are committing ourselves to trusting that the outcome will be for our ultimate benefit.