When searching for the will of God in a matter, sometimes the important thing isn’t discovering what God’s will *is*, but what it *isn’t*. What do I mean by this? Consider this scenario which most young adults have experienced in their lives…
Through a series of events, you meet someone in whom you see admirable qualities or with whom you simply have a blast. Time passes and it looks like there might be potential for the relationship to go somewhere. Maybe you go on a date or two and the vibes are all positive. Of course, unless you have some amazing clarity into the other person’s mind, there’s a degree of uncertainty every step of the way — does he like me? does she know I care about her? am I saying too much? …too little? — and that’s natural. Now in the midst of the unknown, you take it to the Lord and ask, “Father, is this who you want for me? How should I proceed in the relationship?” You’re looking for a “yes” or “no” response. “Yes” tends to be easy — mutual interest increases and things blossom. “No”, on the other hand, is frequently foggy at best. Is he just trying to take it slow by not asking me out immediately? Was she trying to let me down easy when said she wanted to do more group things?
Does it really matter whether you know what God’s answer is? As strange as it might sound, I would say that many times it doesn’t. He isn’t accountable to us, and therefore isn’t obligated to write it in the sand or on the wall for us. However, He is loving and does give us indications. If the response you are getting is somewhere in that foggy “no” territory, don’t bet your life on it being “no” — it could be “not yet”. But, you might want to listen to the wisdom and absence of clarity that is directing you away from “yes”. You don’t know what the answer *is*, but you are pretty sure what it *isn’t*, and that’s saying something.
Now extrapolate that to the other areas of your life. Remember, you shouldn’t hope for any heavenly direction if you aren’t walking in the revealed will of God for holiness and righteousness in your life as detailed in Scripture (i.e. Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:17-5:21). Assuming you’re on track and aren’t holding back in any of those areas, boldly approach decisions about your career, where to live, and what to do with your time. Pray about each fork in the road, seek Godly counsel, then follow your heart. If the flags that the Lord has placed in your life aren’t blowing clearly in the “yes” direction, think about exercising patience and staying the course you’re on. Pursue other more clearly revealed things — serve one another, seize opportunities for spreading the Gospel, and pray and search the Word when God gives you spans of time without actionable direction.
Yeah, I know, you may have a decision right here, right now, which is tearing you up in your desire for clarity. I’ve been there. Sometimes, if I just took the time to step back and look at the situation from the outside or above, it would become clear that the anxiety and urge to decide *now* wasn’t valid. I failed — if I had waited, perhaps things might have worked out differently and probably better — but the Lord was using it to grow me. Other times, the need really was there to commit to a path immediately. If that’s your situation right now, weigh all the factors against the Word and then pursue the one which lines up most with glorifying God. And if for some reason the balance is even, choose one and run hard after the Lord in it. If it is for His glory, you won’t go wrong.
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” ~Psalm 37:3-7a
“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13