God Can’t Steer a Parked Car

Have you ever been stuck? Not sure how to proceed? Are you asking questions like: “Should I change jobs? Should I say “yes” to the opportunity that is before me? Which road should I take?”

God can’t steer a parked car. So…proceed in the direction that God seems to be leading you and get on the “highway of life.” But how do we know which highway to take? As I have wrestled with discovering God’s will in my own life, I have found the 3-step outline below to be helpful. It was given to me by my friend and mentor, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate.

Step 1: An Internal Sense of Rightness

After spending time in prayer about the decision that is before you, ask yourself: “What seems right to me in my heart of hearts? Is what I am about to do consistent with the principles that we learn from God in the Bible? What do I think that Jesus Christ would say to me in my current situation?” Our answers to these questions shape our internal sense of rightness.

Step 2: An External Sense of Rightness

Select a few trusted people to guide you and give you honest feedback as the Quakers do in their practice of spiritual discernment. The Quakers purposefully select prayerful people who love them enough to ask challenging questions and reflect back what they “hear” God saying. Tell the people you select what you are sensing to be God’s direction for this time in your life. Ask them if they think this is consistent with what they perceive is God’s will for you. Be open to hearing God speak through them.

[tweetable] Step 3: The Natural Flow of the Circumstances

We can’t put a square peg in a round hole! Don’t try to “force” what you want to happen. Rather, ask yourself, “Where are the doors naturally opening? Where am I seeing the natural flow of life?” As you think about a decision that is before you think about what doors are naturally opening and closing?

Remember…God can’t steer a parked car. So… when these three steps start to point in a direction, you can be sure that God is in the Driver’s Seat! Proceed on the highway that God seems to be leading you knowing that God may lead you to an exit ramp! God may say “yes.” God may say “no.” And sometimes…God says “wait!” It may be that you are sensing God’s will correctly, but the timing is not right. And…God’s timing is perfect…you can count on that! As the prophet Jeremiah says: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29: 11

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