God wants to direct you. And He does it in a way that is particular to you. One of the most important things in life is to know where you are going and how to get there. God promises to direct.
But in order to know the way we should go, we must ask for divine direction. This week’s video deals with precisely that, how to receive divine direction. Watch it, read the article and do not miss the second part.
The promise and reality of divine direction
There are many believers who are confused about life. They ask, ‘what should I do? What should I not do? They say, ‘I don’t know, I don’t understand’ and they ask for prayer because they cannot see nor hear. But God says Psalm 32 vs 8
I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. go.
What an outstanding promise. God has a stake in the well-being of His people. It is imperative that we not waste a minute of our lives in confusion. Life is not a dress rehearsal, there will not be a second opportunity to do this again. It’s just this one time that you have the opportunity to do the right thing. Do what God wants you to do, go where God wants you to go on. Make your life count in your generation!Do what God wants you to do, go where God wants you to go. Make your life count in your generation! Click To Tweet
Not only does God direct, He directs in a highly personalised manner. The implication of His eye being on you is that you are personally known to Him, your ways are known to Him and your destiny is in his heart. Consequently, the direction you receive is tailored and suited to His original intent and purpose for you. You can forget what Juennine and Philip are up to, it is irrelevant in the matter of your direction.
This also demonstrates clearly that confusion and uncertainty should be alien to a child of God. Despite potential momentary confusion, he cannot dwell in a state of confusion, not when the Almighty has your future in His heart.
“This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 (HCSB)
The NLT says He teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths that you should follow. One can hardly misunderstand this. With such a bright promise before us, only one thing remains, how then do we access this direction? Let us look at eight ways by which we receive direction from the Lord.
The importance of faith
Many people live lives of quiet desperation. They’re not quite there, they’re just struggling, making do with what has come their way. But a child of God who knows what God wants to do with his life is not making do. He’s walking by faith, he’s trusting God, he’s going higher and higher, and he’s appropriating everything that God has said to him.
Defy the circumstances
God may tell you that you are going to do something specific and yet your circumstances tell you the contrary. What do you do? You defy the circumstances and say, ‘no, I know what God has said. I’m going to go where He says I should go!’
What do you do? You stand and fight because you know what God has said. That is why it is so important to have divine direction. Believe that He will direct you. Begin by affirming the following :
- God will instruct me
- God will direct me
- He will show me the way to go.
Believe for direction
Sometimes when you don’t know what to do, you don’t even need to know what to do right away. You just need to know that God will tell you what to do. Your main concern should not be to find out what to do. Your main concern should be to establish yourself in the assurance that God will tell you what to do.
This is absolutely crucial. Many are struggling to hear God direct them while at the same time doubting that He will actually direct them. It becomes arduous and painful. Prayer becomes torture. We must live in the reality of the Scripture. That must burn in our hearts.
That is the one foundational thing that must be in your heart constantly concerning your life – that God’s eye is on you and He will tell you what you are to do with your life.
Receiving divine direction
God speaks to us in different ways: in our dreams, in visions, in our hearts, through leading and guidance, the prophetic voice, as well as through Scripture. Every direction received must line up with Scripture.
In the previous article and video, we saw the case of a young man I prophesied over in a fairly dramatic fashion. I knew nothing about him, had never seen him before. As I began to pray for him on the prayer line, I stretched out my hand put it under his throat. My initial reaction was ‘why am I doing this?’ But then the word came forth and it was just spot on what he needed in his life.
So God will also use prophetic voices to speak into your life. But it should not be something that is totally contrary to everything that God had said to you before. We have to have that confidence and assurance, that God will direct us!
Not everything is God
Some of us just go through life accepting anything that comes or think, ‘well, if it’s happened, it must be God.’ No, that’s not the way it works because some things happen to us that are not the will of God.
Some things get offered to us that are not the will of God. I remember many years ago, I was asked to be the Women’s Pastor for a nice, boisterous church. It would have seemed like a really good thing to do, but I wouldn’t have had a heart for it.
I love my fellow sisters, but I’ve never really had a heart to do something exclusively for women, as everything I would do in the ministry. It’s just not my calling. But, you know, you get that kind of offer and you think about it. But before I could even think too long about it, not to talk of praying about it, the Lord spoke very clearly to my heart that He had not called me to be a women’s minister. I understood clearly that it was not God’s direction for me!
Now that is an offer I could have accepted. It’s the work of the ministry, I would be serving and I’m sure people would have been blessed. The women would have been edified, they would have been touched many times over and would have testified unceasingly. Yes, God would have blessed them for their sake, not for mine. And I would have been in disobedience! But He was very clear as to what to do.
I can give you so many examples of divine direction in my life. Sometimes it was visions God used to show me things. I saw things in the heavenly places that shook me up and broke off my life every reluctance to do ministry. I ran to obey because of what the Lord showed me.
You cannot afford to be like a horse without understanding! We cannot live our lives without understanding, hoping that maybe we’ll get it right this time. No, it is imperative that we be very clear from God on what to do.We cannot live our lives without understanding, hoping that maybe we'll get it right this time. Click To Tweet
As I minister, challenges abound, yet, every day I am intensely grateful to God because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am where He wants, doing what He wants the way He wants. It’s been hard. It’s been challenging. I have been through every kaleidoscope of misery, challenges, and difficulties, but in the midst of all of that, I have had this assurance that I am doing what God wants me to do.
Am I still on the right track?
The only thing I ever asked the Lord at that point was, ‘Lord, am I still on the right track? Am I still doing what you want me to do? Are these things happening because I’ve missed You or because I haven’t missed You? Because some things happen because you have not missed God and not because you have missed God. Find out what God wants, then trust Him.
3 keys to accessing divine direction
1. Unquenchable desire.
First and foremost, there must be a desire. God does not direct people who have no desire to be directed. We must desire to do the will of God. Desire must be consistent, not circumstantial.
Desire must be born out of a willingness, a hunger to please the Father and to live the life for which He put you on the earth. He said to Jeremiah: “ I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart .” (Jeremiah 1:5).
In other words, your existence is no accident. You are here because you were a thought in the mind of God. Consequently, you are not here to live your life and do your thing. You are a work in the hand of God released into your generation.
You are here so that God will be satisfied with the quality of your existence, with the content of your existence, and with the impact of your existence. You are not here so you can have a good time. What good time is there to be had on the earth?! Heaven is a much better place! The New Jerusalem is a much better place! There must be that desire to please God.
The Bible says,
Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (HCSB)
There must be something in us that says, ‘God, You are the God of my salvation, You are my life, You are my hope, You are my beginning, You are my end, You are my everything, and I desire to know which way I should go! What do You want to do with my life, Lord?’
Motivation of desire
Secondly, desire must be born out of a motivation to do the will of God, not out of the pride of life. I must want to know the will of God. Not so that I, too, will excel in life like my brother. Not so that I can be successful, and all of these sisters coming to church in their Mercedes will not look down on me anymore. Not so that I too can hold my head high. No, I must know the will of God. I must have a desire because I just want to please Him.
Since we belong to God, we must pray to know His will. The Apostle James said something really powerful about prayer. He said that sometimes you pray and you don’t get an answer to your prayer because “your motives are wrong (James 4:5 NLT). That’s why some, when they pray to know the will of God and to know His direction, do not hear Him. It is because, either, their motives are wrong, or their desire is all about themselves.
Interestingly, even when we are very strong on fulfilling and not missing destiny, we still miss it because the focus is only on us. If you belong to God, which you do, you exist for Him and for His purposes. You must have an all-consuming desire for His desire to be fully performed in you; so that the Lamb that was slain will receive the reward of His sufferings; so that the Father will look at your life and see that His entire plan is being fulfilled, and thus you will bring joy to His heart.
That must be your motivation for seeking direction, for saying, ‘Father, what should I do? In what direction should I go?’ The desire must be to satisfy the purposes of the Father, not simply to live a good life.
James insists on the problem of wrong motivation and this applies not only to divine direction but to every area of our lives. Our motives are often so wrong. The Bible says, “You want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:5 NLT
2. There must be a cry.
There must be a cry for divine direction. You must not only have a desire, you must have a cry.
It must become an obsession to say, ‘I cannot live any other way. I must live for the fulfilment of the purposes of the Father. My entire life must follow the blueprint from heaven. I cannot afford to spend one day outside of His will. I cannot afford to allow anything into my life that comes against the purposes of the Father.’
There must be a cry in your spirit, an obsession with the satisfaction of God, desperation to do the will of God. We don’t have that anymore. We are just desperate to be rich, to be happy, to be married, to be blessed. But how many people are desperate to please the Lord, to satisfy His heart, to do the things that make Him happy? How many are desperate to live a life that satisfies the heart of God?
Be desperate for the Lord to look at your life and hear Him say, ‘yes, that is my daughter, that is what I wanted, that is why I sent her to the earth in her generation and I like what I see !’ I pray that you will have a cry.
Accessing divine direction is not complicated when the cry of my heart is that the Lord God will be pleased with my life. And that’s why I want to know what to do. That’s why I want to know His Word. That’s why I want to meditate on His Word, so that His words would become life inside me and that I will be transformed. So that I will think like Him, speak like Him, act like Him.
That everything that He wants to put in my life, He can put in my life because I’m in agreement with Him. And everything that He wants to banish from my life, He can banish from my life because I’m in agreement with Him. As a result divine direction will come. God will tell you things you didn’t ask Him for. He will show you the way to go.
The Bible says,
“I said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.” Psalm 16:2 (HCSB)
“I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” Psalm 16:2 (AMP)”
This is a declaration from the Psalmist saying, ‘You are my everything and so the only thing that I want is what You want, what will please and satisfy You.’ This too should be our cry, to say, ‘I want to know what satisfies You. So, Lord, show me, give me direction.
3. You must seek understanding.
The third principle is understanding. We’re dealing with the conditions of the heart, remember that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.
I don’t know why, but in the early years of ministry, I was extremely naive. I thought that people really wanted what God wanted. If they told me that they had prayed, I believed they had prayed. If they told me that they had been seeking the Lord, I believed they really had been seeking the Lord.
But I thank God because He guarded my heart, I almost became resentful of God, asking Him, ‘why aren’t You helping these nice people?’ Then I realised that people are not truthful. They say they have been seeking the Lord and yet they have not. They have been waking up at night and eating chocolate bars, and sleeping. But they say” I’ve been waiting on the Lord.”
There was a time the Lord led us to prayer walk in every single neighbourhood of Paris. We were fasting and would walk using the specific itinerary for that prayer walk. And one time we finished our prayer walk, and this young woman flipped out her chocolate bar. And I was like, ‘that’s how you break your fast ?!’ So it’s very interesting. Sometimes people say they are fasting, but they don’t tell you that at 6 pm they bring out the chocolates. Our one meal a day should be a sober repast.
So, I didn’t realise that people did not always tell you the truth about what they were doing with God. You must seek understanding. They say they have been seeking, praying and God hasn’t said anything. We must seek and ask God to open our eyes.
I want to encourage you to watch the testimony of a young woman which we broadcast at the beginning of this series. She was saying that one prayer, she was praying, ‘Lord, open my eyes, give me understanding.’ And the Lord opened her eyes and gave her understanding, directed her into revelation that took her into a life of health, and destroyed that wretched period pain forever.
We need to pray, ‘Lord, give me understanding.’ I pray this all the time,’Lord, give me understanding. Open my eyes, let me not miss anything You are doing. If you so much as breathe, utter a sigh or whisper, let me hear You.’
We need to desire to know the will of God, not only when we desperately need to know what to do in this precise moment, but every day. We need to live a life where what God wants matters to us. What He wants about everything should matter to you. You are living a nice, comfortable life, and you are not desperate for anything material. But you’re desperate, always, to be in synchrony with God; in consonance with Him; in harmony with Him.
Open my eyes
So you’re constantly asking God to open your eyes. On a daily basis, we’re seeking to know the will of God, not only when we need to know something now. We’re journeying into the heart of God continually. Be attentive because the only thing that matters is what God thinks about everything. What does God say every day? You should be saying, ‘what are You saying? I’m interested in You, Lord. So I’m interested in Your heart and interested in Your thoughts. I’m interested in Your will for everything.We're journeying into the heart of God continually. Be attentive because the only thing that matters is what God thinks about everything. Click To Tweet
You need to ask the Lord to open your eyes because we have an astounding propensity for error. When you have ministered to people for any length of time, you realise how easy it is for us to miss it, how easy it is for us to even hear direction and not follow. Sometimes you sit and you think about someone and say, ‘you heard that and yet you did that ?!’ We are just not careful enough. So we need to constantly ask the Lord to open our ears.
We’re just finishing a series at church about what Jesus thinks of the Church. One of the things that Jesus continually said to the seven churches of Revelation was, ‘he who has ears to hear, let him hear, he who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ I can’t tell you how many times I repeated that sentence over the past few weeks. In other words, some people do not have ears to hear. Some people have mouths to speak, but they do not have ears to hear. Beloved, we must, seek, to understand.
Fasting for understanding
Nehemia is a most impressive fellow. As soon as he was made aware of the wretched state of the walls of Jerusalem, he undertook a fast. He was afflicted in soul and prayer earnestly. My conviction is that it was in that time of fasting, that he received direction to go to Jerusalem.
Esther fasted for protection when she was going to see King Xerxes. The wisdom with which she handled matters testifies to the fact that direction had been granted her from heaven. And of course, she had also received favour from the Lord.
There is a big lesson here. Open doors for many mean they barge in without listening to the guidance of the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit still will direct you as to what to do and how to do it. No need to barge in, act unwisely and have the door of access shut in our faces.
That is where prayer and fasting must come in, to gain understanding as to the steps to take and guidance by the Spirit every step of the way. Consider Joseph. He received divine direction in his dreams, however, in his early years, he put his foot in it and landed in hot water. The mistakes eventually turned out for his good. He gained wisdom and was elevated. Let us continually seek understanding.
Isaiah 48:17 (HCSB) : ” This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.”
These are three fundamental keys to divine direction. Read part 2 and watch the accompanying video message for the five remaining keys to divine direction.
If you missed the powerful testimonies of divine direction we shared earlier, watch them below.