When I have waited on God’s perfect timing, I have known he was directing me. Then, when I would encounter troubles, I would be confident I was still in his will and that, whatever this is, it’s nothing more than a diversion, a temporary obstacle. But when I haven’t waited, I have been unsure of myself: “Did I move too fast? Am I out of God’s will? Did I make a bad decision?”
Years ago, we started 721 Ministries. I made the final decision to shut down Hunter and Associates after 25 years and to pursue… what?… a men’s ministry? What would that even look like? With no income? Are you kidding me? The decision was not automatic, nor was it my idea or even my desire.
But, after more than a year of waiting on the Holy Spirit’s clarity, He made it absolutely clear that it was God’s will. He made it clear through a variety of different friends and circumstances. Crystal clear. So, a few months later, with financial giving not exactly robust—and, therefore, thousands of dollars in debt, living off my credit line—I was a tad uneasy, yes, but nowhere near shaken. I knew I was in my Father’s will. So, why would I worry?
I am often asked, “How can I know God’s will for me in this decision, issue, or area of my life?” And the next question is, “And how will I know if it’s God speaking to me or just my own wishes? Or, even Satan?”
The answer will often be the same as the answer to the oft-asked question, “How will I know if he or she is the one to marry?”
“You’ll just know.” If you want to know God.
The one constant in this arena of knowing and discerning God’s will typically involves waiting. This is not about waiting because you are a little more mature and can conjure up a little more patience. It’s because you have complete confidence that the Holy Spirit will guide you and often move ahead of you.
Admittedly, there are times when prolonged waiting will not be an option because a deadline is approaching. In these situations, as in all cases, our Father wants us to seek His will through prayer, his Word, and through wise counsel from mature Christians. I have found that he can and does speak to me through casual, unrelated comments from others… even a billboard once… and a host of other unexpected ways.
I then make a prudent decision, and I (don’t miss this) abandon the outcome to Him.
But, typically, we really can wait. We just don’t want to wait because we want our way.
The Father can seem slow as molasses, but He’s always right on time. Wait patiently on the Holy Spirit in every circumstance, and you will be amazed at his movements.