Are we in tune with God? Are we really paying attention when He is telling us to stay in the relationship we are in, or when He tells us we should break up (even if we think the relationship has potential)? Learn with this relationship advice a few tips on how to understand the different ways God speaks to us and if God always answers our prayers.
Dear Jim: Do you think you have to have a definite “yes” or “no” from God on relationships?
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ This is certainly applicable to relationships.
While this statement is certainly true, I find some singles discern this to mean that God will send a strong feeling or some voice from Heaven, etc. to signal when the ‘right one’ arrives. My concern is that the right one may have come and the single was ‘looking’ when they should have been ‘listening’.
One of the awesome features of our relationship with God is the fact that He speaks with us. His voice is not always a direct one and this is where I believe some may miss His guidance. In Numbers 22 the Bible advice us that God actually opened the mouth of a donkey (okay – they called it an ass) to speak to Balaam.
How does God speak to us?
There are many ways but here are a few that He often uses:
- The Bible: The Word is a ‘living Word‘ and God speaks directly to us through it.
- His Spirit: When Christ left this earth, He told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. (John 16:13). His Spirit is in every believer today and continues to guide us – if we allow Him.
- Other Believers: Proverbs shares that where there is no wise guidance, the people fall. However, there is wisdom in the multitude of counsellors. We NEED each other. This is why you find me sharing over and over again to build strong support/accountability groups of the same gender.
- Events: Sometimes events in our lives leave little doubt that God is trying to tell us something. Candidly, I find this most often when He closes a door. It is frustrating to find door after door being closed, but He is using this to ‘guide’ us toward something that will glorify Him and bring fulfillment and peace to us.
- His Messenger: My life has been touched over and over again through the anointing of His Spirit in the message of a Pastor or great Biblical teacher.
- Satan: Yes, I believe that there are times that if we are being led by His Spirit, we clearly see Satan’s hand at play and know that it is not the action or activity for us.
Wise choices are the basis for successful living. I believe it wise that we seek confirmation when we believe God is speaking to us. There are times when this is not applicable, but most often it is. For example, you may have some input from some well meaning Christians, but you know that it is clearly against a Biblical principle. God NEVER contradicts Himself and is always in keeping with His word.
What are you doing in Heaven?
I like an old illustration that points out how God speaks. The story goes that there was a dam that had broken upstream for a town. There was a little time until the waters would reach the town and the police were speeding around town telling of the impending danger. One man told the police that he was not going to leave because God would take care of him. The waters began to rise and the police came by again in a boat to take him to safety. Again he refused stating that God would save him. The waters rose to the roof and the man was hanging onto the chimney. The police helicopter came by and lowered a rope. The man refused again saying that God would save him. The man drowned!
When he got into Heaven, he rushed over to God and said ‘Father, what happened? I counted on you and told others you would save me!’ God looked at the man with a puzzled look and said while shaking His head – ‘I don’t know? I sent the police by, then a boat and finally a helicopter to save you. What are you doing in Heaven??‘
Of course this is just a story – but I think that it points out that we need to be ‘open’ to the many ways that God may speak to us. He never contradicts His Word.
Finally, remember that God always answers our prayers. The answers are ‘yes’, or ‘no’ or ‘nothing (meaning wait)’. The most challenging one for us is ‘wait’!! The FATHER knows best!
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