Have you ever been in a situation and you knew the right thing to do, but that was the last thing you wanted to do?
If you’re a leader of any kind, you face enormous decisions every day. Decisions that determine the path your church will take, decisions that will alter people’s livelihoods financially. The choices you make as a leader in terms of vision, strategy, and preaching will determine the direction your church is on.
You also face small ones. Decisions of how you spend your time, who you spend your time with.
In the course of leadership, we also face decisions that people don’t see, but if not checked can lead to the destruction your family, ministry, and career.
It might also be a simple, everyday situation like a relationship. Someone asked for help and you knew you should have given it, but you didn’t. A child asked to stay up just a little longer, a spouse asks for your attention, but you gave an excuse, pulled out your phone, and were selfish.
Many times, we know exactly what we should do, what we should say in a situation, what God wants us to do with our lives or a situation, but we don’t.
Honestly, it usually comes down to comfort and ease.
The right thing usually hurts in some way, will make us stand out, or will make our life more difficult.
It’s easy to lie or tell a half-truth. It’s easier to look at porn than pursue your spouse or purity. It’s easier to push your kids to the side for your career (after all you’re doing all that you do for them).
Ironically, in the midst of ignoring these situations or people, we ignore God.
Think about it. If you’re married and you ignore what God has to say about purity, you ignore your spouse but you close yourself off to God and what He is doing in your world as well.
If you are dishonest at work, you not only close yourself off to opportunities at work: promotions, projects, leadership; but you also close yourself off to God and the work He wants to do at your job through you.
Then, and here’s the important part…
When we close ourselves off from God in these situations, we find ourselves wondering why God isn’t speaking to us. Why His will for our lives isn’t as clear as we’d like.
Have you noticed that when unconfessed sin in your life rises, God’s voice tends to quiet?
Many times, we are resisting God in ways we don’t see or expect. It’s not that we are actively trying to, it’s that we aren’t actively trying not to.
Here are some simple ways to begin seeing God speak and move in your life and stop resisting His voice:
Leader: 3 ways to figure out God’s will for your life
1. Listen to the Bible and close friends you trust (who are spiritually mature).
God’s will for your life is not a mystery, in fact, it’s all over the pages of the Bible. He tells us how to be married, how to be friends, a parent, have integrity, honor leaders and government and bosses, how to pray, how to fast, worship and be a good steward of our treasure, time and talents.
I believe, if we do these consistently and wholeheartedly, we will very rarely wonder what God’s will for our lives is.
Because we will be doing what He called us to do, what He designed us to do.
On top of that, ask trusted friends and mentors who you consider to be spiritually mature.
What do they do? How do they live? What do they say about the questions you ask or the struggles you have?
Listen to them.
Does what they have to say line up with Scripture?
If so, that’s a clue you are heading in the right direction.
2. Live out what the Bible and those friends tell you.
Here comes the part that many of us get off the ride.
Living it out.
It is one thing to say you are going to get up and read your bible or exercise, and another thing to do it.
It’s one thing to say you are going to be more patient with your kids and another thing to actually show them patience and grace.
Life is filled with regrets, missed opportunities and a laundry lists of should’s and could’s.
3. When you feel like God is speaking…act.
Which leads to the last part.
Don’t’ stand on the sideline.
Have you ever noticed that God is on the move in the lives of people who act? I don’t know if He speaks more to them, but they seem to listen more and act more.
At this point, it is time to move on what God has said and not look back.
Josh Reich is the Lead Pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ. He is the area lead for Acts 29 in Arizona and speaks at a variety of conferences on church planting, leadership, and marriage. He is also the author of Breathing Room: Stressing Less & Living More. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaReich.