As we begin a new year, Vicki and I are always looking for direction, strength and/or some other type of help from the Lord. We’re often looking for direction in regards to our family, our finances, our fitness (health), our friendships and even fun activities (hobbies, vacations, etc) that we want to be involved in. And we’re also looking for direction in regards to our vocations (I’m sorry but I don’t have an “f” word for that part of life). The direction we receive from the Lord is necessary as we set my goals and plan out our activities for the year. And not only are we looking for direction in those areas, we’re looking for the strength and help need to overcome the obstacles and opposition that stand between us and those goals and activities.
I’m guessing that many of you are probably like Vicki and I. You’re also looking for direction, strength and/or help from the Lord, especially if you want this new year to be a better year than previous years. So, here is my question, “How can we best hear from the Lord in order to receive the direction, strength and help that that need to accomplish our goals and plans for the year?” Let me give you several answers to that question.
One, we receive direction, strength and help from the Lord by reading God’s Word. Psalm 119:104-105 tells us “Your commandments give me understanding. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” And Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” So, to receive direction, strength and help from the Lord I need to daily spend time reading and reflecting on principles and practices that are found in the Bible. I do that by following the One Year Through The Bible Daily Bible Reading Plan, but there are other less extensive Daily Bible Reading Plans as well. And we’re also providing via email and video Daily Bible Readings for January and February through our STEPS TO SUCCESS emails and social media posts.
Two, we receive direction, strength and help from the Lord by listening to the voice of God’s Spirit. Acts 13:2 says, “While they were worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” In other words, as we spend time praying to the Lord and worshiping Him, the Holy Spirit will speak to us in our inner being via a “stil, small voice,” giving us succinct direction for our lives. And we need to cultivate that ability to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice if we want specific direction for our education, home location, vocation, relationships, etc., because the Bible primarily gives more general direction for those areas of life. Through our STEPS TO SUCCESS emails and social media posts we are providing short prayers that prime people’s ability to hear God’s Spirit speak back to them.
Three, we receive direction from the Lord as we hear God speak to us through other Christians like a Pastor or a mature Christian leader. In 1 Kings 17:24 the Bible says, “The woman told Elijah, ‘Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the LORD truly speaks through you.’” Hearing from God through a Pastor or mature Christian leader is crucial for us if we are to receive the direction, strength and help from the Lord that we need for our lives. That’s why it’s important for Christians to regularly attend Church worship services, Bible classes, Life Groups, etc., where we can learn from others and better know the Lord’s will and way for our lives.