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Then all the army leaders came with people of every class and said to me, “Please do what we ask you! Pray to the Lord our God for us. Pray for all of us who have survived. Once there were many of us; but now only a few of us are left, as you can see. Pray that the Lord our God will show us the way we should go and what we should do.”
I answered, “Very well, then. I will pray to the Lord our God, just as you have asked, and whatever he says, I will tell you. I will not keep back anything from you.”
Then they said to me, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not obey all the commands that the Lord our God gives you for us. Whether it pleases us or not, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are asking you to pray. All will go well with us if we obey him.”
Ten days later the Lord spoke to me. . . Jeremiah 42:1-7
“What do you want me to do, Lord? Show me the way!”
Most of us have prayed that prayer at one time or another. The passage from Jeremiah 42:1-7 offers three simple requirements for seeking God’s direction.
- Be willing to ask others to pray with us.
- Be willing to obey whether God’s answer pleases us or not.
- Be willing to wait on the answer.
When we are in search of God’s direction do we meet these requirements? Or do we keep our struggle to ourselves, promise to obey IF things go our way, and/or become impatient and attempt to guess or rush God’s answer?
I have to admit, I haven't always followed those three simple guidelines. I remember one time in particular when Dick and I were foster parents. We had three foster children under the age of eight, plus our six-year-old son. The oldest began physically beating up on his sister and on our son. Dick and I both wanted to ask the agency to find the child a different home but felt so guilty. We didn’t want to ask others to pray for fear that they would tell us we had to stick it out. We didn’t want to pray “Your will, Lord, not ours,” for the same reason. And we needed an answer yesterday, not sometime.
Finally, we just couldn’t deal with the situation any longer. We asked for prayer and surprisingly saw sighs of relief on the faces of those we approached. “Thank God you have realized this placement is not good for any of you!”
We surrendered the outcome to God and He answered—quickly and clearly. Our experience echoes the truths found in Jeremiah 42.
Are you in turmoil over where God is leading? Ask others to pray, surrendered your will to His, and wait. God will answer. He will lead.
©2015 Pamela D. Williams