“Lord, please give me clarity…”
I’ve prayed that prayer quite a lot lately reasoning that if I am sure of God’s leading I can step forward in confidence.
However, in a recent discussion with my daughter about my desire for clarity, she said, “I’m not sure that is biblical.” Hmmm…I had never considered that possibility.
He promises guidance, wisdom and counsel, but does he promise specific instructions for my decisions?
God’s guidance is the subject of much interest and a variety of opinions. Some seek God’s regular input on everyday decisions and others just check in from time to time to make sure they’re on the right track. I generally operate somewhere in between, trying to remain open for specific guidance, yet in the absence of such clarity making the best decision I can. Either way, I trust the Spirit is leading the process.
Lately, inspired by my daughter’s provocative question, I’ve been asking myself a different question. Should I be praying for clarity or for the faith to step forward in spite of a lack of clarity?
There are examples of both in Scripture. (Of course – you know it’s never a formula.)
Israel’s Old Testament judges and kings regularly consulted God for their marching orders. (Literally.) Should we fight this battle or not?, they would ask. And God would tell them.
In other instances we have no record of specific directions but of an act of crazy faith. David stepped up to fight Goliath trusting that “the armies of the living God” and his own skill obtained as a shepherd would be enough to win the battle. He was right. It was risky decision motivated by faith and confidence in God.
God may or may not provide precise instructions, but there is one thing about which the Bible is absolutely clear. God always desires and honors faith.
If God sent me an email every day with “correct” answers to all the day’s decision, would there be any room for my faith? Faith, I’m beginning to realize, is action taken out of love for God and a correct understanding of his moral will, his power and his heart.
Perhaps that’s all the clarity I need.
If we are sure, like David was, that our adversaries or challenges or obstacles are no match for the “armies of the living God,” we might take some crazy steps of faith. Detailed directives would be easier!
I still pray for clarity, but now I also pray for the faith to act in the clarity that I have.
What do you think? Does God promise clear marching orders? Have you learned to take steps of faith in spite of lack of clarity? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of following God’s guidance.
“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Very good read! Much to think on. I have had those out-on-a-limb moments in my life-more and more in recent years, particularly in regard to our daily bread. We have had to lean into Him with faith I never imagined was possible for a Doubting Thomas like me. Clear instructions are nice but we have grown tremendously in this stepping out season.
To me clarity is being able to see issues with out being distracted by all the “white noise” that keeps us from staying focus. Clarity does not replace faith , it only gives you the means to be able to stay on track.
So pray for clarity and always keep the faith…
I wrote a post that talks about this sort of thing. I thought you might be interested in reading it. Asking God in this way; I get instant answers every time I do it.
love to you friend,
Thanks Robin, I’ll check it out!
No, I don’t always act or believe by faith. That’s one of my weaknesses that I share with Father God. I, like you pray to God to help me in my obscurity or unbelief. That’s what children (His children) are supposed to do.
When I do ask for clarity I do so because of, perhaps lack of faith or simply because I’m showing Father God that I need Him, I depend on Him and trust in Him to lead me to the light of ___________. After all, He instructed me in His word to acknowledge Him in all’f my ways so that He can direct my paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
I know that there comes a time in the (mature) believer’s life that we’re to live by faith, and that’s all good; that’s scriptual. However, the carnal nature, every now and again creeps up and tries to be in control. On the other hand, there are some things that happen in life that cannot be rationalized so out of curiosity or simply wanting to know, we ask for clarity…understanding. It happens!
Thank you Jesus for a loving Father who understands our frame. Thank you Lord for Your Mercies and Grace. Thank you Lord for calling unto the deep, dark (unclear) areas of lady Judy’s heart, as well as mine. Psalm 42:7
Help us to know/discern in the spirit when You are making things clear to us and not reject it as a result of our senses or emotions. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Amen. Thank you for your thoughts and for your beautiful prayer. May you know Him with great clarity!
Really thought-provoking Judy. I like what you said about faith being built from the ‘not knowing’… I think the Christian life is often far from clear or obvious, and many of our ‘godly’ decisions are made with a lot of question marks and uncertainty attached. It’s the nature of faith and trust… we are often reminded that we’re not the ones in control, and sometimes we just have to step out, waiting on Him to be our eyes, our way forward… Often clarity comes in retrospect I think.
I thoroughly believe that the heart is an alternative “brain” and that one can hear with the heart and not just with the mind. I believe that the Holy Spirit lives in the heart. This can cause inner conflict at times because my brain tells me to think/respond one way but my heart tells me something completely different.
much love to you friend,
Reading and listening and learning! Thanks so much! Sometimes it seems like after I’ve stepped out, then I see how clearly He was guiding me. God bless you, Judy, and your wonderful walk with Him!
Great post Judy! I can relate completely! Just recently bought a book on my Kindle called The Secret of Guidance by F.B. Meyer He was a contemporary of D.L. Moody. Not gotten into the book but in the introduction Dallas Willard writes:
It is under this last point that Meyer gives his famous teaching about the concurrence of “the three witnesses” or “lights”—the Spirit, the Word, and Circumstances: “God’s impressions within and his Word without are always corroborated by His providence around, and we should quietly wait until these three focus into one point.” His final point in this first chapter is that in searching for guidance we are only to look for the next step, not “the distant scene.”
Also from the forward quoting F.B. Meyer:
“If you do not know what you ought to do, stand still until you do. And when the time comes for action, circumstances, like glowworms, will sparkle along your path. You will become so sure that you are right, when God’s three witnesses concur, that you could not be surer though an angel beckoned you on. The circumstances of our daily life are to us an infallible indication of God’s will when they concur with the inward promptings of the Spirit and with the Word of God.”
Am very intrigued by these nuggets and looking forward to getting into the book. Any of those brownies left? LOL
What helpful quotes Rick. Thank you! I’d be interested in your comments on the whole book – your “appetizers” are enticing! As for brownies…they never last long, do they? i have perfect clarity about some things:).
Excellent post, Judy. I too have found that God will not be reduced to a formula in this area. At times His will is very clear to me and other times it involves a step of faith without clear direction.
What a thought provoking post! Hmmmm. In the past, I prayed for God to reveal sin in my life, to give me clarity in that respect, and He always did. It led me to repentance. I would agree, sometimes when I ask for clarity, I don’t always get an answer. But I love your statement, “I still pray for clarity, but now I also pray for the faith to act in the clarity that I have.” Tell your daughter thank you for me. 🙂
“…Does God promise clear marching orders? …”
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
It’s great when we hear the voice of God, have a vision, dream, or prophetic word, but this does not always happen. Even when this happens, we still have to act in faith, believing it to be from the Lord.
But generally, I ask the Lord to schedule my day. Then, I just go about my day, believing He will lead me by my inner spirit. After all, it’s His job to lead and His job to order my steps. My dependency is mainly on His leadership abilities and not on my meager abilities to follow Him. This works well for me.
Thank you, Larry. I particularly like your comment that “my dependency is mainly on His leadership abilities and not on my meager abilities to follow Him.” That’s such a helpful thought for me. Thank God that he is a perfect Leader, for I am a very imperfect follower. Thanks Larry!
Reblogged this on 22Tears and commented:
Here is a post by a blogger named Judy who has richly blessed me through her blog ‘Connecting Dots…To God.’ Check out this message as well as more of her insightful writing. I’m sure it will be thought-provoking and worth your while. : )
Oh Judy, I LOVE THIS!!! I love every word, and wow–isn’t your daughter something!! I usually pray for direction, clarity (I like the idea of those daily email instructions–yeah, baby!!)–but I don’t expect He’s always going to give it, because “we” (He and I) both understand that faith is the biggest part of walking out our destiny with Him. There are times when He speaks very directly, clearly–as close to audibly as you can imagine–and I love that; but many times it’s like a mutual trust exercise: He trusts that I’ll use what wisdom, discernment I’ve matured into–and good common sense; and I trust that if I miss the mark by a mile, He’ll be there to pick me up–“fix things”–and redirect me. It’s all workin’ pretty well, these days–and I honestly think the real key is intimacy with Him. I think if you have a real relationship with the Person of God, and the communication flows back and forth on a regular, frequent basis–you can’t help but learn to “hear” Him better, and not get too far off course. Just speaking for myself–about 2 dollars worth today, maybe. God bless you BIG–love, sis Caddo
Thanks Caddo! I love the way you describe your interactions with God as a “mutual trust exercise.” Perfect! You said in three words what I attempted to communicate in several hundred:) Your two-dollars worth just paid some dividends to me! Big blessings back to you today!
I’m happy to invest, as I always benefit from your posts–now, would you like some brownies, fresh from the oven??
Oooh – yes! By the way, I haven’t forgotten about your question of a couple weeks ago. Workin’ on it.
Great! I’ll be looking forward to it.