- The question of asking becomes subsumed into the imperative of being. If we live as people who are connected to/with God, then guidance becomes more a matter of living in the truth of that deep connection.
-He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. - Micah 6:8
One frequently occurring "spiritual" conversation I have with people is along the lines of "What does God want me to do?" Typically, the questions are situation specific, oriented around a particular decision, and focused on ideas such as "Should I take this job?" or "Does God want me to move to this place?" "Should I try to sell my house?" or "I need God to fix this problem with my spouse... or my child... or (fill in the blank _____)...."
First, I think it's laudable that so many people want to do the right thing. Just having the mind-set of "following God's path" is a great place to be.
But, and this is - I believe - a critical distinction, I tend to think that God doesn't care two hoots where I live, what job I'm being paid for, or even if I live in a house... so long as I am loving, serving, following, praying, and impacting the world with the Christ-presence.
It's not that God doesn't care about the specifics of my life and yours. It's more that when our focus is limited to those elements we're selling ourselves (and the world) short.
Let me offer an example: It could well be that God's great, over-arching plan in 1996 was for me and Rebekah to move to Brandon, and to spend the next couple of decades exactly where we are, working through First Presbyterian Church and making a positive difference in this community...
... But, what if God's #1 plan had been for us to move to (for example) Atlanta? Or Texas? Or that church in Daytona Beach? What if we got it wrong when we came here, and God's ideal choice had been somewhere else?
I honestly don't think it matters. I think what matters is that we serve God where we are; that we live as Followers of the Way; that we seek the presence of God on a daily, a moment-by-moment, basis; that we bloom where we are planted; and that we make decisions based on the fact that we are committed to love and serve God and God's world as our first priority.
The best answer to our questions of guidance is - always - to move closer to God. I like the way Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 3. "But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."
The question of asking becomes subsumed into the imperative of being. If we live as people who are connected to/with God, then guidance becomes more a matter of living in the truth of that deep connection.
Live for Jesus; live into Jesus; be the presence of Christ in the world! We can do that here and now - and wherever we are and doing whatever job we have. Living into Jesus is so much more important than the more narrow questions we started out with.