Why Doesn’t God Just Tell Me What To Do?

Have you ever prayed and fasted for so long, waiting to know His path for you, with no answer? I have to the point where I began to think, “Why won’t He just tell me what to do? I will do it, but I am tired of this. Sometimes this all feels like a game!”

When you have feelings such as these, we must put on our spiritual armor and take every thought captive. These thoughts are of the enemy. I know this because God has already told us and showed us the path we need to be on. And we have failed to follow it.

“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:21-24 NIV

This verse says “all have sinned” – you, me, everyone in the past, and everyone in the future. All – except Jesus, of course. He died without sin so you and I can spend eternity with Him and live on Earth forgiven of our sin.

You may ask when did God tell me the path to be on, what about the answer I need to a specific decision, or what is the step I am to be taking right now, and so on. All valid questions. I offer that when we are praying for His path on the big things in life, we need to ask ourselves where we have failed with His path on the “little” things in life. When was the last time we told a lie, had a lustful thought, were mean to our neighbor, or said words that were unloving, and so on?

“Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much.”
Luke 16:10 CEB

I am not saying that we will be perfect. We are not and will not be perfect, as we are humans. My suggestion is that we keep praying and fasting for His path on the big things in life, but in the meantime put a heavy focus on ourselves and where we can become more obedient in every area of our lives. God’s goal is for each of us to be more and more like His Son, to better prepare us for what lies ahead. He is building our endurance and character to be able to enjoy what He has ahead for us on His path. If we allow ourselves to be casual with commandments like lying or loving our neighbor, then how can we be faithful with much?

Yes, keep praying and fasting for His path and do what He told us to do in the meantime. We must work every day to read and obey, work at walking with the Spirit and obeying Him (Matthew 6:33). We must ask for forgiveness when we fail (1 John 1:9), forgive others (Colossians 3:13), and do not keep repeating the same sin – that is a sign of a lack of repentance. We need to ask and strive to be more like Jesus every day (2 Corinthians 5:17), and when He gives us those opportunities to be Jesus to others, we must take them. That may mean praying with somebody or sending an email or mailing a card or leaving a letter for a neighbor sharing the gospel.

You do not have to be a superhero daily, but just keep your eyes open. Yesterday, I was in a store and a man noticed a lady who appeared very sad. He asked if he could help her. They wound up sharing a God-given moment where encouraging words and a prayer were exchanged. The global pandemic has put every single human being on a level playing field. The virus does not care what color, race, background or education you have – you are at risk. There is raw, real pain across our globe right now, and we are the light.

Credit: JC

“Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”
John 8:12 CEB

We bring the light of life and God wherever we are – whether that is in a store or online in social media or a business video meeting. We are His light. We have the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead in us; let’s act like it in a world where there is the most pain and suffering possibly ever in our lifetimes. As believers, we are to steward the light He gave us. We are not to hide it, but shine it bright (Matthew 5:14). You may have nothing, but if you believe in Jesus then you have eternal life and the Holy Spirit in you, so be an excellent steward with what you DO have. Be faithful with what you do have.

God has told us all what to do. The commandments are for every single person on this planet. Yes, He has a unique purpose for each of us as well, but the commands are the foundation. Love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), honor our parents (Matthew 19:19), love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39), love God with all our hearts, being and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), and love each other (Romans 12:10). If you love Jesus, we are to obey all of His commands daily.

“This is love: that we live according to his commands. This is the command that you heard from the beginning: live in love.”
2 John 1:6 CEB

We must build up that foundation so He can build out the plan for us. Conquer your thoughts and your actions, steward your God-given talent and the light He has given you.

One final thought on the matter, if you are like me and want God to just tell you what to do. As Dr. Martin Luther King said so beautifully, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

If you are thinking I do not even know the next step at all, return to what God has already told you. How can we live that step out today, then tomorrow, and so forth, demonstrating how we handle the “little” things that prepare us for the “big” things?

Your Enemy Is Real

With the world we live in now, it is critical that you know that nothing can separate you from God’s love. Nothing and nobody at all, ever (Romans 8:38).

Once you believe in Jesus, you no longer belong to the dark side – the battle changes. Before you believed in Jesus, the battle was to keep you in the dark, so to speak.

Now, you stand in a place of victory. It is the victory that Jesus won for you. So, the dark side changes their approach because they no longer have you on their team. They want to keep you from enjoying all that is already yours through Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and hell. But fear not, God did not leave you without instructions on what to do when the dark side tries to distract you or hurt you or invade your thoughts.

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:11-17 NLT

Credit: Snow

These verses are saying that people and situations are not your enemy; your enemy is real and is not flesh and blood. The enemy is the opposite of Jesus, who is full of life and love. Just like anyone in battle, there is armor or equipment we need to use.

The first is the belt of Truth. The belt was critical, for it held weapons and enabled warriors to defend themselves when under attack. We fight with Truth, and it is one of the ways we defend ourselves.

The second is the body armor of righteousness. You keep this as a “covering” to protect yourself against attacks. It is not how good you are. It is God’s righteousness, so you protect yourself standing on the victory Jesus already won.

The shoes of peace mean wherever you go, you carry the peace of God with you. No matter what is going on, you have the peace of God. Not only do we need to anchor to His peace, but we are also to carry that peace with us and share with the lost why we have peace. You will go through many storms in your life and when you remember that you have His peace, you will look “different” to others as you navigate storms.

The shield of faith is what protects you. You must never let go of your faith. No matter what bad thoughts or bad things come your way, you use your faith to protect you like a shield. Believe in God and His love for you.

The helmet of salvation is to protect your mind with the knowledge that you are saved by Jesus. Nobody can take that from you. Once you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are His. Period.

The last piece of armor is different. This weapon we are to wield. When we are attacked, we have all of the defensive weapons to use. This last one is an offensive weapon. It is the Word of God, and it is a sword. This means many things, but we will focus on just one. When Jesus was dealing with the devil in the desert, Jesus kept saying, “It is written.” Every time the devil would say something, Jesus would say Scripture back and speak the truth (Luke 4:1-13, Matthew 4:1-11). He was teaching us how to use the Word of God like a weapon. When you hear lies, listen to the truth and speak the truth, which is the Word of God. What a different world we would have if Eve had just stuck with what God said when the devil showed up to tempt her.

You may be thinking, how do I get these weapons and know what to use when? Reading the Bible daily equips you. It teaches you all these things, and then you have what you need when you need it. You will be amazed how Scriptures will just pop into your head when you need them. This is the Holy Spirit at work within you. He will even bring Scriptures to your mind that you have not yet read or did not quite grasp when you did read them. He speaks only truth.

You have everything you need to push the bad away from your heart and mind. You just need to remember that you have everything you need – that is the hard part. It is something I struggle with a lot. I allow the bad stuff to creep into my head when I know it is not true, and I know what is true. That is the battle that people who believe in Jesus face. Our souls are safe, but it is our hearts and minds that can still be distracted from the amazing blessings we have been given. So, we need to stay aware of what we are allowing into our hearts and minds. The enemy will constantly send fiery darts at us and attack our hearts and minds. It is not a sin to have a “bad” thought, but it can become a sin depending on what you do with it. Do you take it captive, as we are commanded in 2 Corinthians 10:5, or do you entertain it?

Thank God that He has armed us with these weapons, outlined for us what they are, and demonstrated Jesus using them. He also has given us the Holy Spirit, the Author of truth and our Helper. As we endure many trials in this life, we must focus on what God has given us to defend ourselves and stand at the ready for when the attacks come, not if they come.

Love Will Restore the Land

2020 was a year of loss and hurt for most people. Between the pandemic, the economy, job loss, illness, and the inability to see loved ones, 2020 was a mess.

As believers, we cling to the fact that God is in control. Everything that enters our lives passes through the fingers of our Lord. So what are we to learn from the pandemic and its impacts?

It seems many people believe when the calendar flips to January 1, 2021, all will return to “normal.” At the risk of seeming negative, I think we must seek a new normal. The current generation of 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-olds have been taught not to touch each other, share toys, or sit with each other. They have been taught hugging is not a good idea, nor is touching others at all.

I am not saying I disagree with what we have to do as we battle a pandemic, but it does indicate possible future tendencies of that generation. This was not just one country of kids taught this, but the global population of kids. What does this mean for these future leaders? This remains to be seen.

We have re-wired ourselves and our children to not touch or hug, except certain people that are “safe.” There are people that have not felt human touch in almost a year. For some, they are grateful to be left alone. For others, it is a struggle. Humans are created for touch. We are created to love each other and comfort each other. There are so many verses that command us to love each other. Here are just a few:

“This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:17 NLT

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12:10 NLT

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
John 13:34 NLT

“We love each other because he loved us first.”
1 John 4:19 NLT

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.”
John 15:12 NLT

“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”
1 John 4:11 NLT

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”
1 Peter 3:8 NLT

We have a choice, as a nation and as a people. Do we invest our time and energy into arguing about masks, politics, and myriads of other things or do we follow the Bible and love each other?

I do not have to agree with you to love you. Jesus loved everyone, even those who murdered Him. He asked God to forgive them as they drained the blood out of our Lord and Savior.

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.”
Luke 23:34 NLT

That is our bar to strive for – love everyone. He loved those that caused His death and were gambling for His material possessions as He prayed for them to be forgiven.

Snow and I talked about grudges recently during a devotional. There have been many people who have inflicted or spoken hurt into our lives. We are faced with a choice, just like all believers, hold a grudge or love.

The way that God has taught me to release grudges, hurt, anger, or resentment is to pray for that person. Pray for the person to be forgiven and blessed. Regardless of your political affiliation or how you feel about wearing masks, pray. We need to pray for each other and we need to tell people we are praying for them. Pray for the future generations that are being taught not to touch. Pray for the neighbors and loved ones that are suffering from loss, loneliness, job loss or anxiety. Pray for them by name and tell them you are praying for them.

The great thing about God is that He always knows whom you are talking about. You can pray for the “lady down the street whose name I do not know” and God has her. He knows who she is and what she needs. Drop a note in her mailbox: “I am praying for you.” You do not need to sign it or even interact with her. This is a spiritual touch. We must find new ways to touch people to show love. Prayer is one big way. Telling people we are praying for them is another way to show love.

There have been many analyses over 2020 about what the world needs: Vaccines, herd immunity, economic recovery, and so on. We need prayer. We need to pray and tell people we are praying for them.

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

The above verse tells us a list of things to do now and in 2021. For those of us who feel hurt, confused, or unsure about what to do – look to this verse and love.

Love however you can, whoever you can, whenever you can.

During this time of limited physical touch, we must find new ways to show love using technology, handwritten notes, or “smiling” with our eyes when our real smiles are hidden behind masks.

Be humble with those around you by showing patience, kindness, and sensitivity. If you have been untouched by the virus, praise God! Please keep in mind that most of the people around you have been touched by it in some way or other.

Instead of losing patience with people, pray for them. It takes literally two seconds to lift someone up: “Lord, I pray that person drives better” or “Lord, I pray that person becomes nicer.” Seek His face on their behalf and pray.

Credit: JC

23 Pieces of Advice from a Mom to Her Kids

Credit: JC
  1. Always keep your eyes on Jesus, this life is temporary; He is your eternity. Look for Him every day, He is the Creator of all and is seen in the colors in the sky, the flowers, nature.
  2. Get an education; nobody can ever take knowledge away from you.
  3. Knowledge is a gift to be shared, not a weapon to be wielded.
  4. Always listen to your internal instincts. God gives you these instincts to protect yourself and your family.
  5. Never take anyone or anything for granted. Never.
  6. Sometimes we invite pain into our lives by the decisions we make, and other times it just happens when we did nothing to invite it. Regardless, God allowed the pain into your life for a reason; place your energy into figuring out what He is looking to do in your life and how you can grow in Him instead of wallowing in self-pity.
  7. “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers. And having chosen us, he called us to come to him; and when we came, he declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with himself, and promised us his glory. What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No! For he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven. Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us? No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.”Romans 8:28-39 TLB
  8. Sometimes no answer to prayer is an answer. Never confuse silence with Him not hearing you.
  9. When you sin, pray Psalm 51:1-17: “O loving and kind God, have mercy. Have pity upon me and take away the awful stain of my transgressions. Oh, wash me, cleanse me from this guilt. Let me be pure again. For I admit my shameful deed—it haunts me day and night. It is against you and you alone I sinned and did this terrible thing. You saw it all, and your sentence against me is just. But I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom. Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins—erase them from your sight. Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to other sinners, and they—guilty like me—will repent and return to you. Don’t sentence me to death. O my God, you alone can rescue me. Then I will sing of your forgiveness, for my lips will be unsealed—oh, how I will praise you. You don’t want penance; if you did, how gladly I would do it! You aren’t interested in offerings burned before you on the altar. It is a broken spirit you want—remorse and penitence. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not ignore” (TLB).
  10. God is not a God of confusion. If you are confused, that is not from Him. When you have clarity from God and others say you are confused, you are not confused – follow God. Always.
  11. Never take on debt.
  12. When life gives you trials, pray. When things get so hard you cannot breathe, repeat the name “Jesus.” There is tremendous power in the name of Jesus: “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:9-11 NLT
  13. When you are in a situation of conflict, read Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (NLT). Rise above the conflict.
  14. Keep perspective. Your soul is safe for all eternity, the thing or person you are dealing with cannot touch your soul: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”Matthew 10:28 NLT
  15. Know your cause in life. Your calling is to worship God. Your cause is what keeps you up at night, what gets you upset or motivated to see change – that is your cause. As you fulfill your cause, keep in mind your calling – praise Him as you fulfill your cause. When you hit difficulties, knowing your cause will enable you to rise above the conflict. Satan works very hard to keep you from your calling and your cause, do not help him.
  16. Have a personal relationship with Jesus that is growing every day.
  17. Marry someone who loves Jesus more than they love you.
  18. Experience a marriage as designed by God, not as defined by this world.
  19. Love God and love people.
  20. Love deeply and forgive. Forgiveness does not mean you condone the behavior, it means releasing the control that person has over you that you have given them.
  21. Teach your children the Truth.
  22. Always tithe. Always. “‘Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! But you ask, “What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?” You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!'”Malachi 3:8-10 NLT
  23. Read the Bible and pray everyday. Never miss a day.