To the Girl Who Wishes She Had More Clarity: A Devotional on Trusting God
Clarity. It’s been in my top 10 prayer list for what seems like forever. Clarity on where to live, clarity on my purpose, clarity on where to spend my time. I assumed God wanted me to have clarity, because “He is not the God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). So, that had to mean He wanted me to have clarity, right? Well...let’s get to that in a minute :)
Over and over again, I have found myself on my knees, sometimes in tears, praying to God for direction. In desperation, I wanted His leading, I wanted Him to show me what to do with my life. I never, ever found clarity. With this lack of confidence and clarity, I decided that I wouldn’t move forward until He showed me where He wanted me to go. I wanted nothing more than to please God with my life, and I couldn’t bear the thought of going in a direction that where He was not leading. This might look like surrender, it might sound noble, and it might very well look like I was committed to God. But you know what it really was?
So many women in our generation have told me a similar story. We’re terrified of commitment and moving forward with something (or someone) only to realize later on that we made a wrong turn. And so, even when we have multiple options in front of us, we often feel paralyzed. We’re unsure of which step to take, so we avoid taking any steps at all.
My husband and I have been praying for clarity on where to settle down and plant roots. We haven’t found what seems like the right answer, and to be honest, it causes a good deal of anxiety for both of us. We know that this anxiety is not from the Lord, so we continue to press in, asking Him for guidance and clarity. This past weekend, on a 9 hour road trip, the conversation (+ the anxiety) came up again. But this time, the unexpected happened.
We finally received clarity, but not in the mapped-out way that we expected. We realized that the absolute last thing that we needed was a map. Throughout history, God has led His people through His presence and through relationship, not through instructions or a guidebook. How many times has God given an otherwise impossible command, only to follow it up with the promise of His presence? Think about it...He did it with Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets, and to His disciples in the Great Commission. Here’s the difference, we sometimes think that we have to figure out what God wants us to do for Him. But, our calling is what God wants us to do with Him.
It’s normal in this world to think that you have to have clarity in order to move forward. However, God has shown us that He simply wants you to trust Him in order to move forward, in spite of the lack of clarity. If you wait your whole life to be ready to go, then you will never go. When you find yourself desiring clarity from Him, it’s a sure sign that He wants you to press into Him more. Instead of praying for clarity, pray for Trust.
In reality, when we ask God to give us a detailed map on our lives, we actually are saying that we view ourselves higher than God. Please tell me I’m not alone when I say that I’ve had this thought before, “if I just knew what God wanted me to do, I would do it!” Sure, it sounds fine on the surface, but it really is driven by the prideful belief that we can do it on our own. It’s so much better to place far less trust in ourselves and all of our trust into the One who has called us.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “In a man’s heart he plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.” God can’t direct your steps unless you are stepping. So, His first call to you is movement. He promises you that He will steer the way. Remember when He told Abraham to go out of Ur to “a land I will show you?” That doesn’t exactly sound like a detailed travel itinerary to me! When Jesus calls His disciples, all He says is “follow me.” He never took the time to explain to Peter how to walk on water before He called him out of the boat and onto the waves. The truth of the matter is that God is way more concerned with our childlike trust and our simple obedience than He is with giving us understanding and clarity. He calls us to obedience, faith, and trust in Him...which often precedes our understanding of what He is calling us to do.
As I look back on my own walk with the Lord, I see that when I have moved intentionally toward the dreams that He has placed in my heart, He leads me -- moment by moment. It may be a stirring in my heart, peace, excitement + energy to accomplish something, or His small, still voice. Maybe it’s the pull of His presence. Many times, I only see it in hindsight. But, I have no doubt that He is leading me. I have no idea what He will do with the entirety of my life, but I do know that He is leading me now, and He will continue to lead me all the days of my life.
Just be present to where God is moving you in the moment. The rest, you’ll find out when you get there.
Do not be anxious, He fully intends to finish the work that He has started in you, He will never leave you as an orphan.
As His sheep, we don’t need a map. We only need the Shepherd.
PS - Here's the song that inspired this post. I pray it blesses you as much as it has me: "Trust in You" by Lauren Daigle.
IT'S A MOVEMENT // SHARE THE LOVE
Do you have a friend who could use the reminder that of where her true direction comes from? Please share this devotional with her.