Life is full of twists and turns. What can you do to pause, reflect, connect, and find peace as you discern God’s path for your life?
The chill Pacific Northwest air stings my nose as a blustery breeze rustles through the endless sea of corn. I am acutely aware of my aching legs, numb fingers, mud-caked pants, and growling stomach. Third-grade me declares that going to “the biggest corn maze in Washington” is the worst field trip ever! In our disorientation, my small team of classmates missed lunch and are utterly, hopelessly lost. Meanwhile, our unfazed parent chaperone insists that we never give up despite a chorus of protests to the contrary. At long last, after what feels like endless tromping, we come upon a lookout platform. There is a glimmer of hope!
Once we are able to finally ascend above the maze, I remember being able to joyfully see our situation from a clearer perspective for the first time. Thinking back on that less-than-fond memory, I have to laugh because it so perfectly represents how life feels at times, doesn’t it? With all of the curveballs that life throws at us, sometimes God’s path seems more like a maze than an ordained plan.
I want to share with you three ways that we can discern God’s path when life feels like a maze.
Make sure you are in God’s will.
Seems like it should go without saying, right? Most of us are not like Joan of Arc, with angels and saints revealing every next move. So, how do we know? First, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if an action brings you closer in your relationship with God. Second, consider the underlying motivation of making a certain choice. On one hand, is the goal being liked by others, getting more money, or striving for achievement or affirmation? Perhaps you may need to consider that “‘everything is permissible,’ but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). On the other hand, if your ultimate desire is to glorify God and be the hands and feet of Jesus, you probably have a solid foundation upon which to continue discerning God’s path.
Do life with others.
To get a better sense of whether or not you are walking in God’s will, it is important to invite others to come alongside you. Ask wise family, friends, pastors, and even counselors to pray with you and speak truth into your situation. Every path has its blind spots. Seeking wise counsel can illuminate areas of growth and possible pitfalls in your journey. If you prefer to keep certain choices or actions hidden, it may be a sign that a particular area needs to be brought into alignment with God’s will.
I want to emphasize the crucial difference between conviction and condemnation. A strong Christian community understands that “there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Conviction leads to repentance and reconciliation, whereas condemnation isolates and shames. If someone is straying down the wrong path, the bible tells us that “opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25). Continue to discern God’s will by seeking out relationships for support, guidance, and accountability,
Seek a heavenly perspective.
Finally, and most importantly, pray about it! When we seek to discern the path of God, the what often becomes apparent long before the why. It can be frustrating to feel like you are navigating a maze without fulling knowing God’s plan or purpose. Dive into scripture and ask God to reveal His heart regarding a certain situation. Hebrews 4:12 tells us the “word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
In our limited human capacity, we often cannot comprehend how God directs our path in order to weave a beautiful tapestry for His glory. Remember, the creator of the universe intimately knows you and cares about you. Our God, who transcends space and time, wants to have a relationship with you. Engaging with God in real-time with His living and active Word helps elevate our perspective and see life through a heavenly lens.
So the next time life feels like you are walking through “the biggest corn maze in Washington,” I hope you are able to pause, reflect, connect, and find peace as you discern God’s path for your life.
Walking in His grace,