And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:26
Believers in Old Testament times when needing to make a decision often believed that God’s hand was in the game of chance. When drawing straws, everyone would pick a straw and the one with the smallest straw would be the winner, a.k.a. the one God supposedly picked. The last time in the Bible believers relied on the game of chance to discern God’s guidance on a matter is when they picked Matthias to replace Judas as one of the twelve disciples. Why did they no longer rely on a game of chance to discern God’s Will? In Acts chapter two, the Holy Spirit would descend and fill the believers with the presence and ability to hear God themselves. Instead of looking on the outside to make decisions, we now have ways to internally confirm which way God is guiding.
God does not want his Will to be a mystery to you. Specific instructions for your day, upcoming decision you are facing, and how to handle circumstance await you. Here are a few scriptural steps I like to follow as a way of tapping into the Mind of Christ when I need to hear guidance from the Holy Spirit on an important decision I am making.
3 Scriptural Steps to Answered Prayer
- PRAY ON PAPER: When I want to hear from God, the first step is to get myself into ‘emotional neutral’ so I can set my biases aside to ensure my desires do not interfere with God’s. Then I like to write out my prayers on paper. It is through the practice of journaling with the pen on paper that God often clarifies what the Spirit has spoken. Sometimes as I make my request to God on paper, I hear an answer even before I finish writing out my questions for God.
Before I write and pray my request or questions for God, I make sure my heart is ‘right’. The right heart heading into prayer is to believe God WILL answer me, so I come with a heart of expectation. If I allow mixed belief which is unbelief, it will short-circuit my prayer and answer. With a heart full of faith, I am now ready to receive knowledge, ideas, or an unction to my query. Sometimes God’s answer requires more conversation, other times it requires action. Sometimes it requires waiting which I am not good at.
- THANK+ACT: Thanking God in advance for answering your prayer assures a heart of gratitude. With every request you put before God, there can be ‘time and distance’ between when you say amen and hear back. Staying ‘in-faith’ while you are waiting for your answered prayer is essential to receiving. Stay in peace with full confidence God will answer you and remain in a state of a sensitized spirit so you can hear God’s whispers. While we are waiting on an answer, God is often using your question to start a conversation.
REFLECT TO CONNECT:
- In what ways do you receive God’s Will for your life?
- Is there a Biblical process you lean on to receive from the Holy Spirit?
- Why does fear, doubt, and unbelief drown out the voice of the Spirit?
Principle: When seeking God’s guidance, the Holy Spirit confirms on the inside what He is directing you to do on the outside.