There’s a pattern we should follow in seeking God’s guidance, and the first step involves cleansing. Sin can strangle the Holy Spirit’s power in us and cloud judgment, so we must ask God to reveal and then forgive anything that might interfere with what He wants to tell us.
Of the remaining steps, the most important is surrender. The Lord cannot share His plans for our life until we are committed to following Him no matter what. He certainly knows whether we’re seeking direction in order to obey or merely to consider what He suggests. Therefore, surrender precedes even our request for guidance. First John 5 says God hears and grants our petitions when they align with His will (1 John 5:14-15). When believers yield themselves to Him, they’ll find their way to the right request and the best possible answer.
Most of the time, God guides believers to an answer through His Word, which is why I encourage meditation upon Scripture (Ps. 119:105). Our reading may take us to a chapter that deals with our very situation or to a passage containing an applicable principle. At times the crystal-clear message God speaks to one person’s heart is something no one else would glean from that particular passage. The key is to believe that the Lord will guide you, and to live out that faith (Mark 11:24).
Waiting is important, as the process of seeking guidance can often be slow, and running ahead or manipulating circumstances can be a costly mistake. The omniscient Sovereign of the universe acts on behalf of those who wait for Him (Isa. 64:4). So seek direction and you will receive it—that’s a promise.