Does your plan match God’s revealed moral will in the Bible? For example, you are single and wish to be married. Your intended shows spiritual interest and is morally upright. Still the Bible forbids what is called unequal yoking with a non-believer. It is time to stop the romantic attachment until there is true conversion, water baptism and full engagement with discipleship and the life of the church. Similar answers can be found regarding spending, debt, use of time, family choices and even career choices. If you read the scriptures you will grow in wisdom.
Do circumstances encourage your choice? The sovereignty of God directs the swirl of circumstances of your life. For example: You have a sense you are to move to Syria and work as a missionary, you are certain you heard God’s voice as well as visit from a technicolor angel. Sadly you do not speak Arabic, the county will not permit you entry, you have no visible means of support, your church pretty much thinks you’re nuts and your pastor has said you possess no discernible qualifications for ministry. Perhaps too much stock in these flashes of “revelation”.
Does trusted counsel affirm your intended direction? Pastors, elders, trusted colleagues, wise friends confirm your choices. Do they express caution or alarm? If you have no spiritual advisors who truly know you then it is time to deepen connections with a robust, relationally and gospel driven congregation that embraces discipleship and oversight. Become a member, invite responsible people to speak into your life and plan for long term commitment.
Are there marks of God orchestrated confirmations? Prophetic words, dreams, visions and well placed exhortations may or may not come. None of these are authoritative by themselves but are useful markers and signposts. The Apostle Paul had the vision of the man from Macedonia saying “come here and help us.” Before I started church planting my most recent church in 2011 I visited a church that was known for its well tested prophetic ministry. After the service a prayer team, all strangers, had a prophetic word that I was called to apostolic work and with it church planting. I have also seen times when someone received a prophetic word or some other directional cue but rejected trusted counsel and headed in a direction that was not helpful to them. A valid word? Perhaps. Bad timing? For certain.
About The Author
Joseph Horevay became a Christ follower in 1972 in the Jesus Movement. He soon entered youth ministry, Christian broadcasting and later church planting and pastoral ministry. First ordained in 1982 he has participated in missions work, church planting and leadership development on four continents. Joseph and his lovely wife Renee are co-founders of NEO House Church Network, a network of micro-churches affiliated with the Christian & Missionary Alliance.They actively focus on the emergence of the “Church of the city” as an expression of John 17 and developing a sustainable indigenous missions presence in Nepal. Joseph is the father of four and a grandfather to seven.