It is one of the most common questions we ask: what do I do?
Often, this question is directed towards God and it is almost always connected to important life choices. Where do I go to school? Should I serve a mission? What career should I pursue? Should I marry this person? We can work ourselves up into a frenzy searching for answers.
We become even more frenzied when it seems heaven is silent. The temptation to ask another question arises: Why does God withhold guidance on the matters which wrench our hearts the most?
The answers to this question are nuanced and multifaceted. Everyone is different and what is needful for one person may be completely different for someone else. However, there is one truth that can applied universally to everyone: God won’t make our decisions for us, no matter how much we may want Him to. At the end of the day, no matter how much guidance or direction we may or may not have received, the decision is still ours.
God will never take away our ability to choose. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation and is a divine gift meant to empower and ennoble us. We need to learn to choose and choose well.
If this sounds daunting, there is another truth that should give us confidence and hope: God will sanctify the decisions we make when we are doing our best. Sanctification is when something is made holy or consecrated to a higher purpose. If we do everything we can to make the right decision, submitting our will to God’s, and acting in faith, God will allow our decision to be used for good.
This doesn’t mean everything will always work out the way we want it. Things may even go wrong. Yet, God will not let us fall from the path or be lost. No matter what happens we will be propelled forward, closer to Him.
We can start today. The more steps we take in faith, the more sure those steps will become. The more sure we become, the more people we will be able to influence and help bring with us. If you are feeling mired in confusion, here are a few ideas of how you can start:
- Study out the consequences of all your possible decisions. What results align most with what you want and what you believe God would want?
- Ask yourself if you don’t like the answer God may be giving you or if you are truly free to choose from many good decisions.
- Pray for the humility to submit your will to God and to develop real intent. God may withhold answers because he know we won’t act on them.
- Begin moving forward in the best direction you can. God is more likely to stop you from doing something wrong than tell you to do right.
- Make a list of things you are grateful and for how God has moved in your life lately. He may be guiding you more than you realize.
God seeks to make us glorious. If our hearts are in the right place and we are earnestly doing our best, he will sanctify us. We should move forward with hope in this promise.