Psalm 143:8 – “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.”
I read a story some time ago about a minister who received a call from a church that offered him a salary four times what he was then receiving. Being a sincere man, he spent much time in prayer trying to discern what God wanted him to do. One day a friend met the minister’s young son on the road and he asked him, “Do you know what your father is going to do?” The son replied, “Well, father is praying, mother is packing.” The father was sincerely seeking to know the will of God whereas the mother was saying to God, “This is what I am going to do. I hope You will approve.”
Many Christians are like that. They desire to know God’s will for their lives but really mean something different. Though they desire the benefits of peace and joy which come through being where God wants them to be, they are really holding out their own plans for God’s approval. They have not actually come to the point of total surrender, which often comes through great struggle. This type of total surrender is seen in the words of Jesus, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
We need not think that the path of God’s will is always rough or unpleasant, and always contrary to our natural desires. But the question that we need to grapple with before we can go forward is: Do I really want to know God’s will? And am I willing to do it no matter what? Or am I merely seeking His approval and blessing on my own plans? If we truly desire what He wants, we will be more concerned with praying first than packing.