Saturday, October 19, 2013

How Can I Know God's Direction For My Life?

I feel that everyone searches for the direction in this life, and they search for it in a variety of ways. Many people search for things that they think can give guidance. They look for things that apply to them in magazines, movies, blogs, books, games, gangs, groups, etc. The thing that I was asked to focus on is direction for our lives from God. How can we know exactly what God wants us to do and how can we recognize when He talks to us? As a missionary I go around and talk to people about God and Jesus Christ. I find that many people do not know how they can personally know how God speaks to them.

To really begin, I need to set something strait. God gave us the scriptures for us to know His will, to teach us things that can help improve our lives. In the scriptures we find patterns of living that we can apply. But, the scriptures were written thousands our years ago. I have found that on occasion that it is difficult to find an answer in the scriptures. We have to remember that with this time gap it is hard for us to understand the language and the culture. Moses may have gone through many similar things that you and I have but he doesn't always write about it, or if he did, it isn't always clear. You cant find a perfect answer for every problem word by word in the scriptures. For example "My bff Jill wants me to come over to her house on Sunday" well you would use the 10 commandments, Keep the Sabbath Day Holy by going to church. That is an easy one, but what if after that your bff Jill asks "cant you miss one Sunday? Why not?" because Jesus said so! But really why? That is a harder question that you may not know an answer for. This is what I want to talk about. All the answers are in the scriptures, you just need to find them. I want to help you know how.

 I want you to do something. Think of a question that you have had. One you have not found an answer to. I am going to help you learn how to find the answer. If we had the answer to every single question, you wouldn't need to learn how but since we don't, lets try it.

Lets begin.

The Light of Christ

The Light of Christ (Alma 28:14) is also known as the Light of Life (John 1:4). But what is it? It is "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."(John 1:9). It is the very thing that tells us right from wrong (Moroni 7:12-19). This is the light given to us when we are born that gives us life, it leads us to the right and distinguishes it from wrong. It is the "Spirit of Christ." This is called your conscience. God gave us this gift when we entered this life and gave us agency to allow us to follow or to ignore our conscience thoughts. This is the first step to answering a question, rely on your inner thoughts and, if it applies, decide if it is right or wrong. You can know the difference, you have that gift to distinguish right from wrong.

The Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit that God sends to us to assist us on this earth. This is the comforter that Jesus promised would teach His followers all things and bring to their remembrance all thing that He had taught them (John 14:26). The Holy Ghost is sent by God to tell us truth, but there are two ways in which the Holy Ghost is manifest, the power and the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
The power of the Holy Ghost can come upon us before baptism. The power of the Holy Ghost convinces us that Jesus is the Christ and that God is our loving Heavenly Father (2 Nephi 31:18). The Power of the Holy Ghost tells us of truth and lets us know if we can trust something (Moroni 10:5). 
However, we cannot receive the fullness of the Holy Ghost until we are baptized by someone with the authority of God given by laying on of hands (Deut 34:9). This is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. John the baptist said that he baptizes with water but Christ gives the Holy Ghost, by fire (Matt 3:11).
The Gift of the Holy Ghost comes when it is given to us. We can feel the spirit before this, but it is temporary and it will leave. But when we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, it can be with us as long as we are worthy.
The Holy Ghost can guide us in what we should do (2 Nephi 32:1-5). He can help us in making decisions and protect us from spiritual and even physical danger by warning us. He speaks to us in a still small voice as he did with Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-12). This voice is there to guide us and to help us, but we can't  hear it if the noise of the world has our attention. He is also known as the Comforter who comes when we need comfort (John 14:26).

How can we use the Holy Ghost in knowing God's direction in our lives? The Holy Ghost will come to those who seek truth. The Lord will send the spirit to help us know if something is true and if our decision is right. We can invite the spirit by a prayer of faith and by reading the scriptures and truly searching after the truth.

Why did I tell you all of that? I did so because I like to share what I know to be true. So I know that if you have a sincere question that you need help answering and you sincerely seek after the answer and study it out and then turn to ask God the Eternal Father in the name of Christ for help and ask Him if your answer is true, He will tell you by the Holy Ghost that it is true (Moroni 10:4). But how can we know if God answers? Paul taught the Galatians in Gal 5:22-23 that the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. So to know if God confirms the truth, you will feel these things. Remember the fruits of the spirit. There are many other ways that God answers through the spirit. If you study it  out you will find it.

Here are a few more scriptures talking about how the Holy Ghost works.
Rom 15:13, Alma 32:28, 1 Cor 2:9-11, Mosiah 5:2-5, John 14:26-27, John 15:26

So lets break everything down.
To receive an answer to a questions, try the following,

1. Pray and ask God for help and pray that the Spirit will guide you to your answer.
2. Read the scriptures and study everything you can to find the answer. (When we want to talk to God we pray, when we want God to talk to us, read the scriptures)
3. Write down your thoughts and take notes.
4. Pray in thanks and ask God if what you wrote is true and He will speak to you if you sincerely seek and ask Him.

I hope that everything I have said will be of help to you in knowing how you can know what God's direction is for you. It is really hard for me to know exactly how to help in your specific circumstance but I know, whatever the question is, you can find an answer in the scriptures! I know that if you follow the 4 steps, you will get your answer and you will feel the spirit of God speaking to you!

Just remember "Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matt 7:7) Amen

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