There’s a road I travel that has one of those speeding signs that posts the speed limit and shows how fast you’re going as you drive by. This one has an extra feature I haven’t seen anywhere else–a thumbs up or thumbs down. The first time I drove past, a giant thumbs up lit up. I immediately grinned, kind of nodding my head, like, that’s right, I got the thumbs up.
Approval. It’s one of our biggest human desires. It’s why all the Apps are designed as they are, to give us little hits of approval and achievement as we go, to keep us scrolling, playing, and clicking away.
I do want approval for lots of things, but mainly, I want Jesus’ approval for how I live my life. And not in an earning points kind of way, like if I volunteer or attend Bible study I’ll get extra stickers on my Jesus chart. He doesn’t look at us like that. No, in a, “Jesus I want to seek you first. I want to follow You, because You always know what’s best and Your ways are better,” way. I want His thumbs up--you can do this. And if it's not the right thing for me, I want His thumbs down, so I don't step into anything that's not where I can best serve Him. We don't need one of these wacky signs to get Jesus' opinion, we just need to ask Him.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
My husband and I are both trying to figure some things out. There are pros and cons no matter what either of us decide. Brett and I both want to do God’s will. So how do we decide if we should move forward or hold back, say yes, or no, speed up or slow down?
We talk to Jesus about it.
It usually happens like this. Brett and I are on a walk or sitting on our porch talking, and as we’re processing we share a decision we’re trying to make, that it’s been in the back of our mind for an hour or day or week and we haven’t put much focus on it. But now that we’re talking…hmmm. One of us tells the other we’ll be praying for their decision, and then we usually just start praying out loud, because why would we wait? And then we’ll both keep praying for our own decisions and the other person’s decisions in our personal prayer times.
Because Jesus asks us to seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). To follow Him (John 8:12). To listen to His voice (John 10:27). And when we do, He promises us all kinds of good things, an abundant life (John 10:10), the light of life. Which is way better than a thumbs up.
Asking Jesus is the first step, then we need to actually look at the signs, not the kinds that light up on the road, but the signs God gives us. Is He giving us a thumbs up or down? How do you know?
Read the Bible and keep your eyes open for something that speaks to your question (Not sure where to start in reading the Bible? I have a free guide here). Have someone who loves both Jesus and you be praying for you and your decision. Ask them to let you know if they hear anything. Be alert to the things around you–a song you hear, a conversation with a friend, something you read, a podcast you listen to–that confirms what you should do one way or the other. I’ll often get a tug in my heart. Sometimes it’s an almost sick feeling, a nope, that is not a good idea feeling. Thumbs down. Other times it’s a yearning, an ache, like I really need to do that thing. Thumbs up.
God has all kinds of amazing things in store for us. He will guide us to what and when they are if we ask Him.
I find I rarely get answers as quickly as I’d like, but I always do get answers from God. During the waiting we can prepare for the answer.
Trying to figure out if you should switch jobs? You could update your resume and Linked In profile and see who’s hiring in your line of work while you’re seeking an answer from the Lord. Wondering if you should move? You could search homes in the area you’re considering moving to and talk to anyone you might know in that town. Trying to decide if you should take some classes in something you’re passionate about. Check out which classes are available. When? How much do they cost?
And when the time is right, Jesus will let us know if it’s time to slow down, drop that idea all together, or speed up. He wants what’s best for us, so He’ll show us the way.
What are you seeking God’s direction on? Leave a comment. I’d love to pray for your discernment. And if this spoke to you, share with a friend :)
Don’t forget to seek answers in God’s Living Word, the Bible. Here’s a FREE guide to get you started.
For more inspiration find me on Facebook and Instagram
Laura L. Smith