How To Receive A Prompting From God? (And What To Do And Not Do After That)
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 says, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Let’s break down that bolded phrase a bit.
It implies that all believers should be prompted to do good things!
There are two kinds of good “things” our faith should prompt us to do.
1. General things — these are for all believers and include practices like:
Spending time with God regularly, reading His word, reflecting, and prayer (James 1:22)
Forgiving others as we have been forgiven (Matthew 6:12, 15)
Loving others in a way that the world will see a difference (Romans 12:9, 1 Corinthians 13)
Being joyful in our journey (James 1:2)
2. Personal things — these are unique to the individual as God guides them. For instance:
Walking in unique gifting — Romans 12 talks about how we are each a different part of the body of Christ, and we each have different gifts. What is your gift? Are you walking it out?
Specific requests — Ephesians 2:10 says God planned good works in advance for us. What has he put as a passion in your heart? What is he asking you to do?
There are universal obedience prompts that we all need to heed, but then there are unique personal prompts.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
Some scholars believe that this verse actually means that God will plant desires in our hearts to do. Let’s face it. We can’t do all the things.
I can’t work abroad and in PA at the same time, even though I have concerns for other countries.
I can’t give the same attention to every worthy cause like ending abortion and sex trafficking, homelessness, ending hunger domestically and abroad, helping people get out of addictions, finding inner healing, caring for children in need, and so many more.
That’s why God has each of us on a personal journey.
So, where do you start?
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Make sure you regularly read God’s Word and let it read you!
Pastor Matt encourages us all to have these spiritual practices:
Engage with the words of Jesus regularly by reading scripture. You can read through one book over and over till you “get” it in your heart. You can read a psalm and or proverb each day. You can read through the whole Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your reading!
Set aside a few minutes each day in prayer and reflection. Reflect on what you read. Ask God what he wants to highlight for you and how you could respond. Ask if there are any general prompts you need to hear. Listen to your heart for a passion area where you can make a difference. If you already have that area, ask him for your next steps.
Examine the fruit of your own life. Not sure what “fruit” actually is? Do a little study on the word “fruit.”
The bottom line is that we are all on a journey. If you are unsure what God is prompting you to do, maybe it’s time to get back on the path and let God guide your next steps.
One more thing, once you have a personal prompting and you have that passion area you feel led to invest in, be careful to actually invest in it personally. It can be easy to shift your focus and try to get others excited, or even burdened, about the importance of what God put on your heart. That is often sideways energy. Trying to get others to do what you feel called to doesn’t really affect the change you are called to be.
Instead, get curious and then excited about what God has for you, and then take a step toward engaging in what he has put on your heart.
If each of us were the embodiment of the body of Christ that we are meant to be, the world would see Jesus more and more!
“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13