When I was a child I remember my family visiting another family in the church after the Sunday evening service. At some point we the children decided to have fun. The game was to see how long we could spin around in circles without stopping. At that age, I was not exactly into losing and I was not merely into winning. I wanted to win the contest with authority. If I remember correctly we used a timer and I finally stopped at 10 minutes. Yes, you read that right 10 minutes! I won, but trust me I never have and never will do such a thing again. I really do not remember much else of that evening other than the fact that I did not feel like I was in my own body and there was complete confusion in my head.
Do you ever feel that way about your life? Do you need to make decisions, but you are confused and it feels like your heart has been spinning in circles for well past 10 minutes? Recently I was reading Psalm 25 and came across a verse that helps us when we are in those kinds of situations. What do you do when you need to make decisions, but your heart seems out of order and confused? What happens when you do not feel like you can tell your left from right spiritually?
Spiritual confusion is not of the Lord. There are multiple places in Scripture where we are told that we can live with clarity and confidence. I want to point to three such passages and three principles from those passages that counsel us on what to do when we sense a spiritual confusion as we attempt to make decisions in our lives.
First, those who fear the Lord can live with spiritual clarity and confidence because the Lord instructs them in the way they should choose:
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (Psalm 25:12)
No doubt, this is fundamentally a description of every true believer. All true believers fear the Lord. However, when true believers falter in fearing the Lord as they should during a stretch of their walk with the Lord, His instruction to them is received in a fog. There is confusion. Are you in spiritual fog right now? Are you finding it difficult to make decisions with clarity and confidence? If so, examine whether or not you are truly fearing God in the circumstances surrounding that decision or in your life generally at this moment.
Second, those who trust in the Lord can live with spiritual clarity and confidence because the Lord will make their paths straight.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Often it is helpful to understand a Biblical concept by understanding its opposite. If we are not trusting the Lord then we are trusting ourselves. That is why Proverbs 3:5 says “And do not lean on your own understanding.” Spiritual confusion always comes when we are leaning on our own thinking rather than on the Lord’s through His Word. We trust God when we take His Word (His perfect understanding) as the pure truth upon which to build our lives. Those who trust in God are people who are growing in their acknowledging of Him in all their ways. Are you in a spiritual fog right now and tentative about decisions you need to make? Well, have you compartmentalized your walk with the Lord? What parts of your life right now are you not acknowledging God in? In those areas you are trusting in yourself rather than God and confusion will always be the result. But if you trust in God then your path will be made straight. In other words, He will give you spiritual clarity and confident living as you trust in Him.
Third, those who are being transformed by the renewing of their minds are able to prove or discern the will of God.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2)
As the Spirit of God takes God’s Word and transforms our thinking, our value system and priorities are increasingly changed to be like those of Christ’s. In other words, as our minds are renewed with God’s Word by the Spirit we are not being conformed to this world and the result of that is a discernment about God’s will. The will of God in this text does not refer to exactly what you should do next, but to what God’s moral will is about what you do. In other words, as your mind is renewed with God’s truth you are able to rightly discern how God’s Word applies to the choices you make. Though this does not tell you exactly what choice to make, it does help you to have spiritual clarity and the confidence to live and make choices within the revealed will of God. As our minds are being renewed we are not double minded and we increasingly understand how God’s truth applies to every area of our lives.
So do you want to live with spiritual clarity and have a biblical confidence about the choices you make? Then by virtue of your faith in Jesus Christ and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, fear God, trust Him, and be transformed by the renewal of your mind. If by God’s grace these things are happening in your heart, then you will be instructed in His way, your paths will be made straight and you will be able to discern the will of God which is good and acceptable and perfect.