"For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end." (Psalm 48:14 NIV)
When God's chosen people first set out on their journey of freedom away from the Egyptians, Yahweh provided divine GPS via a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Sometimes I long for God's leading today to be as obvious and unmistakable as those pillars. Yet what He provides now is so much better, because that ancient guidance was for a specific group of people at a specific time, whereas His present guidance is for all people, at any time.
Over the course of my life, I've collected a few stepping stones to help me try to figure out if my Guide is leading me down a certain path. This is not some express highway of decision-making, but maybe it will provide a little sure footing for your journey, too.
A ~ Ask God what He thinks. This is otherwise known as prayer, and I know it's an obvious stone to start with, but you might be surprised at the number of journeys I've started off on in my life without consulting God first.
B ~ Be aware of holy nudges. These are those little Holy Spirit twinges in your mind or that emotional sore tooth that keeps pinging, either steering you further down a path or halting you before you take another step.
C ~ Carefully consider God's Word on the matter. The antiquity of Scripture does not diminish its present authority or applicability.
D ~ Draw from the wisdom of careful counselors. Mature friends of faith, trustworthy clergy members, teachers of truth...God can use all these human pillars to lead us along.
E ~ Expect God's confirmation. Our loving Guide wants us to know His will. It's not as if He's clutching it to Himself, shrouding it from us and hoping we won't guess what it is. Earnestly seek His direction—and then wait in confident expectation that He will give it.
"Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before" (Joshua 3:4 NIV).