if you’re looking for a sign, this isn’t it

I’m sure we have all seen something like this. Whether it be an Instagram post or something on Pinterest, I’m confident we have seen something along these lines.

I guess I have a different outlook on this saying because I completely disagree. If you’re looking for a sign, this is not it.

I say this for a few reasons but the biggest two being that as believers can ask God for discernment and that things like this mean we are walking in faith in who we are and not who God is.

Let’s say I want to move to Houston so, I start doing research on the job market. Maybe I start looking into different apartment complexes or even into buying a home/condo. If a few weeks later I see someone saying something to the effect of ‘this is your sign’ and their caption really seems to fit my situation, should I just pack up everything and move to Houston?

Uhm no.

Did I pray on this? Or did I just decide that I wanted to move with no divine stamp of approval?

You see, if I do not have a strong connection to God I can take any ole sign as ‘divine’ reason to just move into what I want. If I don’t communicate with God daily, seek His voice, and trust His will in my life, I will be swayed by every ‘good’ opportunity that blows my way. If my will becomes stronger than His voice, I will just end up superimposing His ‘approval’ on my desires and wants.

I am in the midst of some changes (I’ll share once they are final) and I recently ran into a snafu. I was expecting one result but got another. I knew that I, despite the negative result, really walked in faith because of my reaction.

I didn’t really get mad about the outcome because I wasn’t relying on myself to work it out. I relied on God the entire time. Sure I was a bit upset but I pressed deeper into God because I know that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord (Romans 8:28 NIV).

Now this brings us to an interesting place. What if you did pray and spend a LOT of time consulting with God but the plan didn’t work out the way you anticipated? Were you wrong? Did you move outside of God’s will?

Well in my experience, not necessarily! You can feel God moving you in a certain direction or hear Him telling you to take a step and it still not work according to the way you anticipated because as Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us, God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our own!

So even though they passed you over, maybe God really did tell you to apply for that job because He knew that your resume would pass the desk of someone who could put your name in the running for an even better position. Even though you hate this job and you truly feel God leading you to another position, maybe God told you to stay for the time being because He knew that quitting now would mean a month with no income.

I’ve had to learn how to accept God’s plan in every single circumstance, even when it makes no sense. This means that I had to check myself and stop looking to the success stories of others for my plan.

As y’all know, Jonathan McReynolds is my favorite gospel singer. What y’all don’t know however is that I have always wanted to play the guitar (Carlos Santana inspired me as a preschooler to one day pick up this beautiful instrument). My parents bought me a cheap little guitar in high school and I quickly grew discouraged at the lack of progress I saw in my abilities.

Now, let’s say I buy a beginner guitar and start to teach myself how to play. If I compared my progress to Jonathan or even Carlos, I would be quickly discouraged. Why? These men have had years to hone their craft!

If this scenario makes sense, why can’t we apply that same logic to our trust in God? Every ‘sign’ cannot be the one I’m looking for because God moves in everyone’s life according to the time that He needs something to happen. If I jump to a new job, move to a new state or pick up the guitar because of someone else’s success, I may run into way more issues than I anticipated. I may not experience the same success that they did because I tried to plan my life according to my abilities and based on someone else’s faith.

Scripture shows time and time again that taking my future into my own hands isn’t exactly the best idea. Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) is my favorite verse when discussing this topic. It reads, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

God literally already has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11), how much are you delaying His plan by looking for signs from anything and everyone but Him?

I encourage you to spend more time with Him so that you can really hear the quiet whisper of His heart. God doesn’t always speak loudly and He rarely shows you the end result. God either shows you the mountain top and not the path or He shows you the path and not the mountain top (Crazy Faith \\ Crazy Faith – Mike Todd).

Trust Him to get to that place and He will reveal to you the sign that is needed to walk into the next stage of your life.

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