How To Be Led By God

young man with hand on chin thinking about how to be led by God

We all have a similar question at times in life; What is the point of this life? As we go from situation to situation, we form habits, beliefs, and characteristics. As these develop in us, they will play a large role in future decisions and actions. But for many, the results come up short. Eventually, we can get to a point where we’ve made so many poor choices that it all seems pointless.

God’s plan for us isn’t to spend all our time living in poor circumstances. He created us with so much potential, yet without God in our lives, we often fail to reach that potential. Some people get to the top of their jobs at the cost of family; some people build a great family at the cost of minimal achievements and success. It seems that no matter what we try, we end up feeling like we fall short and that we’ve failed in some area or another.

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Being led by God is a sure way to make good choices and to live a fulfilling life. I personally have tried to do life on my own, apart from God, for so many years only to keep ending up at the drawing board. When I finally surrendered and gave control to God, He came in and started giving me purpose.

Related: What Does It Mean To Surrender To God?

This didn’t result in immediate success, but rather, it resulted in a new way of doing things. Now, instead of waking up and kicking around throughout the day, I seek God and I get direction for my day. Now, instead of making quick choices that lead to negative consequences, I am learning to pray to God about things and then patiently wait for His response.

God wants us to move from our understanding to His

It can seem impossible to bring a situation to God in prayer and then leave it with Him. The Word of God teaches us to do this and to trust that God is handling it while we go about living well. I personally have struggled to be in the midst of an undesirable situation while trying to trust that God has everything under control; anyone else ever struggle here?

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall [a]direct your paths.”
Proverbs 20:24
“A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?”

But this is what God wants us to do. He wants us to take a chance on Him. He wants us to bring our worst situations to Him so that we can be released from them. What does that even mean; released?

When we trust God with something, we are effectively saying to Him; “I am bringing this problem to you, God, because this is more than I can handle. I know that you have a plan for me, and your plans always work out. I trust you to turn this into good for me.” After saying this, we are then free to go about our day, not in worry and fear and stress, but in peace and joy and productivity.

When we give something to the Lord, we are then required to leave it with Him and stop thinking about it. Trying to train our minds to do this is difficult; especially, with the enemy always putting thoughts of doubt and negativity into our heads. But this is when we must learn to rebuke the devil and send him away. This is when we must have a discerning spirit in us that can take every thought captive and separate the good from bad and discard the bad.

God leads us when we read the bible

Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”

One thing I’m guilty of is asking God to speak to me, then getting frustrated when He doesn’t break out into immediate audible communication. Of course, most of us know that the way God speaks is through His Word in the bible and also through our thoughts and inner feelings. God lives in us. He is always with us prompting us to do good and to stay out of evil and danger.

We can get to a point where we are so busy in body and mind that we have a hard time hearing Him speak to us. This is why we are encouraged to take time each day, preferably in the morning, as God loves first-fruits, and read the bible and pray.

In this time of solitude with the Lord, choose a section of the bible to read and take your time. It is better to spend 15 minutes reading one paragraph and seeking understanding from God about that paragraph then it is to read 3 chapters and walk away not knowing anything more.

We build our relationship with God through quality time with God. I have said before that God isn’t concerned with us reading the bible in a year; God is concerned with us understanding what we read and being renewed in our minds through this. God is always concerned with our character and inner condition.

If we are struggling with fear, then the wise thing to do is to search our verses about fear in the bible. Most bibles contain a concordance in the back where it lists many terms and the associated Scripture. Reading 2 or 3 verses about fear, writing them down, praying about them, and re-reading them throughout the day will be the most beneficial; much more than reading 3 chapters about the design of the tabernacle in the Old Testament (God wants us to read about that, too, but inner condition is most important).

God leads us when we pray to Him

Romans 8:26
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [a]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Sometimes when I kneel down to pray, I say a few things, then my mind starts to draw a blank. Sometimes I just sit there quietly before God, in full surrender, and I ask Him what I should pray for. When I do this, it often isn’t long before my mind is flooded with thoughts of people and places and situations and laws and all sorts of things. Generally, when I pray about what I can think of, it seems to be things that relate to me; when I ask God what I should pray about, thoughts of everything but me come to mind.

But this is true of God; He is all about selflessness. He is a character of generosity, of love, of courtesy, of grace. He wants us to be the same. His greatest command for us is to love others because love conquers everything. When we pray, He wants us to show that we love others by praying for others. Of course, He wants us to pray about our needs to be met and how we should deal with various decisions, but He doesn’t want us to get stuck there.

We can ask God for direction in our lives when we pray. Throughout the day, we must then bring every decision to God and seek wisdom about it. Not every decision is life-changing, but many small decisions can add up and have big impacts on our life. So, we must learn to seek God in everything, and we must learn to be patient and not rush into things.

Change takes place over time

We can start to seek God’s direction in our life, but it often happens over time. As we give God time to work things out for us, He will. But this usually takes time. If we need to be led in a decision that has a timeline, we can still come to God in prayer and we can read His Word. In a situation like this where the decision may have large impacts on life, we are wise to first, consult God, and second, seek out wise counsel.

Who is wise council? These are leaders in the church. When the bible says wise council, it’s talking about elders who are led by the Spirit of God. Putting big decisions on hold for as long as possible while seeking out wise counsel is the way to live a life of positive results.

So, over time, we develop a character who knows how to trust God; a character who reads the bible and prays and waits patiently on the Lord. For this character, God will move mountains. When we walk with God each day, we will start to see how He’s working in our lives. We will start seeing opportunities open, we will meet certain individuals who are like open doors, and we will succeed in conditions where others are failing.

Part of maturing in Christ is paying attention to the changes and keeping focus on the promptings of God. It’s through these promptings and our obedience to them that new and interesting circumstances take root. If we just sit around and ignore any promptings from God, we can easily anticipate the outcome. However, God will move us into unique and interesting journeys that are both fulfilling and rewarding, but we must surrender to Him and seek Him each day in all we do.

Related: What Does It Mean To Be A Mature Believer?

We must be willing to do what He’s asking us to do, even if we get a bunch of thoughts of fear. Remember, God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).


Being led by God requires us to surrender to God. It means that we must be willing to start our day with Him in mind and to go to Him in prayer and ask Him, “Lord, what would you have me do today or in this situation or that?”

When we give God the chance to work in our life, He will. But if we allow ourselves to get too busy and we don’t spend any time with Him, He will also allow us to live how we choose and reap the results from those choices.

A vital step to being led by God is that we learn to be obedient to His voice in us. Even if we don’t necessarily know how to determine if it’s Him talking to us or not, we can at least understand that His character is based on love and helping others and building up others. It’s also based on doing right and avoiding anything that is evil or sinful.

If your thoughts are prompting you to give to someone, to help someone, to pray for someone, or to do something that will improve your relationship with God, then you can quite safely move forward with these knowing that they align with the character of God, which is the character God wants each of us to develop. If the thought will result in negative consequences, hurt feelings, danger, damage, or evil, you can be sure that these do not align with God’s character, and these should be avoided.

Being led by God starts with getting to know Him!

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.

Take care!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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