Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)
In your quest to know God’s plan or pattern for you this year, and in your entire decision making, the following practical steps will be very helpful in achieving the objective of discerning the mind of God.
The first thing you should note while preparing to wait on God is that there is no specific number of days you can religiously follow as a time frame for waiting on God, in order to hear from Him. In different instances in the Bible, some waited for days and some got their directions or instructions, instantly. This can both depend on your sensitivity to hearing from God, or how/when God chooses to reveal His mind. But, a simple rule will be to give at least 3 days in seclusion or retreat (it will be good if you can do more because it also refreshes your body and mind).
Below are some practical things you can do to make the most of your time of waiting on God:
Ensure you go to your place of seclusion with a bible and prayerfully study it. Pray before doing so, as God’s Spirit can influence your mind concerning where to read. Remember to take authority over demonic distractions.
Go with messages (or sermons), books and/or materials that speak concerning the matter(s) you need direction about.
Take along something to write with – pen and paper, or an electronic device (having internet access can be dangerously distracting though – BEWARE).
Take time to pray, worship, and listen to your spirit.
Spend a good amount of time thinking, planning and writing…it will shock you how God can guide you through that process, having prayed and quietened your spirit.
By the time you deliberately do all these things, I am sure that God would have made known His mind to you.
Now, if you seem not to be very certain that God has given you clear instructions, you must by faith believe that He has heard your prayers, seen the sacrifice you’ve made to seek His will and that He will in due time, speak to you in His own way. What you do then is, after leaving your place of seclusion, keep talking to God about your need for guidance – as you drive, on your bed, on the plane, in the bathroom, etc., and keep listening in your spirit.
God will supernaturally guide your steps. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ORDERED by the Lord…” He will not let you fall; He wants to lead you, more than you want to be led.
Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 32:8 & I Corinthians 2:9-12
If you have not done so, set out a time where you can go on a retreat to seek God’s face for this year. Ensure to write down the different areas of your life that you will be praying about and seeking God’s guidance in.