Here are four signs that God is pushing you into something much better.
When things start falling apart, possibly because you and I are doing something contrary to God’s will, He will gently nudge us with a bit of correction. The correction might come in the form of a job loss, a pay cut, or some unforeseen circumstances that nearly breaks your bank, however God isn’t going to leave you or forsake you (Heb 13:5), but He does discipline every son or daughter He loves (Heb 12:6). This correction could bring you into a different direction…and a much better one at that. If we are left to ourselves and without discipline, then we are not a child of God, so see God’s correction and being His affection.
When God rebukes or corrects us to direct us, He doesn’t leave us directionless. If we are walking with God, we are more likely to see the path that He has for us, and besides, He lights the path by His Word because the Bible acts like a light in the darkness and this can keep us from stumbling (Psalm 119:105). If you have hid God’s Word in your heart, or memorized Scripture (Psalm 119:11), it’s like you’ve got a flash light for every curve in the road and every hazard in the way. Without the guidance of God’s Word, we are depending on ourselves. It’s like taking a long journey without a map, GPS, or smart phone to a place you’ve never been, however, if you abide in Christ and in His Word, you can ask for anything within God’s will (John 15:4-5, 7), including directions on the path of life. When God corrects you, He also directs you, and directs you into something better. We know that God works all things together for our very best and it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad (Rom 8:28)
The Bible teaches us to examine ourselves to see if we’re really in the faith (2nd Cor 13:5). A little self-examination never hurt anybody. The interesting thing is, when you examine the Word of God, the Word of God examines you, and if you’re like me, you are found wanting. If God is giving you a greater hunger for the Word of God, and it’s like you can’t get enough of it, He may be pushing you into some sort of teaching ministry. That hunger and thirst for God’s Word is not from a human source, because none of us seek God on our own (Rom 3:11); it is God Who seeks us (John 6:44), so if you want to inspect yourself, inspect the Word of God because it will inspect you. Perhaps it will reveal something better that God desires for your life.
If God sees that you’re about to hurt yourself, then He might move things around in your life to get you out of that situation, whether it’s a job or in a relationship. God may be pushing you, or prompting you, by His Sprit, to change things. The Spirit of God knows what is best for us, better than we do ourselves, so try to listen to the Spirit’s prompting of His telling you to do something or to stop doing something. God may be pushing you out of or into a situation for your own benefit. That’s certainly something better and certainly something to think about.
After a cousin of mine passed away, everyone could see how hard her grandchildren took, and so I spoke with them about their grief. Of course I can’t take it away…only God can comfort them in His way and time will help some, but really, you never get over the death of someone you loved. What might help is the fact that we will see them again. We have a hope in a future where all our lost loved ones who trusted in Christ will be waiting for us. That’s something you can reflect on. God is a God of hope, so for these grandchildren, it’s not goodbye, but see you later.
When a friend of mine said he was praying for patience, I thought, “Uh oh…wonder what’s next?” Sure enough, the man had a rough couple of weeks, but after the brief chaos was over in his life, I asked him, “Do you have more patience now?” He laughed…and said, “Yes.” When we see trials as a means that God uses to refine us like gold passing through the fire, our perspective will change, and we can learn to be content, which is what Paul had to do. And since Paul had great suffering, he had lots of opportunities to practice patience and contentment.
God’s desire is for us to know Christ better, and that should be our desire too, but how can we know Him better? The Apostle Paul gives us some help. He wrote, “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (2nd Cor 1:5). The more you know of Christ and His sufferings (Isaiah 53), the more you’ll know about Him, and the more you get to know Him, the more you’ll love Him, so God wants something better for us, and that is a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, which also gives you that same relationship with the Father, for whoever loves the Son, loves the Father.
God can use correction, direction, inspection, for our protection, and for our reflection, as He’s working us toward perfection, and that “push” sometimes hurts, but God’s corrections are done from affection. The trials of life work together and move us forward in sanctification, and becoming more Christ-like. Can we learn to praise Him in the storm, in the uncertain future, and when we’re being pushed outside of our comfort zone? I say, “Yes!” He is a God whom we can trust because only He can see around the blind corners of time. What He does in our lives may not always feel “better,” but we know that God doesn’t make mistakes. All we can do is obey His Word, trust in God, and then leave everything else up to Him..