I have two children, ages 7 and 2. They are both getting to or are at the age where we have expectations for them, and we give them instructions. Jaxon (2 years old) doesn’t get too many detailed instructions, and he certainly doesn’t get lists of instructions. Jakob, though, is to the point where he gets lists of instructions. When it’s bed time, we tell him to go put on his pajamas, use the bathroom, and brush his teeth. Then we double check and make sure he actually went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth, because he’s a seven-year old boy that needs reminding.
Sometimes in the course of giving them instructions, we will give them a single instruction, followed by, “and then come back and see me.” This way, they do not forget the list, or they can fully concentrate on step one. When they are finished, we give them the next thing we want them to do. But if step one was to clean up all the toys in the living room, and we look and still see toys on the floor, we don’t give them the next step. We remind them to go do step one.
It isn’t uncommon for me to meet with someone from church that wants to hear from God. They want God to show them what to do next, and they’re not sure how to hear Him. They want to do whatever He has planned for them, but they’re waiting to hear. I have also been in this situation of wanting to hear and waiting for God to say something. I have earnestly sought Him, and I wasn’t hearing. I have been in the same situation many Christians find themselves, and even though it has been frustrating, I have learned the importance of doing step one.
There have been times when I’ve been waiting on God to show me the next step, only to realize I hadn’t done the last step He had called me to take. Once I took that step, and sought God, He showed me the next thing I should do. I suppose there are times when God doesn’t see fit to give us the next step when we haven’t even taken the first step He’s asked us to take.
If you are holding out and waiting to hear from God, and you’re frustrated that you’re not hearing anything, I encourage you to pray. Ask God, “Is there something You have already told me to do that I have not followed? Is there something in your Word that I’m neglecting?” Find step one. Do step one. Then seek God and see about step two.