EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)-- God loves to do astounding things. Most of the time, they are in response to the prayers of His people. Throughout my years as a pastor, a number of people have come to me for counsel on how to find the direction God has set forward for their life. I have to admit, my straightforwardness is not lacking in my response to them: "Have you prayed about it?" More often than not, the reply affirms my suspicions.

Asking God is not only a good place to start, it is the only place to start! I have never understood why anyone would come to me before approaching the Creator of the universe. After all, God has a blueprint plan of our lives, written in the palm of His hand. "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me" (Isaiah 49:16).

The Bible says we do not have because we do not ask. Therefore, if we don't know God's direction in our lives, we simply ought to try asking Him for guidance. By prayerfully seeking direction, surrendering completely to Him, and listening attentively to His will (whatever it may be), what once seemed mysterious and unrecognizable will become amazingly clear. It's like staring a little cross-eyed at one of these two dimensional computer-generated pictures that suddenly leaps out in three dimensions. Suddenly we begin to see things we couldn't see before.

God our Heavenly Father, loving Counselor, peace-giving Friend, and gentle Shepherd is laden with gifts that will change our lives. However, we must be prayerfully attentive to the direction He has for us and to discern the path He has chosen from the one we have chosen for ourselves. When we follow God's will and live according to His divine plan, our perspective shifts. Our vision expands and we begin to look at life not in terms of what we can do, but what God can do through us. We soon realize that nothing can distract, destroy, discourage, disappoint or defeat us when we follow God's direction.

For instance, consider distractions. Isn't that when most of us get lost along the way? We start out to accomplish our purpose, then some other good thing comes along and before we know it, we've taken a left turn, landed just a few degrees off target, and lost the goal completely. But when we keep God's purpose in mind, we are empowered by the Spirit of God to accomplish it.

I submit that when you live according to God's plan, not only can nothing distract you, but also nothing can destroy you. Isn't that exciting? Jesus did not fear destruction because He was on target with His plan. He knew what God had prepared for Him and He lived in the confidence and the courage of that understanding without discouragement.

It is often easy to get discouraged. However, when we focus on God's direction as it is laid before us, we can overcome the urge to flee His plan. By doing so, we won't be disappointed and consequently, by living according to God's plan we will not be defeated.

My friends, it is possible to lock onto the goal and purpose that God has for your life. But it takes fervent prayer and a desire to accept His will, whatever direction that may take, to begin to see His direction. My prayer for you today is that you will become convicted to consistently ask God for His direction in your life. When He shows the path for you to follow, then trust Him and His plan with all your heart. Charge down that path with all you've got. Pursue His will with a passion. You'll quickly find that there's no more fulfilling, peaceful, and thankful place to be in this life than soundly in the center of God's will.

(c) 2010 Baptist Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

David Jeremiah is the founder of the radio and television program "Turning Point for God," and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.