When We Don’t Know What To Do

So many voices are loud in this season: voices of experts, studies, conflicting data, yet the Lord often speaks in a still, small voice. How do you set your heart to seek the Lord in the midst of so many other louder voices?


Susan O'Brien

Spiritual Director



What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

When Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah was faced with the threat of battle from the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites, he made an important decision as a leader. 2 Chronicles 20:3 states, “Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” Instead of studying the enemy, hyper-focusing on his fear, or calling the war experts, he sought the Lord.

Set your heart to seek the Lord.

I am writing this during the COVID-pandemic when the enemy isn’t a group of people, but an invisible virus. So many voices are loud in this season: voices of experts, studies, conflicting data, yet the Lord often speaks in a still, small voice. How do you set your heart to seek the Lord in the midst of so many other louder voices?

Ideas:

  • Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and sit in silence.
  • Choose a verse to contemplate for an entire day.
  • Try a devotional app.
  • Remember what you did when you first fell in love with Jesus? Schedule a time to do that this week.

Remember God’s power and promises.

As the king assembled all of the cities of Judah to seek the Lord, he stood in the temple and prayed. He acknowledged God’s power. He reminded God of how He saved them before, how He promised Solomon that if they cried out to God, humbled themselves, and prayed that God would heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). What do you need to remember about God in this season of your life?

Ideas:

  • Search the Scriptures for God’s promises about your current circumstances.
  • Write down a few promises from God and place them in prominent places in your home.
  • Spend some time naming aloud who God is.
  • Make a book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16) of all the ways that God has been present to you in your life.

Keep your eyes on the Lord.

My favorite verse of this story is 2 Chronicles 20:12, “O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you.” What a wonderful prayer! How do you keep your eyes on the Lord when you don’t know what to do?

Ideas:

  • Notice what you look at most of the day. Pay attention to how you feel after looking at certain things.
  • Ponder that the Lord is looking on you in love.
  • As you read the news, listen to podcasts, watch shows, ask the Lord what He thinks about those things.
  • Set a timer on your phone to remind you to pray.
  • Make a list of areas in your life that you don’t know what to do. Read them before the Lord and watch what He does throughout the day.

Wait for the Lord.

Meanwhile, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel to give very specific instructions of what to do next. The Lord told them that they wouldn’t need to fight this battle, but hold their position and see the salvation of the Lord on their behalf. Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to believe, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord. What are some ways that you can wait for the Lord?

Ideas:

  • Sit in the presence of the Lord simply waiting.
  • Ask someone to pray with you and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be saying.
  • Practice patience (i.e. choose the slow shipping speed for online orders).
  • Pay attention to how God is working in and around you.

Believe, give thanks, and praise the Lord.

Early the next morning, Jehoshaphat encouraged all of Judah to, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed” (2 Chronicles 20:20). He then appointed those to sing and praise the Lord as they went before the army. How do you worship the Lord in the midst of uncertainty?

Ideas:

  • Read a book or talk to people that will boost your faith.
  • Create a list of 5 things that you are thankful for each day.
  • Sing to the Lord.
  • Make a playlist of your songs that make you feel a sense of God’s love. Listen to it throughout your week.
  • Write a song of praise or lament to the Lord.
  • Read an ancient written prayer aloud.

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Susan O’Brien is a spiritual director who works with people to become more aware of God’s presence in their lives. She received her certification through the Institute of Christian Spirituality at Lipscomb University and also holds a Bachelor of Theology from Point University. She believes that God is working in every person that she encounters. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Mike & 8-year-old son, Ezekiel. When she isn’t doing spiritual direction, homeschooling her son or teaching piano lessons, she likes spending time in her rocking chair.