Why can't God just tell me what he wants of me?

Okay, so i’ve struggled lately as far as my vocation is concerned. Being a young man, I don’t know where i’m really going or what i’m called to, though I do have my preferrences. However, even if I want to say get married, people tell me that just because I want it doesn’t mean that God wants it. Anyway, why can’t God just tell me what he wants from me?

I know he does tell us what to do in the sense of what’s right and wrong and uses scripture to do this, but why can’t he just talk to me in a clear voice and tell me what to do. If he can do it for some old man in the desert and tell him to free his people, or appear to some poor girl in Judea and make her the mother of God, why can’t he just tell me what to do with my life as far as my vocation goes? I know its selfish, but all I need is just one clear sign or something to point me in the right direction, and yet I don’t get anything. Do I just need to pray harder or something?

He can. Therefore, we can only imagine that he doesn’t want to or that it is better for us to struggle to hear him?

Moses wasn’t just some old man. He is a really, really special man. And Mary wasn’t just any young girl. She was super-special, too. They were very holy and carefully chosen to be the recipients of that very close relationship. The rest of us just have to muddle along.

I think maybe God speaks very softly and rarely so we are forced to get very close to Him, over and over in order to hear Himwe can hear Him. He doesn’t want mere obedience - He wants us to come close and listen and commune with Him. He wants us to practice prayer. Over time we learn to not read our own desires or wants into what He is telling us. It is a slow art. Sometimes we “think” we know what God wants us to do, and it is only by acting on that and finding out how wrong we are in our assumptions that we learn to distinguish His voice from the other voices in our head.

And it is totally normal to be frustrated about this when you are young. It is something we all go through and we learn from this, as well.

I think it is WONDERFUL that you, a young person, even cares what God wants to do in your life. Just hang onto that - it is precious. If you get frustrated, just share that with Him. Here is an old stand-by prayer of mine (pardon the frank language, but I never gussy up my speech with God), “Lord, just what the hell do you want me to do? You know I can be thick-headed and dumber than dirt so could you can the ‘still small voice’ here and maybe just drop a billboard on my head?”

But be careful with that prayer. He has been known to drop some pretty heavy billboards on my head to get my attention.

God bless!


Not only do I agree that God can tell you what he wants, I would go a step further and say: maybe he is. Maybe you just don’t hear him.

A personal example is this, when I was 23 I wondered about being a priest, but like you, I wasn’t certian. I decieded to join the Francsican Mission Service which sent lay people to 3rd world countries. I was sent to Managua, Nicaragua, and it was a mistake. The fact is that I was attracted to a certian gal, who I later married. I think it’s easy to add up that the priesthood was not my calling. In hindsight, I realized that I never want to live alone without a woman as my partner. Bear in mind, I’m not even refering to sex. I just enjoy having someone to be with as it gives me a sense of security, as I find it easier to open up and talk to them then guys.

With more thoughts on the matter, I fully realized that I would be a rotten priest. Hopefully this can help you out.

Don’t bite my head off like you have before, but this is a test so you can learn to trust Him.

Sometimes while we are listening for a word, God is giving us a sign.

I wanted to live in Australia when I was 40, but every job I took folded under me - so I went back to New Zealand with my tail between my legs - and got a brilliant job almost immediately. I was needed in the other country - my family needed me a few months after I returned.

18 years later, after my mother died and my children were all grown up and in their late 30s and didnt need me any more, I returned to Australia, and my life has been one happiness after another. Everything I wanted the first time I now have.

Sometimes the answer is not NO, it is NOT YET.

I found that the best thing to do, when trying to discern God’s will, is to start moving in a likely direction - It is easier for God to direct you when you are moving, rather than when you are standing still. A bit like pushing a car!! Even if he pushes you into reverse, at least you are showing willing by doing something.

I have felt the same way. I feel God does give me an answer through prayer, signs,
and other means however it’s not always in the time frame I hope.
I pray for patience and understanding during times of frustration where it just seems it’s difficult to discern God’s will.
God bless,

Perhaps His message is far simpler than we are willing to hear :slight_smile:

That the rest we have to work out with each other and it is us wanting more from God and God doesn’t instant give because that will loose our desire to have hope. Hope would be meaningless if God just gave us everything. There wouldn’t be any Hope?

I think God is telling you what He wants of you but we find it hard to hear that what he wants from us is for us to Love Him and work out our lives with each other. He wont dictate us and that be what he be doing if just wanted Him to tell us and how many of us would challenge and resent God if we simply had no choice but to obey his order so he is being gentle and loving and yes we find that frustrating because we want things but can’t see what we have got because we are so busy wanting…:blush::slight_smile:

I wish he could turn up the “amp” on that still small voice because I’m 65 years old and have no clue as to what God wants from me!:shrug::shrug:

That you love him with all your might and that you love your neighbour as yourself. The rest is up to you. It seems some people have a destiny (everything falls into place, satisfying job, partner soul-mate style, deep sense that they’re where they’re meant to be etc.), but for the rest of us, all we hear from the big guy is silence. Some people just function more optimally and are better (and better equipped) at identifying what they want and how to get it. I’ll take me as an example, with my past, my personality, all the experiences that have shaped me, having more than a second rate life was/is not possible. An introvert, with avoidant personality disorder and a deep-seated feeling of inferiority and inadequacy doesn’t give off the vibes that open doors. Learned helplessness solidifies the cement: mentally, I’m a quadraplegic. Did God have a specific plan if I conquered the mortification of my past by 5%, 10%, 25% etc.? I’ll ask him before he sends me to Purgatory or Hell. But there is always this nagging, sometimes tormenting question: is there an exit I missed which would have catapulted my life (through a string of events, encounters, insights) on a higher level? That I will also ask.

Maybe He is and you are not hearing Him. How plugged in are you? (TV, internet, smart phone, mp3). Is there too much noise in your day? Today, lifestyles are filled with incessant noise every waking minute of the day. Try unplugging for Advent if the above applies to you. My family has begun this approach. Advent is going to be a quiet time for us… Hopefully to hear what God is saying. Good luck, and God Bless.

I just came across this bit on Discernment by Peter Kreeft today. It’s a lot to chew on, but it just might help you get started:


Good luck!

What about Paul. Paul was a persecutor of Christians, and God literally knocked him on his butt to tell him what to do. So what made Paul so special? After his conversion he was definitely special (if I had to pick the greatest christian, he would probably be the one for me). But beforehand he didn’t even know christ. Not to compare apples with oranges, but i feel i have a better start than paul did.

I get nervous about the muddle along part of your quote. Does this imply an elect which God makes sure they hear his voice and the rest of us whom God couldn’t really be bothered with?

I’m not trying to sound contentious but I am currently at a difficult portion of life which makes me question God’s goodness and at times his existence.

As a former atheist, this doubt never goes away.

You sure did, which means maybe you don’t need to be struck blind in order to see! That’s pretty good news. You know what Christ wants from you. You know that He wants you to turn your life over to Him. That’s what He wants from all of us. So look for opportunities to do that. Look for opportunities to utilize your talents in ways that glorify Him. Look for volunteer opportunities, ways to help your parish, ways to help your community, ways you can excel in your studies or your job in order to put the talents He gave you to best use.

And if you’re doing these things, if you’re following His commandments and seeking out new opportunities to glorify Him but He remains silent… maybe He’s just nodding His head in approval. Have you considered that?

Thing is, i’m not doing these things, and its impossible. i’ve posted numerous times about how living in the country in the middle of nowhere doesn’t provide a lot of opportunities. To be honest, all I really do at my parish is lector, because I feel so strongly about it.

Also, even if I was doing all these things, there is always room for improvement. We are not born perfect. So I would hope God would want us to keep improving

I also often question God’s goodness, mercy, and whether he is even there. I am 65 years of age and all I’ve done that I can see most all my life is muddle.:shrug:

We hear God’s Voice in Scrpture and in all that The Church teaches which is drawn from Scipture and from our Tradition. The only thing that can separate us from God is mortal sin. A vocation is only ever an invitation. We are completely free in our choice of vocation or path in life. Whichever way we choose for our way of life, God will be with us with all the Grace necessary for holiness.
Why doesn’t God just tell us what He wants of us? He does and He has in Scripture and in The Church. This is the way in which God in His Infinite Wisdom (we only have faulted human logic) has chosen to speak to us “Blessed are those who have not seen but believe”. Our path in life is Faith - trustful and confident Faith and against all comers regardless. And this trustful and confident Faith is that path along which God continually calls us and leads us to holiness.

I’m sorry but I have to disagree. God has not told me anything whether in scripture or in the Church about what I personally should do. Seems everything I have tried to do “in faith” has turned out to be wrong. Just once I would like something to go right.

As one strives to avoid mortal sin and even venial sin, and then striving against one’s faults and imperfections, embracing what The Church teaches us and most especially The Mass and The Sacraments, the path along which God is calling one becomes clearer. One walks along this way in confident Faith. Sin will 'get in the way’of our hearing The Lord’s calliing to us- not that one usually hear’s His actual voice which is very rare mystical phenomena and usually not until one is well advanced on the mystical way (a path of suffering) and St Teresa of Avila strongly warns that it is very easy to be deceived (by Satan or by one’s own imaginary powers) and not to actively desire such phenomena. The ‘Voice of God’ is most often an inner knowing and conviction of Peace and Joy and this the work of Grace, of The Holy Spirit.
If one should hear an actual voice, wisdom and prudence asks that it be subject to a spiritual director and then be guided by that spiritual director. Until then, in wisdom and in prudence, one would take no notice of it. If it is indeed the voice of The Lord absolutely nothing can stand in the way of His Message getting across and very often through much suffering of various kinds.

Scripture and The Church tell us to Love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves - and through various means. This is what we all should do and as we actively strive every day to do these, things will become clearer and clearer. What creates our ‘muddles’ is our failures somewhere or other.
Nothing whatsoever can “turn out wrong”. If I do experience that things are “turning out wrong” it is because I want my will to be done, not “Thy Will be done”. If we desire to take Christ’s Cross out of our journey, we are no longer following The Way of Jesus “take up your cross daily and follow Me”. The Cross is central to our lives and it can be a stumbling block as St Paul points out, and not only to non Christians.

I am very sorry that you feel that things in your life are turning out wrong. Perspective and attitude summarize everything in life and in our journey. e.g. “What is my perspective on what is happening in my life and what is or will be my attitude towards it?” Please do not think (not that I think that you do) that I am speaking from ‘a book’. I had an over 20 year journey of terrible darkness of Faith, personal struggle and negative emotions, and much suffering until I changed my perspective on what was happening and my attitude towards it all.

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