When trying to listen to GOD and what HE wants for you I think that Patience, Patience, Patience are the three most important characteristics. Location is good. Timing is good. Listening is best, but it all comes down to Patience. Why? Let me explain.
Without patience, you run off into a wall, over a cliff, down a steep hill, off a bridge, lost in a forest, or alone. Patience on the other hand takes you gently down a path that is meant for you. Even when you don't see the results or the goal until you are long into the journey.
I have been dealing with this for over 3 years. I was working at one job. Thinking that I would never get out of it and it was becoming difficult, both on me and on my family. I had prayed and listened and was told to be patient and wait. I did. Within a few short months. I found a better job. One that I am currently at now. I enjoy it, the hours are better and the pay is a little better. The most important part is that it is now messing with my family and I have a consistency that I needed.
Now I am being drawn toward ministry. Yet I am being impatient. I want to start down that path now. Not later. Not when it will be better. Not when it will be more convenient. Not when it will be in GOD's perfect timing. I don't want to wait. I want to start now. I want to be doing what I feel lead to do now. Not later. Not when it is right. Not when I should, but when I want to.
That's not right. I mean it is understandable to want things, it is okay to want changes. Where it gets messy, difficult, even confusing is when the time is the issue. I for instance want a bigger Hammered Dulcimer. The one I want is a more expensive than the one I have. It is the Warbler by Song Bird Dulcimers. It is the biggest one I can afford. But I can not afford it, at least not right now. I have to save up the money. I also want my family to have a house of our own. We have to save up for that right now also. I must wait for these things to come to pass. Why? Because finances dictate that waiting is the only option. While I wait for these things. I want to change my occupation and work in ministry for the LORD. More than I already do. I am a Trustee of my Church and an active member.
What I want may coincide with what GOD wants, but a main thing to understand is when. Now may not be it. I probably have some more growing and changing to do. There are things that I need to do before I can follow what I feel GOD is leading me towards.
I once asked for patience. Isn't that how the joke goes. "A man prayed for patience, 'Dear Lord, Please give me Patience, and give it to me right now.' " I did once ask for patience. I learned how to take things a little more slowly and a bit more patiently. I have since not used that skill and it has gone unused for sometime. I guess it is time to get that skill out of the storage and re-apply it to my life right now.
"Lord please grant me patience and do it in your time."
I am going to endeavor to be patient, with family, friends, people and definitely with my GOD's timing. So that what HE wants I can allow to happen when the time is right. That will make things so much better for me in the long run.
" but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV) "
As for me I will try to wait upon the Lord.