Discovering God’s Will: A Guide to Discernment

Have you ever felt like God was leading you in a certain direction, but things just weren’t happening fast enough? Or maybe you felt like He was leading you down a path you weren’t sure about, and you just wanted a sign? These are common experiences for many of us, and it can be difficult to trust God, especially when things seem uncertain. When we’re faced with difficult choices or find ourselves waiting for God to reveal His plan, the problem isn’t that God is taking too long, but rather a result of our limited perspective. 

Last week in 1 Samuel 24, we saw an illustration of God’s timing, guidance and David’s discernment in action. In the story, David had an opportunity to kill Saul but chose to spare his life, trusting that God had a greater plan. This act of obedience and trust in God’s timing set the stage for David to become king in due time.

In David’s discernment, he recognised that killing Saul would be against God’s will and go against his character as a faithful servant of God. But what is discernment? It’s the ability to distinguish truth from error and make decisions that align with the will of God. It’s a process that requires trust, effort and patience, but it’s worth it to gain a clearer understanding of God’s will for our lives. 

Trust in God’s sovereignty, that he has a plan for His glory and our good

Here are some practical tips that can help you to discern God’s will:

Trust in God: Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord completely and not rely on our own understanding but submit to Him in all things. Trust in God’s sovereignty, that he has a plan for His glory and our good which He’ll reveal in His time. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us to “seek first his kingdom” and to pray to God, the Father “your will be done”, so regularly check in with yourself and make sure that your actions align with God’s will; take time to ask yourself, are you seeking God’s will or your own? 

Pray: James 1:5 says,”If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Seek God’s guidance through prayer and ask Him to reveal His will to you. When you pray, approach God with an open heart and listen for His voice.

Read the Bible: God has revealed His will through His word; it can provide guidance and direction for your life. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  

Seek counsel: Talking with trusted friends, family members, or spiritual leaders can also provide clarity and guidance in discerning God’s will. Surround yourself with people who are grounded in faith and who can offer wise advice.

Consider circumstances: It’s good to remember that life circumstances can give us hints about where God is leading us, so pay attention to the events and people around you. God has ordained everything, and there is comfort in knowing: “what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” Revelation 3:7.

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