Aids in Discerning God’s Will

Trying to discern the will of God often is a challenge. I sometimes start with praying Dear God, I am pre-committed to doing your will even before I know it. Please reveal it to me. Be sure you are doing God’s will as you know it before asking Him to reveal His unknown will. If you are not doing His will why should He reveal more of His will for you not to do? As in Algebra, start with the known in order to find the unknown. A submitted will is the first step in finding God’s will.

“Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

I use the same principles as Peter which are recorded in Acts 5:1-16. This post will be better understood with your Bible at hand.

Peter was guilty of violating several taboos, things no self-respecting  religious Jew should never do. Two were, he had been in the home of a Gentile, and even eaten with them.

The Jews “contended” with him, which is a nice way of saying they tore into him with accusations and threats. Then in his defense Peter shared principles used in finding God’s will. They were:

* He prayed about it.  (vs. 5)

* He thought the issue through.  He gave study to the issue, he pondered it.  Don’t expect a vision, but don’t ignore circumstances. (vs. 6)

* He considered God’s Word. The equivalent today is there were Scriptural principles to be considered. Even if there is no direct text, just reading God’s Word helps to clear your mind and center your thoughts. (vs. 7)

* He had Spirit guidance. The expression ”the Spirit told me,” today means he had an overwhelming compulsion as to what to do, and it did not contradict  Scripture. Every feeling must be evaluated in light of Scripture. Even though the Jews contended with him, there was no Scripture forbidding what he did. (vs. 12)

* He compared what was happening with other related issues. Employ objective counsel to share with you. (vs. 12)

* He remembered principles found in God’s Word. Search the Scripture for answers. That is why it is expedient to memorize Scripture so you can apply it. 

All of these factors combined to lead him to the conclusion it was OK to go into the house of a Gentile and even eat with them.

As it turned out what he did proved to be correct. It helped open the church to Gentiles, and thus to the world.

After earnestly searching for God’s will and reaching what you understand it to be pray as I: “Dear God as best as I understand it this is your will. That is the only reason I am doing it. If I am wrong, it is out of ignorance not obstinance, please forgive me and redirect my path.”  We can pray: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)