Thursday, February 4, 2010

Following God's Will

A priest that I respect deeply (even though we've never met) had some wise words posted on his church's blog recently. I reproduce them here - they were a comfort to me and I hope they will resonate with you as well.

Hearing God's Voice--how do you know what God wants you to do?

Knowing God's will when making a decision is not always easy, but here are some general questions to ask yourself and things to do that I find helpful in discerning what God would have me do.

1. In prayer, share your desire with God, and commit do what he desires first and foremost even if it means not doing what you planned to do.

2. Be sure that what you hope to do is consistent with God's revealed will in scripture. Would changing careers, for example, mean that you forego any higher calling or responsibility God has given you? Would it require you to do or act in a way that is inconsistent with the principles and purposes God sets out for his people in the bible?

3. Ask God to make the matter plain to you by either 1. opening doors in the direction you would like to go or 2. giving you a clear discernable answer in the form of closed doors, impossible progress, or just a very clear sense in your heart that you should not proceed.

4. Listen and attend carefully to the four primary means through which God communicates to his people: Scripture, Prayer, Church (sermons, class, fellowship), see whether God gives you any guidance through them.

5. If you have asked God to guide you with a willingness to do what he wants you do do, see nothing in scripture contrary to your plans, have listened to and attended the four primary ways God speaks to his people, and circumstances have left the way open to proceed...the do it with joy and peace.

I generally find that even when I make the wrong decision...if I have faithfully sought his will and followed the steps above that God graciously blesses what I have done.

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