Discerning God’s Will

In a sermon a few weeks ago, I reflected on the challenge of discerning the work of God in the world around us. Sometimes what we think is from God is really the world presenting a photo-shopped image which deceives us. Drawing from the book “The Power of a Whisper,” I shared five questions we should ask ourselves to see if something is truly from God.
The first question is: “God, is this truly from you?”
Ask God candidly if the word or direction squares with who you know God to be, and whether or not it is consistent with God’s character as you understand it.
The second question to ask is: “Is it scriptural?”
If you think you’re hearing from heaven on a situation you are facing in life, first try to imagine Jesus as we know him from scripture taking the action you’re considering taking. If you can’t picture him doing whatever it is you’re about to do, chances are the prompting is not from God.
The Third question to ask is: “Is this wise?”
There is an entire book in the Bible devoted to wisdom. In the book of Proverbs, we learn many things that are wise and many things that are unwise. If you believe God is instructing you to do something that seems unwise, you should definitely question the origin of the prompting.
The Fourth question is: “Is this prompting in tune with my character or wiring patterns?”
In other words, does the input you’ve received seem to correlate with the person God created you to be? If you receive what you believe is a direction from God, and it stands in stark contrast to your journey to this point in your life, slow down, scrutinize it from all angles and ask God to confirm through a variety of other ways that it was God’s voice that you heard.
The fifth and final question is answering the question: “What do the people I most trust think about this prompting I have received?”
In my life, when I have felt the Lord leading me to a major life change, I have consulted with mature Christian friends and asked their input on it. The counsel of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ can truly help process the leading of God.
As we seek to discern God’s work in our lives, let us remember the words we read in 1st John: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” May the Lord help you as you use these questions to “test the spirits.”
Grace and peace to you!
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee