How do you know which job to take or which person to marry? Since God doesn’t usually speak in an audible voice, how can you discern his leading?
You can trust God to lead
God never promises to reveal in advance the details of our future. But he does promise that he is actively leading and directing our lives.
Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Go ahead and make the best decisions you can make, trusting that beneath your plans, God will be directing your steps. Here are some factors to consider when seeking to make the best plans you can.
- God leads through the Bible. The vast majority of God’s will for your life has already been revealed in the Bible. This includes truths that apply to every Christian. So the Bible is always the right starting place. (See Psalm 119:105.) If a decision goes against what the Bible says, it is clearly NOT God’s will. But many of life’s decisions are not spelled out in the pages of the Bible. What then?
- God leads through people. Don’t make decisions without getting advice. (See Proverbs 15:22.) Make sure you talk to the right people, those who love God and understand his word. Don’t just ask in order to confirm what you want to hear. Listen to what people say!
- God leads through his Spirit. The Bible gives many examples of how God has made his leading known directly to his people in a personal way. He can lead through a dream, a vision, or a still small voice speaking to your spirit as you seek God’s will. (See Acts 13:2.) We don’t know how the Holy Spirit spoke to the leaders of this church, but as they engaged in prayer and worship, they clearly perceived his leading. Through prayer, God may give you a thought, an impression, or a deepening sense of conviction or clarity. But it’s easy to confuse our own desires with God’s will. Any kind of inner leading you think is from the Spirit must line up squarely with the Bible, and should also be confirmed by the mature Christians.
Your character matters more than your circumstances
We often get worked up about getting the details of God’s word right. But what’s more important to God is what kind of person you are becoming. God cares that you are living to honor him and helping others pursue him, no matter where you live or work.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 God’s will is for you to be holy….
No matter where you live or what job you take, God cares more that you living to honor him and helping others pursue him.
Your attitude makes all the difference
If you want to experience God’s leading, you must be “lead-able”. To know God’s will, you must be surrendered in advance to God’s will, whatever it might prove to be.
Psalm 32:8-9 The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.’”
A stubborn mule must be forced by pressure and pain to go a certain way. But if you are humble and teachable, God promises to guide you along the very best possible path for your life. He may not reveal the details in advance. But as you trust God to know what’s best, it will be best!
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Describe a time when you tried to discern God’s leading for your life. Did you ever feel like you “heard” from him? Explain.
- Read Proverbs 16:9. Have you ever seen this play out in your life? Talk about how it happened.
- Read Proverbs 15:22. Who are some of the wise people that you trust to help you discern God’s leading? Why do you trust them?
- What is God’s will for your character or lifestyle in general? List several items.
- Would you follow God’s will even if it went against what you really wanted? Why or why not?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
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