Discerning God’s Will: A Process Not a Program

You are here for a purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says that those who are in Christ “are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” God intentionally made you with specific purposes in mind. It is His desire that you “walk in” those works He has prepared for you.

The Benefit of Making God’s Will a Priority

Each of us will reach critical points in our lives in which God prompts us to go a certain way. This might look like switching careers in order to better serve God’s kingdom. Or it might look like giving up a certain pursuit that is making us worldly minded instead of heavenly minded. If we ignore God’s promptings in these times, God often allows us to go our own way in disobedience. The mystery of this is that our decision will never mess up God’s plan because He has sovereignty over all things. However, disobedience is always to our own detriment because we are responsible to pursue what God desires.

This means that discerning the will of God is not about somehow peering into His secret counsel, but about pursuing God’s revealed will, both in the commands of Scripture and in the promptings of the indwelling Spirit (see Deuteronomy 29:29).

The wonderful thing about pursuing God’s will in this way is that God never calls us to give up something unless it is for a better gain. We may not see this at the time because God has a different definition of “profit” than we do. At the end of your life, everything in this world will be in the hands of another. The most loving thing God can do, therefore, is to call us to pursue Him above all earthbound goods. As we listen to and obey His promptings in this regard, we will become more and more attuned to His will.

A Process, Not a Program

Discerning God’s will is not something you can program. You can’t say, “Here are the three steps to discern God’s will,” as appealing as that might sound. Instead, discerning God’s will is related to your own unique relationship and history with God. This will look different for every person. God doesn’t want you to merely “figure out” how to discern His will. That would be too impersonal. He wants to take you through a life-long process of discernment, which will deepen your relationship with Him.

Treating the will of God in this way will also remind us that comparison is the enemy of contentment. When we treat God’s will as a “thing” to figure out, it is easy to wonder why He has entrusted more resources or talents to a certain person than He has to us. But when we see the discernment of God’s will as a process of relationship, we will realize that our only concern is to steward whatever He has entrusted to us.

Discerning God’s Will: A Process Not a Program