The discernment of God’s will does not come from employing certain techniques. To discern God’s will is to understand how to please Him and to be watchful for His daily guidance. This requires an ongoing and genuine relationship with the Lord. In particular, there are five facets of our relationship with Him that are prerequisites for receiving His guidance.
- Conversion — Only when we become children of God do we receive the Spirit of God. Apart from the Spirit we are unable to please God (Romans 8:6–8). But because we are God’s children, His Holy Spirit enables us to walk in His will by interceding for us (Romans 8:26–27).
- Commitment — Until we recognize God’s complete ownership of our lives, our relationship with Him will be marked by compromise with the world. But when we commit every part of our lives to Him in humble dependence, discernment of His will is a natural by-product (Romans 12:1–2).
- Confession — When we refuse to confess our sin, we ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit. And the more we harden ourselves to the Spirit’s conviction, the more our awareness of His guidance will atrophy. But when we confess our sins as the Spirit prompts us, we not only receive forgiveness but also allow God’s light to illuminate the darkness in our lives (1 John 1:5–10).
- Concern — We must want to know God’s will (John 7:17). We will not find it out if we do not seek it above our own earthbound desires.
- Compliance — We should not expect to receive more guidance from God if we ignore the guidance He has already given. Similarly, we must have an attitude of receptivity to God’s guidance, even if it clashes with our own agenda. Instead of expecting God to comply with our own imperfect desires, we should seek to comply with His promptings, trusting that He knows better than us what is best for us (Romans 8:32).
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This series is based on Ken Boa’s booklet Think on These Things: Discerning the Will of God.