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Welcome to the third installment of our series on discerning the will of God. While we all yearn to remain within the bounds of His divine plan, the task of discerning His will can cause a great deal of anxiety and sleepless nights for many. Join us as we explore the depths of this topic and provide valuable insights on how to navigate this journey with confidence.
Discovering the will of God can often feel like an elusive pursuit, but fortunately, the Bible offers us clear guidance on how to approach this challenge.
One powerful method is through the still small voice, where we listen intently for God's leading in our lives. However, it's important to note that this shouldn't replace the Word of God, as the still small voice or prompting of the Holy Spirit will always align with scripture. An example of the “still small voice” could be if you feel prompted by God to approach someone across the room and pray with them.
Isaiah 30:21 says, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" This verse is an illustration of God's guidance through the Holy Spirit. It suggests that when we seek God's will, He will guide us and show us the right path to take, even in situations where we may feel lost or uncertain. The "voice behind you" in this verse can be seen as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit's guidance, which may be felt as a still small voice in our hearts, prompting us to move in a certain direction. It's important to note that this voice will always be in line with the teachings of Scripture and will never contradict God's Word. In essence, Isaiah 30:21 reminds us that when we seek God's guidance, we can trust that He will lead us in the right direction, even when we cannot see the way forward.
In 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah, a great prophet of God, who was fleeing for his life from Queen Jezebel, who was seeking to kill him. He had just experienced a mighty victory against the prophets of Baal, but now he was feeling exhausted, discouraged, and alone. While he was hiding in a cave, he heard a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but God was not in any of these. Instead, God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, reassuring him of His presence and giving him further instructions. Through this experience, Elijah learned that God doesn't always speak in the dramatic or the extraordinary, but often through the quiet whispers that we need to tune our hearts to listen to. This is a beautiful example of how we too can hear from God through the still small voice, but it's important to use the Word of God as our guide and measure the promptings we receive against the principles and teachings of the Bible.
Although God does lead by promptings of the Holy Spirit, the normative method of discerning the Lord's will is not to rely on an inner voice but to understand scripture and then make a wise decision based on biblical principles. Therefore, we should use the Bible as the foundation for our decision-making process, seeking guidance from God's Word. The Holy Spirit can then help us apply biblical principles to our specific situation and guide us in making a wise and God-honoring decision. This approach ensures that our decisions are grounded in the truth of God's Word, rather than subjective feelings or personal preferences. It also helps us avoid the pitfalls of relying solely on an inner voice or subjective experiences, which can be misleading or deceptive.
"Putting out a fleece" is a term used to describe the act of testing God by setting up a condition or request to confirm His will or obtain a sign of His favor. While this practice is found in the Bible, it is not an encouraged or normative way to discern God's will. As followers of Christ, we should rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God's Word to discern His will for our lives. The Bible is a sufficient and reliable guide for understanding God's character and His purposes, and it provides us with the principles we need to make wise decisions and live a godly life. In the story of Gideon in Judges 6, we see an example of someone who lacked confidence in God's Word and was fearful about the future. Gideon turned to God and put out a fleece to verify His will, rather than relying on the promises and principles found in Scripture. While God graciously granted Gideon's request, we should not see this as an endorsement of putting out a fleece as a method for discerning God's will. Instead, we should trust in God's goodness and guidance, and seek to understand His will through prayer, reading and studying the Bible.
As we conclude this series on discerning the will of God, we want to encourage you to approach this journey with confidence and a deep trust in God's goodness and guidance. Remember, discovering God's will is not meant to cause anxiety or sleepless nights but to bring us closer to Him and align us with His divine plan for our lives. We hope that the insights shared in this series have provided you with valuable guidance and clarity on how to approach this challenge. Trust in His promises and His character, knowing that He is faithful to guide you in the right direction. As you navigate this journey, may you find peace and assurance in the knowledge that God's will is always for our good and His glory. May you always be open to hearing His voice through the still small voice, but also grounded in the principles and teachings of His Word. We pray that you will experience the joy and fulfillment of living a life fully surrendered to God's will.