Picture this: your average “millenial aged” woman who grew up going to church on Sunday, bible study during the week, and Wednesday night worship service. You’d imagine one would be quite the spiritual gangster – with all the right answers and total peace over where she’s headed… right?
Completely immune to all teen and twenties average panic moments: graduation, dating, engagement, first jobs, (and seconds, and thirds….). Letting “He will make my path straight” her daily anthem and soul song.
The buzzer sounds. WRONG!
If you could see my and God’s text stream, the question you’d see the most is: “me again, what is your will?!?!” followed by me bargaining to be a better wife and watch less netflix as long as He’ll drop a sign on my front door.
But… while bright blinking signs telling us to turn left or right seem like the path of least resistance, sometimes when we ask God to answer our prayers we have to be prepared for the possibility that the answer may sometimes temporarily hurt – and we have to still be willing to trust Him through that.
Often times when God lets us stew in our wondering and “what if’s”, it’s because He’s giving us the chance to become stronger through seeking Him so that we can be prepared and at peace to take the road He paved for us.
When we realize our money, talents, looks, and resources don’t make us successful – but realize we are in situations simply because of the sovereign plan of God, we are free to stop striving and instead REST in His plan and pursue knowing Him more – not just His will.
Because following God isn’t always – aka never is – a straight line.
We like to put our lives in boxes of Point A to Point B – but most of the time God takes us to Point Z just to help us realize that Point A is where we belong and Point Z is somebody else’s home.
When it comes to discerning God’s will, all we have is the RIGHT NOW and current our relationship with and our knowledge of Him.
We can’t focus on the “what if’s” when trying to make a decision.
We must ask ourselves: “is this right for right now?!”
- Align your current responsibilities with how scripture tells you to prioritize them (ex: God first, marriage second, family, job, etc) and see how the direction you’re pondering stacks up against those things.
- Is this helping or hurting my family right now?
- Am I wisely stewarding what God has given me right now?
We tend to give ourselves way too much credit.
We think that our decisions hold more weight than they really do.
We say “well maybe I should do ___ because what if it never happens again or what if it could turn into something later even though it seems like bad choice right now?”
God is a MUCH bigger God than we give Him credit for.
Most of the time, He allows us to wrestle with decisions for our own good – so that we press into Him, pursue Him, and rely on Him to show us the way.
Because that’s the thing: He already knows the way. Because He’s the one who made the way.
Where He leads you, He won’t leave you.
We fear making a “wrong choice” because we think that screws everything up and our “one shot” at 50/50 was wrong, so we think “oh well…maybe next time”.
But God goes before us.
It isn’t like He’s up in Heaven with the angels and they’re all sitting around the poker table making bets on what you decide. “Okay angels – I’ve got 50 on Sam if she goes with Choice A.”
And then when we choose wrong and God loses His bet, He throws his hands up and then tells his executive assistant to shred your files because you screwed up the plan and better luck next time.
Wisdom and discernment are priceless and they come from walking in sync with God and sometimes the reason behind “yes” and “no” is because that was where your desire was at the time. When we lean into God and seek Him in all things, our desires align with His.
Psam 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
But the catch is: you have to be in a relationship with God and praying over that choice with faith and persistence – being willing to go where He calls you.
Practical Steps To Help You Discern God’s Will
- Simply take steps forward – Ask god to guide them – Have the faith to move.
- He doesn’t want you stay fear-stricken. He will direct your path as you walk in faith. And sometimes taking a step in faith IS waiting when you don’t want to.
- Pray. Boldly. And persistently.
- An obvious one, I know. But if you’re anything like me (aka impatient and unable to sit still) – praying can feel like a chore without immediate benefits.
- Seek prayer over you.
- Being in community and shedding light on your fears is the quickest way to diminish the anxiety over them.
- But don’t seek too much outside noise.
- It’s good, healthy, and necessary to have others pray over and counsel you but make sure you’re looking to those who are wise and firm in their faith to help you along.
- Eventually make a firm decision and walk in it.
- Don’t be distracted by God’s plan for other people – rather, be confident in your decision and walk boldly in the direction you’ve been called.
- But be willing and open to what God will do.
- So you’ve made a decision – GREAT! But our view is so limited in comparison to God’s – so understand that because we only understand things from an A-B perspective, His alphabet is much larger and unknown to us.
And like I previously mentioned, sometimes holy things require waiting too. And that may be the step God is calling you to: Resting, waiting, and surrendering.
like JD Grear says: “Everything under Heaven isn’t for you.”
Every christian guy or every ministry job or every church event doesn’t have your name on it, sister.
Sometimes it’s good to stay home from small group to spend quality time with your husband. Or get some extra sleep instead of getting in that 5 am workout. Neither of these things are bad or better than the other.
It all boils down to discernment, and listening to what GOD says – not what other people tell you is best.
If you’re wrestling with a job in ministry vs a job that you have a huge passion for – it’s okay to choose the job you’re passionate about.
There isn’t always one right answer.
God gives us free will and passions for a reason.
When we seek His glory & aim to steward the things in our life as best as we can at this moment – He will give us peace to take the right step.
“You made a way – when our backs were against the wall and it looked as if it was over – you made a way. So I’m standing here, only because you made a way.”
If you liked this post, go read: Why I Kept Failing – And How I Stopped
Life comes first – and blogging falls in line somewhere after that – so sometimes I share what’s on my heart on Facebook and Instagram, and occasionally through email (mostly just a random life/blog update or some extra soul encouragement).