Tag: god’s will

3 Questions to Discern God’s Will

Don’t you just wish God would write His plan for you in the sky so that you’d know what He want? Don’t you just wish God would send you a Twitter message that said, “If you want to know my will, click this link: http://____. #NowGetOffTwitterAndGoDoSomething”


image credit: CreationSwap

If we’re honest with ourselves, there’s a bit of us always looking for the easy way out. Especially when it comes to the most important decisions. If we could shorten the process, we would. It’s not a matter of trying to be disobedient or experiencing decision paralysis. It’s all about wanting to know God’s will and move forward.

But if that were how God operated, there would be no reason to have faith. We’d just know. There would be no need for trust in the midst of uncertainty, because there’d be only certainty.

God doesn’t always give us 100% clarity before a decision so that we’ll learn to trust Him. So that we’ll seek Him. So that we’ll not simply rely on our own wisdom, but we’d learn to lean in to others.

Have you ever have a decision in front of you and you’re not sure what to do?

Any life-altering, future-shaping decision has to be run through a grid. If you don’t have a framework to use when making decisions, you can find yourself way off in left field.

That’s why I have 3 questions I ask myself that have helped shape decisions I make and directions I go.

I recently had a huge life decision in front of me. Before I ever made the decision to move forward, I spent lots of time praying through these 3 questions. I worked through them with my wife. With people who knew me, knew the details of the potential move, and who understand my strengths and weaknesses.

The 3 Questions

1. Is this from Satan?

I figured out the answer to this one pretty quickly. The potential opportunity wasn’t leading me towards sin. It wasn’t leading me away from my ultimate calling in life. It wasn’t leading me to disobey clear commands in Scripture. Wasn’t leading me away from my wife and son or away from God.

This is the only question with a clear black-and-white answer.

2. Is this from my flesh?

Through this opportunity, are you only looking to make more money or serve your own interests? Are you looking to be more lazy? Are you looking for an easy way out, avoiding something you know you need to do by saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this opportunity? If you stepped in to this, would you be going against what you know God has called you to do in your current situation? If you say no, would you be staying in your position when you know God is prompting you to leave?

This is the point where you have to be painfully introspective and honest with yourself.

3. Is this from God?

If it’s not from Satan and not from your flesh, it may just be from God. Before you make the move, though, ask yourself if this is even something you want to do. Is this a God-given desire? Could it serve others better? Could God use you in a new and fresh way? Could God have been preparing you for this move? Could God be leading you on a new, different, fresh journey?

This is the point where you must bring others’ wisdom in. Don’t try to figure out this answer alone.

With every life decision, work the grid. Don’t work through it by yourself, though! Grab a trusted friend (or two) and ask them to help you out. It’s hard to see your own blind spots.


Got any big life decisions in front of you?



Open-door decision making

When people are talking about what next step they should take, whether they should take a new job, buy a new house, or start a new relationship, they often talk about ‘open’ or ‘closed’ doors.

“I was going to get married to _____, but God closed that door.”

“I didn’t know what school I was going to go to, but God just kept opening doors to _____, so I just kept walking through them.”

Ever heard a statement like that?

image credit: Creative Commons user Documentarist

If the door is metaphorically closed, it’s like trying to get into Ft. Knox. Or like trying to get your cable guy to shrink the time frame of when he’ll show up to fix your problem. Forget it. You’re not getting through.

If the door is metaphorically open, it’s like a magical door opened with the help of magical elves. And if you walk through it, everything smells like a fresh rainbow.

There’s a problem that exists with the swinging door. And I’d like to propose a better way to know what your next step should be.

Here’s the problem: you’re depending on something that could just as easily be the work of the Devil himself as the work of God.

An open door doesn’t always mean you need to walk through it. Likewise, a closed door doesn’t always mean you need to stop. If the apostle Paul used this theory, he would’ve given up on the Galatians. And he would’ve never gone to Spain.

If Jesus would’ve relied on the “open door” to follow God’s will, he wouldn’t have gone to the cross. He walked through a “closed door” with confidence. (Luke 22:42-44)

Don’t depend on swinging doors in trying to determine your next step.

3 Things to Depend on in Decision-Making

Depend on God’s Word.

This is the one thing that we can depend on every time. If the Bible clearly instructs us on something, we should follow its teachings. If you’re trying to decide whether to murder someone or not, I’d say not…Exodus 20:13. If you’re trying to decide whether to take a job that will keep you from your family, think again. The Bible instructs us to make a priority out of our home. If the Bible has clearly instructed, you’ve found your first answer. Sometimes the Bible guides by specific directives…other times it’s by principles. But it’s always to be trusted.

Depend on prayer.

I’ve never prayed and, as a result, seen the heavens open up and drop me a note with the answer I was looking for. But I often get much clarity through prayer. That’s a great gift God gives through the Spirit when we depend on Him. When you depend on God, He honors that. And not necessarily in giving you the answer you want to hear. Often, His answer is, “Keep trusting me. I’ll reveal the next step you should take.” Depending on prayer is important, too, because we see that the heart of God is moved when we pray. Last time I checked, that was a big deal. (Exodus 32:11-14)

Depend on people who know and love you.

Don’t make decisions by yourself. Ultimately, the decision may be yours to make and yours to deal with the consequences, but it’s foolish to operate alone. You may have your best interest at heart, but it’s hard to see the best course of action to take because you’re zoomed in too closely to your own situation. Find a group of people (I believe these people are often found in small groups) who have your back, have your best interest at heart, and will encourage you to seek God’s best.

Don’t depend on your circumstances, though they inform. Don’t depend on past decisions, though they also inform. Don’t depend on open or closed doors, though they may help sway.

There are 3 things you should depend on: The Bible. Prayer. And people who love you.


Ever heard people use “open doors” as the primary way they decide what course of action to take?



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