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Discerning God's Will

God’s will for your life is love. Everything else is up for grabs.

Do you struggle to make decisions? Many of us are paralyzed by indecision because we don’t want to make a choice that isn’t God’s will for our lives. Or, rather, we want to ensure that we make choices that position us for the most blessing. We may pray for hours, days, or even years to make a choice because we “haven’t heard from God” about which way to go. So we stay where we are rather than make a choice that may not be in God’s plan for us.

This is what I have discovered for my life; it doesn’t matter if I go left or if I go right because the Lord will be with me no matter what I choose AND will work all things for my good.

I know that is a radical statement. But honestly, He has already given us everything we need in order to discern His will. I don’t mean to sound flippant, but it doesn’t matter if we decide to go to college to teach or to become an economist. It doesn’t matter if we choose to live in one state or country or another. We can marry guy A or guy B. All the Lord actually cares* about is if we love Him and love others. Aside from that, we can embrace ultimate freedom in the choices we make for our lives.

Certainly, we have to use wisdom, seek the council of others when helpful, and make choices based on sound morality. I’m not saying to gamble away your life savings because you have the freedom to do so. That wouldn’t be wise.

God’s will isn’t exemplified through circumstance, but through love. The circumstances of our lives do not define God’s will for us, nor are they a good example that we’ve made the “right” choice. Rain falls on the just and unjust alike. We are going to have trouble in the world, but we can take heart. This means that we can confidently walk through any circumstances, knowing that they are a reflection of the state of our world rather than our ability to hear from God. I hope this makes sense.

For example, before we began homeschooling, we tried a private school for a year. Before we made the switch from where the kids were attending, we sought the Lord. He said, “I will be with them wherever they go.” I took His statement as, Yes! Send them there! Well, that is not what He said. He said He would be with them. It turns out that deciding to send them to that school had lasting negative effects on one of our children. The circumstances have been difficult. What I have learned from this is that sure, we could have made a different choice for schooling and maybe not have experienced those particular consequences from our choice, but that doesn’t mean that we were out of God’s will. We have no idea if what our child would have experienced elsewhere would have been better or worse. But we do know for sure that IN SPITE of the consequences, God WILL use the trouble for good, in my child’s life and in the lives of others. Of that I can be absolutely sure. My point is this; the outcome did not, nor does define whether or not we were in God’s plan for us. We are! We can’t not be!

Therefore, move forward with the decisions in your life confidently. Romans 12:2 tells us that by the renewing of our mind (understanding who we are in Christ, and that we actually have HIS mind - 1 Corinthians 2:11 & 16), we can test and discern what is the will of God. We don’t have to be paralyzed with waiting to hear from the Lord in these details of our lives because He has already given us everything we need to make good decisions. Is either option good? Is either option right? Then you’re free to choose either option, and give thanks in all circumstances.

*Of course the Lord cares about everything in our lives; I just mean that He isn’t disappointed with our choices. His will, I suggest, has nothing to do with the specific circumstances of our lives, but with how we love.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I Corinthians 2:11

Think of it this way: who knows what is really going on inside a person, except the spirit of the person which is inside them? Well, it’s like that with God. Nobody knows what is going on inside God except God’s spirit. 12 And we haven’t received the spirit of the world, but the spirit that comes from God, so that we can know the things that have been given to us by God.

1 Corinthians 2:16

For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

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