Which way do you go when either way could be the right way? The most challenging questions to answer in life typically aren’t the ones surrounding matters of right and wrong, but between right and right. It’s when either way could potentially be the right way that you find yourself asking, ” How can I know which direction God is calling me to take?”

My wife and I have had to take some pretty scary steps of faith over the past 14 + years and every time we did, we learned something new about discerning the will of God.

In today’s post I’d like to share with you our 6 step process that we personally use to discern the will of God when making important decisions. I’ll warn you up front that this isn’t a sure fire formula for quickly discerning God’s will. If we had that, none of us would ever be required to walk by faith. Let’s get started…

Step 1 – Measure Every Decision Against the Word of God.

God will never ask you to do something that contradicts His word. If making a specific decision requires you to violate the scriptures than you can stop right there. God will never ask you to disobey His word in order for you to fulfill His will. Start your process by searching the word of God and if possible study the topic that’s most closely related to the decision that you have to make.

Step 2 – Pray

It’s amazing how much God will reveal to us if we’ll just take the time to get in His presence and pray. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. When you pray, get real with God. Talk to Him about all of your hopes and fears surrounding the decision that you have to make. He can handle it.

Step 3 – Look for the Presence of Fear in Your Process.

This one may surprise you.

For my wife and I, the presence of fear actually serves as a means of confirming God’s will. After all, according the bible fear is an evil spirit (2 Timothy 1:7). So when this spirit shows up in my life I need to ask the question “Why?” What’s fear so afraid of that this spirit is trying to intimidate me and influence the decision that I’m about to make?

So, for us, when we run into fear it’s is a sign to us that we’re headed in the right direction. After all, if you never run into the devil it might be because you’re both headed in the same direction.

Side Note:  One of the worst pieces of advice I often hear given when someone is trying to discern the will of God is to “Just follow the peace.”

Now, I get it. There is indeed a peace that comes from being in the will of God, but when left to stand on its own merit that’s horrible advice. After all, I wonder how much peace Jesus had the night before He was crucified? He was sweating drops of blood and asking the Father for another way.  I’m sure glad Jesus didn’t decide to “follow the peace.”

Don’t follow the peace, follow the Spirit and eventually the peace will follow.

Step 4 – Ask Yourself the Question, “Which Direction Requires More Faith?”

Faith is the economy of heaven. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” Whenever God is calling me to take another step towards my purpose it always requires my level of faith to come up a little bit higher. So when I’m faced with two options and either of them could be the right way to go, I ask myself the question, “Which option will require me trust God more; which direction requires more faith?” This question isn’t full proof, but it is helpful in discerning God’s will. Faith, according the bible means an awful lot to God.

Step 5 – Seek Wise Counsel from other People of Faith.

Don’t ask just anybody for advice before making a big life decision.  You need to find spiritually mature men and/or women who understand spiritual principles of faith and vision. You also need to ask people who will tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear. Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Be transparent and ask people you know and trust for feedback on the decision you have to make.

Step 6 – Write It Down.

When you start writing down the ways that the Lord has spoken to you in times past you’ll more often than not begin to see a pattern; a particular way the Lord has worked through your life or spoken to you in order to make His will known.

When God began to stir my wife and I regarding our move from Michigan to Georgia I started journaling the process. I wrote down every time I received a confirming word from the Lord through others or when we felt that God spoke to us through our circumstances. After several months, the pattern was obvious and the voice of God became crystal clear.

When you sense God stirring your heart about something, write it down. I personally recommend using Evernote to journal. Evernote syncs to all of your devices (Laptop, Phone, and tablet) and all of your notes are searchable making it easy to go back and review old journal entries.

Let’s Review:

Step 1 – Measure Every Decision Against the Word of God.

Step 2 – Pray

Step 3 – Look for the Presence of Fear in Your Process.

Step 4 – Ask Yourself the Question, “Which Direction Requires More Faith?”

Step 5 – Seek Wise Counsel from other People of Faith.

Step 6 – Write It Down

At the end of the day remember to “Walk by faith, not by sight.”

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