How do you discern or know God’s will? Making decisions that have the potential to alter the rest of your life can be extremely difficult, and concerns about missing God’s will for your life” makes decisions even more difficult.

We make hundreds of decisions every day, many of them inconsequential will we have corn flakes or eggs for breakfast? But then there are the larger decisions that impact life:
  • Who will we marry?
  • What career will we pursue?
  • Where will we live?
These are the larger decisions about which we feel angst, because there are consequences to these decisions. This is when we usually go to praying. Discerning God’s will was a major focus of my prayers in those college-age years.
But this came up again at midlife.
I thought I had the answers to those prayers, but at midlife new questions arose, questions for which I had angst, knowing that they too would have an impact for the rest of my life. I had better get these right, because the stakes were higher now. I really did want to know God’s will again!
In this series of blogs, I will explore this challenge of discerning God’s will, with some help from Gordon Smith’s book, Listening to God in Times of Choice.
There are many verses in the Bible about God’s Will …
  • God’s Eternal will.

Ephesians 3.11, “This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is a plan God will carry out, regardless of what we think about it.


  • God’s moral will.

Much of God’s will in scripture has to do with how we live our life, the right and wrong of our actions and attitudes. This aspect of his will is clearly given in the scriptures, and it’s a matter of obedience, not choice.

But what about the rest of life’s choices?
The decision to go left or right, to do this or that? Decisions that are not moral, nor are they eternal – but very practical, and still important.
Christians have offered a few models:
The Blueprint Model. 
God has a perfect plan for each person’s life. People holding this view look for signs like open doors, or ‘Gideon’s fleece.’ With a high view of the sovereignty of God, they believe there is one perfect plan for their life.
The fear is, Will I miss God’s will? And what happens when things go badly wrong – is this God’s will? These practical problems make others pick a second model …
The Wisdom Model.
By studying the Bible we learn the principles of God, our mind is renewed and we develop wisdom, capable of making good choices. This model honors the free will of man, but it still feels like it’s really up to us to figure things out. Where is the voice of God in all of this? This leads us to the third model …
The Discernment Model.
Isaiah 30-21, “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Verses like this tell us there is a direct communication from God to guide us through life.
Stay tuned to this blog series, as we delve further into this important question of discerning God’s will.
Which of these models do you believe? How do you discern God’s Will? Leave a comment below.