Most people will have to go through a handful of big decisions in life that require discerning God’s will. I recently finished a book by J.I. Packer, God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions. Overall the book was helpful, but it was long and I don’t expect most have the time to devote to it.
One helpful takeaway was a list that was given under a heading “A Biblical Approach to Guidance” that I thought would be helpful to share.
- Live with the question: “What is the best I can do for God?”
- Note instructions of Scripture—the call to love God and others.
- Follow the examples of godliness in Scripture, most importantly the love and humility of Jesus.
- Seek wisdom, don’t be a spiritual lone-ranger. Draw on the wisdom of others.
- Take note of nudges from God—special ministry concerns for service and restlessness of heart.
- Cherish divine peace which guards those who are in God’s will.
- Observe limits set by circumstances and accept them by God.
- Be prepared for God’s guidance not to appear immediately; expect him to guide one step at a time, for that is how he usually does it.
- Be prepared for God directing into something you would not like, then teaching you to like it!
- Never forget that if you make a bad decision, it is not the end: God forgives and restores.
Probably the most important thing to remember in discerning God’s will is drawn from Psalm 23. The Lord is our shepherd. We are sheep in need. No matter what path we are on, his compassion, care, and covenantal love is never far from us.