December 7, 2009

Discerning God’s Will

Written by Boyd Bailey

Discerning God’s Will… “Then Gideon said to God; ‘do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece…” Judges 6:39 b

Understanding God’s will is not always crystal clear, especially if you believe He is leading you to do something new. You may be approaching an initiative you have never done before; or you don’t feel like you have the adequate faith or resources to accomplish the assignment. This type of questioning is wise. If your motive is to follow God, then the mature thing to do is to seek confirmation of His will.

However, do not let fear keep you from taking a risk, and do not allow pride to rush you into the situation half cocked. God is looking for people who will make hard decisions. Decisions that may even risk disagreement or misunderstanding from family and friends. But if God is leading you in this direction, you have no other choice. Just make sure it is God leading you, not ego, anger or greed.

He has prepared you for this next step of faith. Don’t miss it. Most people, as they approach the end of this life on earth, do not regret taking too many risks. Just make sure you take Holy Spirit led risks. So how can you discern God’s best for your life? You may need to “lay out a fleece”, a test to see if God is in on the deal.

What does it mean to “lay out a fleece”? It does not mean you are tempting God, for this is sin. But it does mean you are trying to discern God’s will through people, circumstances or His word. But do not be fooled. A fleece is not a magic wand to be used at your whim. Nor is a fleece something we hold over God to get him to do our bidding.

A fleece is a sincere attempt, from a pure heart, to discern God’s will. Sometimes it revolves around money. If money is not available, this is a very real indicator not to move forward. Sometimes it relates to the process itself. If you really have to force the issues, if getting an answer from someone is difficult, or if it is like “pushing a rope”, then you need to be very cautious. If this side of the relationship is so hard and difficult, can you imagine what it will be like on the other side of the relationship?

Another important question is how does this opportunity align with your principles and values, and with the word of God? Will you be challenged spiritually and will it be family friendly? Or, will this new opportunity place you in a situation of compromise? On the other hand, don’t hesitate to follow God into the battle, If He is with you, you are in good company.

The best indicator for God’s will is the opportunity for Him to be glorified. If success depends on God coming through and not just your own ingenuity, then you are on the right track. Trust Him. Watch Him work and your faith, and the faith of others will flourish. Am I rushed, or do I trust the Lord to lead me through a prayerful process?

Related Readings: Exodus 18:15; Mark 3:35; John 11:4; Acts 18:21

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