"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16

Discering God's Direction

How do we typically discern if we should do this or that? Whether God wants us to be in this job or that job? How do we make godly decisions? Was discussing with some brethren over this issue, and so I thought it would be good to e-pen my thoughts down.

To begin with, I personally recognise that the mark of spirituality is primarily the brokenness of self. So below is a non-exhaustive indicative list in no particular order, which I use to discern if Christ has spoken on a certain matter.

1. Does this matter involves my ego? If so, the right choice would probably be the choice that put my ego down to the lowest. Afterall, we are called to die to self.

2. Does this rings loud in what God has recently put a burden in my heart? For example, if I keep having a sense that I should do something, perhaps like read up on something, help someone or be more patience in general or towards specific person, then when the opportunity comes to do that something, it's probably God calling us to do that something. The probability that God has spoken is higher if we are already guessing that the sense of burden is from God.

3. We look into the Scripture, because God can speak through the Scripture. Does the Scripture explicitly command it or forbid it? If it is not explicit, are there any implicit indications that I should or should not do something? If there is no indication, we can pray about it and ask God to reveal to us what pleases Him most.

4. Have God used external factors to prepare me for the matter? For example, has He spoken through the Body, non-believers or circumstances? It can either be expressed in words we hear or things we see. Do we feel a sense of conviction towards certain matters building in us over time?

5. Does this particular decision help me to worship God better? Is there a balance of lifestyle, such that I have more time to be quiet before the Lord and available for His Kingdom when He activates the mobilization? Remember that being BUSY is akin to Brought Under Satan's Yoke!

6. Is there fear or lack of faith on this matter? If so, perhaps God is training me to have more faith or boldness.

7. Do I have the peace of mind? Is my spirit aware that I will not please the Lord if I will to take certain course of actions?

8. Am I being a good and faithful testimony towards the Body and non-believers? Will I stumble anyone unnecessarily if I will to take certain course of actions? While it is a given that if we are absolutely sure that God has told us to do something, we should not be concerned about the opinion of others. But in our haste to obey God, we can possibly erect unnecessary rocks which will stumble people. We need God's wisdom in the how-to even when we know the which direction. And this is tightly connected to the next point.

9. Is there love or lack of it in my decisions, first towards God then fellow human beings? If we have not love, then please go back to point 1. :)

Having said the above, I do recognise that it is one thing to diagnose, and quite another thing altogether to act upon on the diagnosis. It also takes God's wisdom in our actions, because we can also do the right thing at the wrong time, and yield the right (our rightfully deserved) results. We are desperate beings who need to rely on the Spirit for our daily living, even if we do not wish to acknowledge that.

But generally speaking, if we are able to see our own hearts and motives, recognise our shortcomings, humble ourselves and depend on the Spirit, I believe we will hear God speaking loud and clear to us. Why? Because His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27). Do we believe in what Jesus said? Do we have the desire to follow Jesus?

Please do feel free to add your thoughts.