Discerning the will of God can be difficult—but it is an essential key to peace and happiness.

The premise of this study, and Christendom, is that true (and lasting) peace and happiness are obtainable only by fulfilling God’s will. In order to fulfill God’s will, one must first know what God’s will is. In this teaching I will share a few insights regarding how to know God’s will, how to discern between God’s leading and Satan’s cleaver deceptions, and how to identify (and avoid) the common roadblocks to being able to perceive God’s leading.

Discerning the will of God can be confusing. There are a few Scripture passages that seem to offer contradictory counsel. For example, Genesis 12 seems to indicate that we should not plan, but rather, simply trust God to guide our steps: 

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your relatives and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you [at some point in the future].’”  (Genesis 12:1)

However, there are Scriptures that seem to indicate that we should plan, and not move forward unless or until proper planning has been done 

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. They will say, ‘You started building, but could not finish the job.'”  (Luke 14:28-30)

“What will a king do if he has only ten thousand soldiers to defend himself against a king who is about to attack him with twenty thousand soldiers? Before he goes out to battle, won’t he first sit down and decide if he can win?  If he thinks he won’t be able to defend himself, he will send messengers and ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off.”    (Luke 14:31-32)

Yes, discerning the will of God can be challenging. My prayer is that the information below, and the information presented in the 30 minute teaching on this subject (accessed by clicking on the link below) will help individuals grow in their ability to discern God’s leading.



Thoughts and questions:
Should I look for an Open Door, or a Closed Door? Believers are to look to God to direct their steps via the opening and closing of  doors. A few support verses are noted below:

  • “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘This is the message from the one who is holy and true. He has the key that belonged to David, and  when he opens a door, no one can close it, and when he closes it, no one can open it.” (Revelation 3:7)  
  • “…pray also for us, that God would open unto us a door… to speak  the mystery of Christ…”  (Colossians 4:3)
  • “The  [Apostles]  traveled through the region of … Galatia because the Holy Spirit did not let them preach…in the province of Asia.  When they reached the border of Mysia, they tried to go into the province of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.”  (Acts 16:5-7)

God has a plan, and desires to reveal His plan:  

  • So then, one does not need to wonder if  the Lord will reveal His leading, but how the Lord will reveal his leading. Consider the verses below:
    • “I know the plans I have for you…”  (Jer.29:11a)
    • “Trust  in  the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto  thine own understanding.    In all  thy ways acknowledge  him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6) 
    • “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  (John 15:15)
    • “The secret of the Lord is with those that fear Him.”  Psalm 25:14) 
    • “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…”  (Psalm 37:23)
    • [God] “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee…”  (Psalm 32:8)
    • “The holy God of Israel, the LORD who saves you, says: ‘I am the LORD your God, the one who wants to teach you for your own good and direct you in the way you should go.’”  (Isaiah 48:17)
    • “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth.”   (John 16:13)

God reveals His plans through:

  • Dreams/Inspiration  (Daniel 10-12)
  • His Word  (Psalm 119:1-16, 105)
  • Seeking Him  (Jeremiah 29:13; Judges 18:5)
  • The counsel of the godly   (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 19:20)  Confirmation  (Judges 6)

Possible hindrances to perceiving God’s leading include:

  • Sin  (Psalm 36:1-4; Isaiah 57:17)
  • Wrong motivation  (Matt. 15:8; James 4:3; Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Impatience  (Genesis 12-20)
  • No prayer life  (Isaiah 65:1)
  • Fear   (Joshua 1:6, 7,9,18)

Remember, God is sovereign. His will/way/timing/choice for you is perfect: 

  • Following God’s will may move the believer into deep water and uncomfortable situations. However, our task is not to understand His leading, but to be obedient to it. Therein lies the blessing.
  • “How great are God’s riches! How deep are his wisdom and knowledge! Who can explain his decisions? Who can understand his ways?”  (Romans 11:33)
  • “This God–how perfect are his deeds…”  (2 Samuel 22:31)



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