Dear God: “How do I discern your will?”

Dear God: “How do I discern your will?”

Before giving a specific answer to the question, Pastor Tim identified two distinct aspects of God’s will:

God’s Sovereign will: God’s predetermined plan for everything that happens in the universe.

  • Psalm 139:16, “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
  • Ephesians 1:11, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
  • Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”
  • Acts 2:23, “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”

God’s Sovereign will is whatever happens. It happened because it is a part of his sovereign will.

God’s Moral will: The moral commands that are revealed in the Scriptures which guide us into godly behavior.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
  • The phrase “God’s will” is does not always accompany the behavior, but all of the commands in the Bible that teach us how to live make up God’s moral will for us.

We will know God’s moral will by reading the Bible.

With that background, the response was given to the question: “Dear God, how do I know that I’m doing what you want me to do?

One answer:

  • If it has to do with something that is specifically addressed in the Bible, you know you are doing what God wants you to do if you obey what it says.
  • Don’t look for a sign. Look for a verse!
  • Be a student of the Word so you will know what God’s moral will is.

A second answer is:

If you face a significant choice or decision in your life and the answer is not directly addressed in the bible, then:

1. Ask for the Spirit’s guidance.

John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

Carve out time to be alone with God in prayer and seeking his face in the matter, even times of fasting. How he guides is a mystery, but the Spirit can ‘prompt’, ‘nudge’, ‘an uneasy feeling’, ‘peace’ a ‘bringing together of interesting circumstances’, ‘open and shut doors’, etc.

The Spirit’s prompting will be confirmed as you apply wisdom to the decision…

 2. Make the wisest decision you can (after you have sought the Spirit’s guidance).

Bringing to bear everything you can and all the knowledge you can bring to bear on the matter…

  • List the pros and cons.
  • Seek wise and godly counsel from others: your spouse, trusted friends, men and women with experience and expertise in the matter that you need to make the choice in.
  • Read, explore, study.
  • Examine the skills and the resources you have.

And then making the best decision you can with the information!

We have freedom to choose. In the mysterious merging of God’s sovereign will and our free will, we have real choice in the matter.


What was your experience like on Sunday at River Oaks? Anything you would like to share or anything you would like the staff or leadership to be aware of?

If you are looking for “connections” within River Oaks, please check out our web site, reviewing the buttons on the bottom of the home page for the following options to get connected through either fellowship and/or serving:

  • Group Grill (fun way to connect with others through food and fellowship)
  • Spring Hill Summer Camp Volunteers
  • Moppets Volunteers
  • Vessels That Thrive- midweek seminar (Wed, May 15 at 7:00 pm/ meal at 6:30)

OR, contact Scott Tilley at 574.875.1152 x103 or I’m happy to help you connect in your area of interest.

Trusting in God’s will this week!

Scott Tilley, Adult Ministries Pastor




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