How to Discern God’s Will for My Life

Journaling my thoughts to the Lord usually brought a sense of peace. But this day, peace eluded me. “Lord, I’ve prayed for wisdom, and I still have none. What do you want me to do? No option feels right.”

Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and follow Him (John 10: 27). But sometimes, the background noise of fear, others’ opinions, and the enemy’s taunts drowns out His voice. Have you ever wanted help to discern Gods will? Here’s help.

Sometimes, the background noise of fear, others’ opinions, and the enemy’s taunts drowns out God's voice. Have you ever wanted help to discern God’s will? #wisdom, #GodsWill Click To Tweet

Three Questions to Help You Discern God’s Will 

What has God already said?

Jesus will never violate the instructions He’s revealed in His word. The first check point in seeking God’s will is to learn what He’s already said about your concern.

For example, let’s say you’re wondering whether you should form a business partnership with someone who’s business success you admire. However, some offhanded comments concern you. He separates Christ from business dealings and doesn’t share your moral values. Consider these verses.

  • “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14 NLT).
  • “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Cor. 15:33NIV).
  • “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matt. 6:24 NASB 1995).

Does my thinking reflect God’s character?

The Pharisees claimed to follow God’s word in their misinterpretation of the law. Yet Jesus said, “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent” (see Matthew 12:1-8)

Clearly, these religious scholars had turned the perfect law of liberty into a shackle that kept people from God.

Satan misused Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Today, he twists scripture to slander, tempt, accuse, and condemn. Psalm 119:160 reminds us that the sum of God’s word is truth. A snippet of scripture can be misused as a club, a noose, or a loophole. When a verse meant to infuse courage becomes an accusation, it’s certainly not our Shepherd speaking.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB 1995).

Even God’s correction leads to repentance and life, while worldly condemnation leads to feeling hopeless, paralyzed, and distant from God (2 Cor. 7:10). Direction that doesn’t reflect God’s love, justice, goodness, and holiness doesn’t reflect Him.

Where are my deepest desires leaning?

As I walk with God, He creates a desire in me to please and follow Him (Phil. 2:13; Ps. 37:4). That is why Thomas was willing to go to Jerusalem with Jesus even when he thought it would end in death. He wanted to be with Jesus more than he valued safety and security.

That doesn’t mean we won’t experience fear and dread. Living in a fallen world includes battling deceitful desires. But God creates a desire in the heart of His child for His will. Ask God to create in you a desire for His good will.

If your current options pass the first two questions but you still have no peace, it may not be the right time. Perhaps, the best option is yet to be revealed.

That morning on the porch, God’s Spirit answered my query with a gentle whisper. “Be still and know that I am God.” God wanted me to wait. Not the answer I was seeking—but one that brought me peace. I waited for over a year before an unexpected option opened. Today, I’m thankful I waited on God’s leading.

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name” (Ps. 23:3 NLT).

Comment here.


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  1. Barbara Latta

    “As I walk with God He creates a desire in me to please and follow Him.” This is one of the keys to knowing His will. We will want what He wants when our hearts are tuned to His voice. Thanks for sharing, Debbie.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Yes, I really believe that, Barbara. Thanks so much!

  2. Connie O'Neil

    Perfect! Enjoyed this!

  3. Stephanie Eiles

    I needed this today. Thank you Debbie!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I’m glad to hear it was helpful. Sometimes we need to be reminded when we’re in that waiting room.

  4. Joanne Viola

    “As I walk with God, He creates a desire in me to please and follow Him.” So very true, Debbie. Years ago my husband was asked to go into business with another man, who was a wonderful businessman but an unbeliever. We sought the advice of our pastor who wisely reminded us of 2 Corinthians 6:14. We passed up the opportunity and were very grateful we did. God will always guide us according to His Word and on paths that are for our good.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Joanne, those can be tough decisions. But God’s word protects us from the potholes out there. So glad you listened!

  5. Heather Vance

    I needed this today. “Ask God to create in you a desire for His good will.” I’m going to commit to praying this. Thank you, Debbie.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Wonderful! Thank you, Heather!

  6. J.D. Wininger

    I’ve discovered in my walk with God that the closer I remain to Him, the more clearly He can be heard. Wonderful guidance here Ms. Debbie. These are three keys to knowing you are in His will. I’ve often made decisions that I thought were aligned with Christ’s teachings, but when I started to execute I would feel a check in my Spirit. When that happens, I know to go back and listen some more. Often times, it’s a mere course correction. Other times, it’s been “Full Stop.” Heeding His leading has helped me avoid some nasty outcomes. Great post ma’am.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I’ve learned to listen to those checks too. They over protection from hidden snares. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Ann Musico

    There are times I hear Him loud and clear and other times I struggle. I know when it seems difficult to hear His voice the issue is with me, not Him. Learning (and I am still learning!) how to quiet myself inside always helps.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ann, I’m with you. It can be unsettling after He’s been so clear to not hear. But like you, learning to be still and trust Him brings peace.

  8. Donna Reidland

    Number three made me think of the passage that says He guides us with His eye upon us. I remember reading Matthew Henry’s commentary on that verse and he said it’s the same way a faithful servant comes to know his master.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      I love that verse, Donna, and the analogy. Thank you!

  9. Heather

    This is so timely for me, Debbie! Thank you so much!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Heather, thanks so much for reading.

  10. Karen Friday

    Great insight, Debbie. I’ve always wondered why believers could think God’s will would stray outside of His guidelines in His Word. And in order to hear God’s voice clearly, I must drown out the noisy world around me.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Karen, it doesn’t make sense, does it? But I’ve seen many who do.

  11. Yvonne Morgan

    At times,I do hear God directions for my life. Other times, things fall into place so I know I’m on the right path. Thank you Debbie.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Yvonne!

  12. Annie Yorty

    This is great advice, Debbie. Thanks for making it so easy to understand.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Annie. This is an area I tend to wrestle with God and one He’s taught me in over and over again.

  13. Susan Marlene

    Well said! This is so encouraging and truth! Blessings!

  14. Barbara Harper

    These are great tips. I’ve struggled with the last one, fearing to trust my desires in case I am being selfish. But if I am walking with Him, in His Word, and truly wanting to do His will, He promises to give me the right desires.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Barbara, I do believe He works through our desires. We have to run them past Him, but when we want His will I’ve seen Him adjust my desires. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  15. Jeannie Waters

    I’ll keep this post, Debbie. What scriptural guidance you’ve offered. This statement is a wise one to remember.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thank you, Jeannie!

  16. Donna Reidland

    My husband and I are waiting on the Lord concerning a major decision and I find my heart in both places. But I’m holding on to the fact that He will make the right choice clear and help my heart get single-minded. Thanks for these verses and truths. I’m letting them marinate.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Donna, waiting doesn’t come easy for me. Matt. 7:7-8 provides great peace in those times. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Lord Jesus, thank You for listening to Donna and her husband’s prayers. Please open and close doors according to your will and grant them unity as they pursue You.

  17. Nancy E. Head

    “He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name”

    The “Be Still” part can be hard sometimes, but He is a wonderful guide and counselor.

    If we will only be still.

    Thank you, Debbie, for these wise words. God bless!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Nancy, I agree. That one can be hard to maintain.

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