How do we discover the specific will of God in our lives? Here are some practical suggestion adapted and extracted from an article by Emery Nester in his Book C: Beginning Your Ministry.
It is important that all these factors work together and that none be used in isolation.
- Consider what you think you would like to do. This could involve teaching, witnessing, or perhaps doing some physical activity on behalf of the church. We might refer to this as an inward impulse. Caution: This is not valid in every case, however. Jonah is an example listening to a wrong inner impulse. His inward impulse was to flee. (Jonah 1:3)
- There will be Scriptural confirmation. By this is meant that there will be instruction from the Word of God. We must be sure that we follow the teaching of the Holy Spirit and never move contrary to the Word of God.
- The third thing is the trend of circumstances. This is simply an open door or an opportunity to do what you would like to do. God leads by opening and shutting doors.
- Overall peace is an important consideration. This means simply that you have a settled and good feeling about the whole situation. Even with the previous three variables present, it would be foolish to consider the activity or direction inwardly unless you felt an overall peace about the matter.
- The confirmation of the local church, is likewise important. Wise council is an important source of God’s leading. Listen to the advice of your trusted advisors. Think and pray about their comments.
- In each of these things, it is obviously assumed that prayer is involved…that you have sought His face and direction in each matter. (James 1:5-8)
One should be very careful about asking God for a fleece, or a sign. (Judges 6:37-40) Doing so may be testing God and indicate a lack of faith. Don’t forget, God gives us ‘common sense’ – use it.