Is it just me or is it sometimes super frustrating trying to figure out God's will? If you're in the process of trying to determine God's direction and really any area of your life, this article is right up your alley as I lay out five steps on how you can best position yourself to discern the will of God.
I face decisions daily where I am trying to discern the Lord's will and I wish I could promise you 100% accuracy. But that just does not exist. But what I will do here is show you a process and how you can position yourself to best discern what the Lord's will is for any situation.
Learning to discern the Lord's will is one of the most important aspects of your Christian life. But it can also be one of the most frustrating. So, let's dive into my step by step process here!
Step #1 - Digging into the Scripture
Now, if you've caught any of the other posts, you're going to notice a theme. The Bible is very, very important when it comes to discerning the Lord's will hearing his voice dialoguing with him regularly.
The Bible is so foundational to all of this. Now, two possible scenarios are, that is going to come about from reading the Bible and trying to discern the Lord's will on a situation.
The first scenario is it's going to be right there, black and white in the pages. What you should do? so an example of this would be your questioning whether or not you should steal bubblegum from the store.
Then you read in the 10 commandments in the book Exodus, thou shall not steal very, very obvious what you should do, what you should not do, what the Lord's will is in that.
Those are my favorites when I can go directly to a Bible verse and know exactly what I'm supposed to do. But oftentimes there are going to be decisions that you are trying to face where it's not spelled out perfectly like that in the scriptures. So, trying to discern God's will for what college you should attend or what job you should apply for, or who you should marry, all these types of things.
You're not going to find a really laid out specific instructions on, Hey Tyler, you're supposed to go to X university. What you need is you need to be able to take biblical principles in those scenarios and apply them to the situation that you're facing.
So, let's say that you are a young guy in your interested in this woman and you want to know whether or not it's God's will for you to pursue her. Now what you want to do is you want to look at Bible verses that surround that entire topic. So, is she a Christian? God calls us to be equally yoked.
And so, is she someone that's following the Lord? Does she have the same value system as you? Is she a woman that, that would exemplify that? Proverbs 31, a type of model, all these types of things are the ways that you're going to help figure out, Hey, this is something that could be God's will for my life.
Like I said, it's not going to be perfectly straightforward, but you can apply principles to really position yourself to walk in the will of God.
Step #2 - You are going to want to Pray for Wisdom
One of my favorite stories and you're allowed to have like a hundred favorite stories from the Bible, but one of my favorites is Solomon. And when the Lord asks him what he can have, he chooses wisdom.
And I just think he just nailed it on the head there with that answer. And here's why. Because praying for wisdom is going to unlock the door to being able to make the right decisions that are going to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
Now, we have a promise that we can stand down right here and it's James 1:5. It says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him”. So, this is a promise from the word of God that if you ask for wisdom, the Lord is going to give you the wisdom that you need.
When I'm trying to discern the Lord's will one of the traps that I can get caught up it's to try to overthink the whole situation. God does not ask us to try to think about every little nook and cranny and a different scenario. I'm really, one of the best things that we can do is actually bring the situation into his playing field through prayer.
So, going to God in prayer. And there's a couple of real biblical prayers that I would suggest using in this scenario. The first one is Colossians 1:9. “For this reason also since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you”.
Here's the part right here. That's really going to nail down finding God's will and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding, and so I will take that verse and I will say: God, would you please fill me with wisdom, the knowledge of your will in this situation and just ask for him and trust that he's going to do that.
Another one is Ephesians 1:17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation and the knowledge of him”. Now, why is it important to have wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God?
A lot of our decisions and a lot of us trying to discern the will of the Lord is going to be directly related to the way that we see him and so that if you see this loving, kind, wonderful creator that wants the best for your life, you're going to make decisions in light of that. And so, asking for a revelation of who God is going to directly impact what, what you're thinking and how you're feeling about discerning his will.
Step #3 - Engage in Listening to Prayer
And I've created an article specifically on this topic, so make sure to check that out. It's my five-step listening prayer model that really gives you detailed constructions, walking you through that process. But we'll go ahead, and we'll summarize it right here.
The main part of listening prayer is being able to quiet yourself down so that you can actually hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. And then when you're hearing and feeling the flow of God speaking to you, you record that and then you evaluate that you evaluated against the Bible. At times you'll bring it to other people and say, Hey, what do you think about this?
You're going to want to have people get their eyes on it so you can get other opinions from trusted Christians. And then finally, you're going to want to respond. So, one of the key things, when you're discerning God's will, is once he tells you that will do it.
You don't want to just know the will of God and not do it. And so, we'll be talking about this more as we go on in this teaching. But responding to God's will is a key aspect and continuing to know, discern it in the future.
I want you to take a moment and, in the comments below, I would love to hear what decision you're trying to make right now. One thing, what thing you're seeking the Lord's will on and what I want to suggest is let's not go ahead and try to give everyone advice and try to figure out their problems.
I just want everyone to have an opportunity to share where they're currently at. And it'll be cool to kind of look through the entire comments section and be able to see what a lot of people are trying to discern the Lord's will over.
Step #4 - Is To Seek Wise Counsel
Now I touched deeply into this issue in another article called: “How to hear the Holy spirit discerning God's voice”. In there, you're going to get a lot more detailed instructions, so make sure to check it out. But a scripture that really steps in with this entire concept is: Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed”.
Now, one of the most important things is that you are getting the right advisors, and so make sure that the people that you're going to for counsel are people that you trust in the Lord who are living a lifestyle of faith that you want to model. Now, I mentioned this previously, but I want to say it again.
Watch out for the safe trap, and when I'm talking about the safe trap, what I'm saying is people will naturally tend to lead you towards the safest possible answer, the safest possible solution to a problem.
When oftentimes we see in the scripture that was not the way that God was leading.
And so find people who are taking risks in their life, God-inspired risks, not just risks for the sake of taking a risk and trying to be radical, but people who are trying to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and are moving in that direction, try to talk to those people about what you should because they're going to be the ones that are really going to lead you on the right path.
Don't just take the most conservative, easy, comfortable option because a lot of times that really won't be the Lord's will for you.
Step #5 - Be Patient and Decisive
Now there's some tension between these two characteristics but I'll tell you why it's important to be both patient and decisive in this process and you don't want to jump the gun.
You don't want to decide without fully considering what the Lord has to say about it. You want to make sure that you are being intentional and truly finding out the way that God feels about the situation and that you're answering accordingly, but at the same time, you don't want to wait so long and try to throw out so many different options and figure everything out to the exact right.
The perfect thing that you never end up making a decision or it takes years to do that. Now we in the church are probably one of the best examples of drawing things out the way, way longer than they have to. Let's take, you know, trying to find a different carpet for the church that's going to go through your elder board. That's going to go through special committees. There's going to be a congregational vote, all these different things.
I'm just picking a little bit on the church right now, but, but what I'm saying is you're going to want to be able to make a decisive decision. Once you feel that you do know the Lord's will. Out of these five steps, there's going to be some that are going to be easy for you, probably some that are going to be a little more difficult.
And so, what I want to know in the comments below, would you write which step in this process is the most difficult for you to faithfully adhere to?
Before you go, make sure to take a look at our free keys to the kingdom mini-course, how to unlock the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
This will be a great tool for you, especially the activation portion in the course where my wife leads you through the process of hearing the voice of the Lord, which is so crucial and being able to discern his will.
Thank you so much for joining us here on the IV Hop Academy site. We want to use biblical revelation coupled with practical application to see spiritual transformation in your life. So, if you're about that, make sure to subscribe and share this with anyone else you think might be interested.
Have you ever looked back on your day, only to realize that you rarely even thought about God or talk to him at all throughout the day? If you relate to this, do not feel ashamed. It is easy for us to be swallowed up by all of our activities, responsibilities, and commitments.The key here though is to not accept that reality.
So, in this article, I'm going to take you through my five-step process of being able to focus and converse and dialogue with the Holy Spirit and even the most monotonous of tasks throughout your day.
Here, I'm going to teach you five practical steps that you can have a conversation with God throughout your daily routine of life. And now if you want to receive more content like this, make sure that you subscribe that way you will be informed anytime a new article is released and stay tuned till the end as I will be sharing a really simple but really effective tip to help remind you to continue to connect with the Lord throughout your day.
Step #1 - set apart a portion of your day that is completely consecrated and dedicate it to him.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you for making sure that you're having that regular and consistent quiet time is to actually put it into your schedule.
Now at first, that might seem a little legalistic like, Oh, every day at 7:00 AM I have to make sure to spend 30 minutes in the Bible and then 30 minutes in prayer and whatever. I want you to just to get away from that for a second because it is not a legalistic thing. What it's actually doing is it's telling yourself, it's telling the Lord and is telling others, that this is a priority.
To me, it's such a priority that I'm going to put it into my schedule. Life nowadays is filled with so many responsibilities that are constantly tugging at our time that it will be so beneficial to set apart a portion of your day that you know is just to be spent with you and God. And if you're able to do that, it is going to affect the rest of your day.
It is going to get you into a place where thinking about the Holy Spirit, thinking about the Lord, asking him questions, talking to him throughout the day is much more natural. One of my vulnerabilities as a believer is I can become a doer where I just want to do, do, do, accomplish a bunch of things for the Lord when a lot of times I think he's asking me just to be with him.
There is a great example of this in the scriptures where we look in the book of Luke, it's about Mary and Martha. And so, Luke 10:41-42 Jesus says this: “Martha, Martha, the Lord answered you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her”. Now what was Mary doing and what was Martha doing?
Martha was really really busy in the kitchen, preparing things, getting everything ready for the guests, and what she was ended up doing is she was actually complaining to Jesus about Mary. What was Mary doing? Mary was sitting at the Lord's feet listening to his word.
Now, I totally believe in serving and I think it's a necessary part of being a follower of Christ, but I think Jesus makes it really clear here that man, he loves to be served, but he loves even more at times just to spend time with you. You know, it's not always about doing things for him. It's a lot of times he wants to just spend time with you.
Now, here's the point that I was challenged with earlier in my Christian walk and it was scheduling your day around your quiet time. Having that be such a priority that other things get bumped out of your schedule because they would interfere with your quiet time.
Think about it, it's, it's the time where we get to connect with the God of the universe, and so having it be a time where you are most awake, alert, energetic, and able to connect with the Lord, that is the time that you want to have your quiet time. Some people, it's going to be mornings. Other people, it's going to be during their lunch break. Some will be evenings or for you night owls It's going to be late at night.
Whatever time you can be most engaged with Jesus, that is the time to schedule your devotion. We do not fit time with God into our busy day. Instead, we schedule our time with God and then we build the rest of our day around that. All right.
Step #2 - is to reduce your commitments
The best way that I've found to reduce my commitments is to take a step back and look at my schedule. Look at all the things that I have planned, all the commitments and responsibilities that I have made with myself or with others.
When you're doing this, you're going to want to look for those dead weight activities, those activities that really aren't pushing you and fulfilling the mission and vision that God has put on your life, but maybe you're just doing because you're wanting to please someone or you think that you should do this.
There's going to be plenty of those opportunities that you're going to want to say no to so that you can free up time both in your schedule and mentally so that you can concentrate and do the things that God is actually calling you to do. The simple act of reducing some of your commitments of saying no to some things that people ask you to do.
Well, that's actually going to free up mental and emotional space inside of you so that throughout the day your mind is not bumping around in a million different areas and instead you're able to turn your attention to Jesus far more often.
Step #3 - eliminate distractions
Now first off, one of the best ways when you're reviewing your schedule and trying to eliminate distractions is to time log. And what time logging is tracking your day and figuring out where you're spending your time. My suggestion is to do this for maybe a week or two weeks.
Don't change anything from your normal behavior and then be able to review and see how you are actually spending your time. It's going to surprise you. Some of the activities that you are putting hours and hours and hours into each week that really are useless.
And so another thing that I would like to suggest is using an app. I'll link to it in the description. It's called toggle. And this is an app that I use and it's, a great way to be able to kind of break up how you're spending your day. You can start the timer when you're starting an activity, finish it for a different activity, you know, restart it again for another.
So, there's, there's a great, great opportunity there to digitally be able to track your time. Now, after you have your time log, you're going to want to review it and you're going to want to eliminate or shrink those areas that had been taking up a lot of time that aren't helping you move forward in your relationship with the Lord. And so different areas that can, can fall into this category are TV entertainment sometimes even rest.
Now, I'm a big believer in making sure that you are rest and refresh and able to really give the Lord and others all that you can. Rest is crucial for that. But I think sometimes we over-utilize rest think about it way too much to the point where we're actually wasting too much time resting or trying to entertain ourselves, where we could be putting that time into relationships, to connecting with God, to doing different things that he's calling us to do, to change our world.
A lot of this eliminating distractions is actually building a habit. And so, you're gonna want to set different goals, track your progress, and really give yourself some grace in the process, but make sure that you are being diligent and, and moving in the right direction. Now is the time where you get to tell on yourself.
Now, this is a judgment-free zone. So, no judgment here, but in the comments below, I want to know what your number one time-wasting activity is.
For me, there is a specific podcast that I absolutely love, but at the end of the day is sort of pointless. And so, I find myself sometimes throughout the day, spending way too much time just kind of numbing my mind with that. So, in the comments below, write out what is your number one time-wasting activity.
Step #4 - is simply talking with the Holy Spirit
So, in steps one through three, what we were doing was just cutting away all the dead weight. We were opening up more mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional capacity. So that as we're going through our day, we actually can dialogue with the Holy Spirit.
I suggest talking to the Holy spirit about anything and everything whether it's advice on a simple question like what you're going to cook that evening what clothes you're going to wear. Some of these things may seem silly, but I think that the Lord really just loves having a deep, intimate relationship with us.
So, coming to him with all of those things, there's going to be times in your day where you feel stressed or frustrated or need to solve a problem. Don't try to figure that out on your own. Go to the Holy Spirit. He wants to talk to you. He wants to help you. He wants to lead you in a specific direction, take time to thank him for things, man.
There is so much that I personally just take for granted in life. To be able to cultivate a heart of gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord for just the simple things in life. That's a great way that you can just continue that conversation with them.
And then also one of the questions that I love to ask is, Holy Spirit, what are you thinking and what are you feeling about X? And you can put anything you want in that you could have it be a, you know, Holy Spirit. What are you thinking and feeling about my children? What are you thinking and feeling about the church that I attend?
All these different options. And then you just wait for the Holy Spirit to really give impressions and put things on your heart as well. And it's a form of dialogue. It's, it's giving time and attention to the Holy Spirit, which inevitably is going to change you on the inside as well.
Step #5 - practice the presence of God
Now, what exactly does that mean to practice the presence of God?
Well, I learned about this principle from a small little book written by brother Lawrence called practicing the presence of God. And the concept is basically turning your attention to the Lord in everything that you do.
So, one of the things that he would do is he was a cook in the kitchen of the monastery. And so, while he was cutting up vegetables while he was, you know, doing the basic work of the kitchen, he was actually communing with the Holy Spirit. He was setting his attention on the Lord. He was not just involved in just what was in front of him, but he was attentive and aware that he was in the presence of God, even in the most menial of tasks.
Now in our description below, I'm going to give you a link to our free keys to the kingdom course. And within that course is a downloadable version of practicing the presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
So make sure that you go there and check that out.
So as promised, here is my bonus tip. A really practical strategy that you can implement to draw your attention back to God. Every single hour is to set either your watch or your phone on a special function of dinging once an hour.
Now I have a cheap little Casio watch and I'm able to set it, so it deems once an hour. And when it does, what I try to do is to just take a minute, stop what I'm doing and just recognize the presence of God, whether it's me just saying a brief prayer to him, whether it's me just taking a deep breath and realizing that he's here, he's with me.
Whatever it is drawing your attention to the Lord on an hourly basis throughout your day is doable and I think it really helps to bring our attention back to what's important in life, which is drawing close to Jesus, growing in greater love and intimacy and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Before you go. I want to know what is the best time for you personally to connect with the Lord. I've given a list of different options there. It just is cool to kind of see where everyone falls with that. Me, I'm a morning person. I like to get up and connect with him early in the morning while I'm still fresh and attentive.
As I mentioned earlier in here, make sure to check out our keys to the kingdom free mini-course. Inside that course, is a downloadable version of brother Lawrence's book practicing the presence of God and we also have another cool resource, a part of it that I got right here.
It's six reasons to pursue the supernatural. Obviously, when we are dialoguing and talking to the Holy Spirit throughout the day, that is a supernatural experience and I wanted to get six of my top reasons why I think it's important that we are pursuing the supernatural in our daily existence.
As always, if you enjoyed this, please make sure, subscribe to the IV hop Academy and share it with anyone else that you think may be interested. Stay tuned. Next week as we are going to dive into a how-to guide on discerning the will of God and getting direction from the Lord, we will see you then.
Step number one
In this listening prayer model is simply to getaway. Now that can be super difficult nowadays with all our responsibilities and commitments. But to actually find a place where you can connect with the Holy Spirit is going to be so crucial and you being able to hear his voice record what he's saying to you, and really have confidence that you're connecting with the heart of God.
I love the story from the gospels here in Luke 5:15-16 is talking about Jesus, but the news about him was spreading even further and large crowds were gathering to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
So, he was getting this massive following. But what did he decide to do? He said you know what? I know that if I'm going to be able to serve the Lord the best that I possibly can, I got to get along with them. And so, he would often slip away to the wilderness just to pray and that is such a prime example of what we're called to do.
And yes, we can hear God at any time throughout the day, but there is something special about getting away and getting to a place where you feel completely in tune with the Holy Spirit. A couple of tips on this point your environment really is important.
So if you go into a place that's super cluttered and you just kind of feel stressful and weird noises are being made, all that stuff, that's not going to be a conducive place to connect with the heart of God and be able to listen to what he is saying to you. But if you're coming into a place that is serene and quiet and peaceful, and you just feel good in that place, that's going to make a difference in your prayer time.
Now, another thing that I always like to bring up is consistency. Going to the same place repeatedly establishes a habit in your heart where you say, okay when I'm in this place, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to be praying, I'm going to be reading my Bible, I'm going to be journaling, I'm going to be hearing from the Holy Spirit.
And so, making sure that you return to that same place, time and time again is going to develop an awesome routine where hearing the voice of God becomes simpler.
And finally, the last piece of advice I have for you in this step is to turn off your cell phone or leave it out in the room or throw it outside. Do it ever get that thing away from you when you're trying to have your quiet time when you're trying to come before the Lord.
Because it is so tempting and I'm right here with you guys. I'm not bashing you; I'm talking from experience. It is so easy to just open that phone app and next thing you know, you're five minutes into cat videos on YouTube, it happens without us even thinking about it sometimes. So, stop that temptation from even being an option and leave your phone out of the equation.
step number two
In this process, you need to power down. Life is so full of stimulation and stress and activity, especially nowadays. And so, you must learn how to quiet your heart and to quiet your mind and begin to enter a place where hearing from the Holy Spirit will be much simpler.
In this place you want to quiet yourself mentally, you want to quiet yourself physically, you want to quiet yourself emotionally. And sometimes that can happen through just taking a few deep breaths for meditating on the presence of the Lord. I find it often helps to worship the Lord before my quiet times. It kind of provides that clean break from just the craziness of the rest of my day.
That really helps me to enter his presence. For some it may be reading your Bible, whatever it is, make sure that you're doing something that is helping you to power down. And like I said, this is a two-step process. You're not only quieting your mind, but you also want to quiet your heart.
You know, we have so many thoughts of what we need to do, our task list, what we need to get for you know, groceries, everything like that. Kind of going through our minds constantly. But guess what, there's also a ton of things going on the inside of you, emotionally, different feelings you had from that conversation you had with your friend earlier from the way that you felt your boss treated you.
All these different things are going on inside your heart too. So, learning how to power down in both of those areas is crucial to be able to quiet yourself, to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. All right, now I want you to think: Where is your favorite place to get alone with God? I love being out in nature so I can get out in the woods, especially the mountains. I love to connect with God in that atmosphere.
step number three
Now it's simple. You just start asking questions. So, in this listening prayer model, you're going to be taking your questions before the Holy Spirit. Now, for those of you who are not used to this, this may seem a little strange at first.
And as much as I would love to constantly hear the audible voice of God, that's not quite how it's worked in my life. Now that does happen for some people. They do have those experiences that are still alive and well today.
But for the most part, the way that I can listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit is when I quiet down and I hear what he's saying on the inside of me where his spirit is interacting with my spirit. And there's a cool verse that backs up this claim.
Jeremiah 33:3 says: “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know”.
God wants us to call and ask him questions. He wants to answer those questions for us. This is a real relationship and we have a real person on the inside of us wanting to share the hearts and intentions and thoughts and emotions of Jesus to us.
So literally asking him questions about things that you're trying to figure out in life is so valuable. This was such a crucial thing for me because specifically with leading a ministry, being the head of my family, I'm just trying to be an overall great follower of Christ.
I have so many questions about what to do, how to do this, where to go, all these different things. And once I began to finally learn like, Hey! I can ask the Holy spirit these questions, I don't have to figure it all out on my own. Like the Holy spirit likes me. He wants to talk to me, and he will give me a lot of these answers that I'm asking for.
And so, once that began to happen, I was able to put specific requests in front of him and feel confident that I was hearing from him, giving me direction and what I should do in those scenarios.
step number four
Now is the time for you to evaluate what you fear, what you felt like you were hearing the Holy Spirit speak to you in step number three.
This process is crucial. You don't want to just take everything that you felt immediately in the moment and just take that for 100% truth and run with it. I think it's really valuable, especially with an open Bible to reread through what you felt the spirit was saying to you and make sure that it is being backed up by biblical principles.
Discerning God's will and in there you're going to get a lot more details on this whole process of making sure that you're evaluating what you feel the Spirit's saying to you and that you're making a decision that you can be confident is within God's will for your life.
Another thing to think about when you're looking over and evaluating what you feel the spirit saying to you is: Hey, where was my motivation in this? Was there a selfish motivation? Am I trying to glorify God in this? What is the whole process taking place on the inside of me when I was writing this and there's going to be some questions where you're just going to want to table them?
You don't want to say, you know what? Holy Spirit, I don't know about this currently. And so, you take a few days, you continue to ask him, you continue to press in, you seek some outside counsel for some trustworthy people that you feel will give you some good advice and then you can try to decide.
And with all of that, there's something I like to talk about when we're trying to make decisions and evaluate whether what we're hearing is from the spirit or not.
I say be bold, but don't be crazy. I've heard some crazy stuff in my day of, Oh, the Holy Spirit told me to climb Mount Everest on the 7th of January at 3:42 AM I'm going to summit the peak. I mean, yes, I do believe the Holy Spirit speaks clearly, but there are sometimes where that's been abused, and it's just been taken out for really weird ways.
So, make sure that you're not doing that, but at the same time, be bold. Don't be constantly questioning yourself. Like, Oh, is that the spirit? Oh man, I don't know. And being super wishy-washy. I'm continuing to practice this process and as you continue to practice, you'll develop confidence and you can be bold and feeling that, Hey, this is the direction that I know that the Lord is leading me at this time.
step number five
It is time for you to respond. When you feel confident that you have heard from the spirit and that he's given you direction for a certain area. Now it's time to take what you've heard the Lord say to you and respond to him in prayer. You're going to want to ask him sometimes for further direction on it.
Oftentimes, almost always, I'm asking for the strength and the ability, the wisdom, the partnerships, everything that's going to need to be able to take place for me to fulfill his will in this certain scenario so you're not going to want to just leave it as, oh, I heard this is what the Lord says, and then just stop right there. The responding process is crucial to being able to carry out what you heard.
Now, God is not your magic mirror on the wall where you just go to him and just are going to receive a ton of answers and you kind of go onto your way.
This whole thing. It's about a relationship. He talks to us because he wants to have a relationship with us. And making sure to thank him for those times that he was speaking to you and to enter an intimate conversation with him about those topics.
That is so important in this process. And then before you leave that listening prayer time, ask for some tangible next action steps. A lot of times we can feel that we have this direction of what we're supposed to do, but we don't know the very next step in the process.
And what that ends up doing is it ends up keeping us from even moving forward in the will of God. Especially if it's a big thing that you feel like he's asked you to do. If it's this major project to be able to just look at that straight away and think, Oh, I can accomplish it.
It is not going to be the case. You need to take baby steps. You need to do the next step. And then the next step and then the next step. So, ask him, ask the Holy Spirit, Hey, Holy Spirit, what is my next step in this process? All right, before I go as I promised at the beginning, I'm going to lead you here quickly through my simple journaling process.
Now, there's a couple of ways that you can do this. You can do it on a computer, a laptop, a tablet, whatever. You can do it digitally or a lot of people find it effective to just sit down with a pen and a journal or a pad of paper and be able to do it that way.
The one caution I have for those that want to do it digitally is remembered all the temptations that come from having digital products around while we're in our prayer time text messages, new email notifications, all those things, that is one thing that you're going to want to try to minimize if you are going to be journaling on a computer, tablets, something like that.
One thing that I always do is I like to include the date my wife's gotten into this cool habit where she is looking back a year from the date that it is currently and just seeing where she was at, seeing what was on her mind, where she was with the lord, where she was with our family, with career, all that stuff. And dating these things is a great thing to do just to be able to look back and know when you were thinking and feeling a certain way. Another thing that I encourage is to write out the question that you ask.
A lot of times if you're just journaling what you feel the spirit saying without writing out the question, you're going to be confused that, Hey, what was I trying to figure out in this scenario? So, write out your question and then make it obvious where you feel. Hey, this is what the spirit was saying in this way.
I like to kind of move it over a little bit and an indent those lines so that I know, okay, the Holy Spirit was, was trying to speak in this way. Now, right here in your journals, you're going to want to also write out your responses, those prayers that you, that you pray back to God.
It's often helpful to write those out. Write down the next actions that you feel like he's leading you in. And then like I mentioned before, if my wife looks back at these journals you know, actually take time, make it a routine to every so often.
Look back and see where you were in a particular season, all that the Lord's done and bring you to the current season you're in. I've given you three answers to choose from here:
All right. Before you go, make sure to take a look at our keys to the kingdom free mini-course.
Sign up for that and you'll be able to get a lot more information, detailed step-by-step stuff when it comes to moving in the supernatural, hearing the voice of God and just having confidence that you're walking in God's will. We have a coursebook that goes along with it. It's just a great resource that is available to you for absolutely no cost. Thank you so much for joining us.
Have you ever wondered if something you were thinking was coming from you, from God or maybe even from the devil? I have been in this position plenty of times, which is why in this article I'm going to be teaching you my five-step process to clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so that you can have more confidence that you're following the will of God.
So, the process of hearing God's voice comes down to basically asking yourself several questions. And the first question that you want to ask yourself is:
Question #1 - Is it biblical?
Now, one of the things that I've learned in my life is that I don't have a Bible open at every step of the way or I need to make split-second decisions that I need to be thinking on my feet for.
And so, that's why it is so important that we are regularly feasting on the word of God. So that in those times where we have to make those split-second decisions that we want to make them according to God's will, we will know the right things because we have prepared ourselves ahead of time to make the correct decision at that moment.
Now it's important to note that you are not going to find every single answer to your questions in the Bible, what I mean by that is let's take something that we see nowadays, say flying in an airplane. You are not going to see a Bible verse about whether or not it's okay for you to fly in an airplane. But what you will find are biblical principles that are either going to support that or deny that.
And so, in the case of flying an airplane, you know, there's nothing that's going against that in the Bible. So that would be something that would be fine for us to do. But if there is something that it's not specifically laid out in the Bible but it's going against a biblical principle, then we need to recognize, Hey, that is going against what the Bible teaches in this sphere. And it's not going to be God's will for me to do that in my life either.
You see, I like to think of God's will as a river. Now, right down the center of the river, you've got that water flowing and that water, in my opinion, that's the Holy Spirit. All right? And then you've got the banks that are keeping the water in. And I like to think of the banks as the word of God.
And so, anything that fits within the word of God that the Holy Spirit is giving a yes and amen to, I believe, go after that full force. But if it's anything, even a drop of water that falls outside of that riverbank, consider it poison. Get away from it. You don't want to do anything that you cannot back up and that you cannot find biblically supporting what you're doing. All right.
question #2 - Does it result in love?
In first John 4:8, we see that God is love. So, if it's anything that you're thinking of wanting to do that, in the end, is not resulting in love, we can be sure that that is not according to God's will. Now I want to make something really clear here because we have a bit of a twisted definition in today's society of love.
This is love based on God's terms, this is love based on what is written in the Bible. This is not something that, that we just kind of try to twist and think about, to make everyone feel good about themselves or make everything feel like it's great.
We need to make sure that we are defining love according to the way that God defines it and that we are strong and taking a stance in that pursuit of love. A great example of this is to take a metaphor of a doctrine, a patient.
Now let's say that this patient is really really good friends with the doctor and the doctor doesn't want to hurt or offend or make the patient feel sad in any way. And so, the patient's coming in and getting exams for let's say to see whether or not they have some serious type of disease.
Now, if the doctor notices that this patient does have this serious type of disease, but because he doesn't want to offend the patient or scare the patient or, or make his friend feel sad or, or embittered or anything like that, he decides to withhold that information. That would not be an act of love, that would actually be malpractice.
And so, when I'm talking about love, it's, it's being willing to confront people in love, in a spirit gentleness and a spirit of wanting to seek unity and reconciliation, but yet still be willing to say, Hey, this is something that I'm noticing in your life.
But be careful, because Jesus himself talks about making sure that you take the log out of your own eye before you remove it from your brothers. So, make sure that that this thing that you're going to bring before someone that you are right with God on the issue as well.
Question #3 - Does it Glorify Jesus?
In my opinion, this is one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit is to honor and to glorify the son. Now we can see this in John 16:14 which says: "He will bring me glory". This is Jesus talking about the Holy Spirit. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. So, the Holy Spirit is receiving information from Jesus and he is telling it to us and one thing we can be sure of if it is the Holy Spirit's voice, it is going to be glorifying the son.
This is a really good time in the process to sort of do a heart check, to really kind of sit down and think, what are my motives in this decision? What are my motives in this thought? A lot of times we can think we're having the best motives and intentions, but if we really get to the root of the issue, we might recognize some selfishness, some desires just to please ourselves and to look good in front of others.
And you know what? You can't always make those decisions and say, Oh, I'm not going to go in that because I have a little bit of that motivation. Because I think for a lot of us, we wouldn't end up doing anything.
There are little hints of that everywhere. But if your primary motivation is, Hey, I want to be liked by someone else, or I want to do this because it's going to make me feel good at the expense of others, or there's some selfish desire that is at the heart of it, then you probably know, Hey, this isn't for the glory of God.
This is really for the glory of me and to take care of me. And so that would usually be a decision that you're going to look in the other direction and you don't want to come to the Holy Spirit and say, Holy Spirit, you know what I really want to do God’s will, show me what it is in this. Remove these selfish motivations from me and let me desire to do his will and all that I do.
Question #4 - Is This Convicting or Condemning?
Now, one thing that the Holy Spirit loves to do is to convict us, because that is an ultimate act of love. That is the Holy spirit seeing us going in the wrong direction and putting a check in our spirit saying, Hey, if you continue to go this way, more and more destruction will result. But one thing that the Holy Spirit will not do for a born-again believer has condemned them.
Now, we need to take a step back and recognize what the difference between condemnation and conviction is. All right, so let's start by defining conviction. Like I said before, a conviction is when the Holy Spirit is putting something on your heart that might not feel the best.
You might feel uncomfortable. Don't run from that feeling. That's a good feeling that Hey, you're confronting sin right now and instead of delighting in sin, you are feeling that pull against you saying, Hey, this isn't something that I want to be doing.
Now, conviction, in my opinion, always has an aspect of hope with it. There is hope for change. It is not shame-based. It is not coming against you, making you feel super guilty and wrong and like you're never going to get better. That is not a conviction. That's where we fall into condemnation. And we can be guaranteed that the Holy Spirit will not condemn us.
So, if you're feeling shameful in a real self-hatred type of a way, that is not the voice of the Holy Spirit. If you're feeling convicted and like you have a hopeful desire for change, that probably is the voice of the Holy Spirit. So, let me give you an example right now.
Let's say that you just did something. You just gossiped about someone else. Now at that moment, after you gossip and you leave that conversation, you might feel that twinge in your heart going, Oh, I shouldn't have done that, but you know what, God, I pray for forgiveness for that and I'm coming back full force going after you. If that's your feeling, then you're feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
That's a great thing. You're hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit at that time. But if you're going, Oh, I'm a good for nothing person, I'm never going to get better at this man. I just don't even know why even try it. Those are the thoughts that are going through your mind.
That is not the voice of the Holy Spirit, which is a demonic influence. That is the enemy coming against you at that moment, and so we must be able to clearly identify those two things because whatever we continue to focus on after we feel that initial twinge in her heart, that is what's going to really help us to either continue in that sin or to get out of it.
Question #5 - What are Other Trustworthy Christians Saying?
Now, the decision-making process is not supposed to be done all alone. It is meant to be done within a Christian community. There are going to be some things that you're just going to make decisions with on your own, but a grand majority of the time, especially with important decisions, you're going to want to take these to brothers and sisters that you truly love and trust in the faith.
A great example of this is Acts 15:28 it says: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements”.
Do you see what was happening there? It was a group of people discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit. They were trying to figure out what was the Holy Spirit saying and then yes, that was resonating with our spirits as well. And so then from that position, they were able to direct and lead the other Christians in this matter.
Now when you're seeking counsel from other Christians, it's important that you're going to Christians that you respect and that you actually want to emulate yourself. So, people that you are looking up to are great people to go to when you're seeking advice on things. And one of the things that you want to look out for is what I call the safety trap.
Now, the safety trap is unfortunately in today's society, in the westernized church there is this belief that the safest route is always the will of God. And so, there's so much risk aversion to really whenever you're making a decision, whatever has the least amount of risk has the most amount of benefit for you leads to the most amount of comfort. That must be the will of God, right? Wrong.
There are going to be times of course, where that's, that's going to be the case, but there are going to be plenty of other times where the Holy Spirit is leading you in a way that is going to be risky. Let's think back to some of the stories in the Bible. David going up against Goliath.
I think unfortunately a lot of counselors nowadays are going to steer David and that situation. "Oh, don't go up against him". Look at what could happen. Look at all the risks that could happen in this place when God was saying yes, be bold and be courageous and go after him. We've got Gideon's 300 men where he kept on shrinking down, down, down in size of the army.
That doesn't make any sense to the natural mind, but it was the will of God in that scenario. So, make sure that the people that you're listening to are people that are also walking the same Christian light that you want to walk. And there's a great scripture that backs this point up.
If you look in First Corinthians 3:19, it says: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God”.
As the scriptures say, he traps the wise in the snare of their cleverness. And so, whatever the world is saying or whatever seems to be just the most obvious, of course, this is what I should do, type of answer. It may not be that way. That's why it's so important that you seek the will of God.
You don't just go off of the first instinct that you feel in the moment. You take time to get away, to talk to other people, to really ask yourself these questions, making sure that your motivations are right, making sure that you were in line with what he is telling you to do.
So that is my five-step process when it comes to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. And of course, there's, there's more that could be added or taken away. It's not always a perfect formula, but that'll get you really on the right track to hearing God's voice clearly.
And now I want to hear from you. There are so many ways that we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. And so, I was just curious, how do you most frequently hear the voice of the Holy Spirit? A lot of people get mental pictures, internal impressions. They read the Bible and they really feel the Holy Spirit talking to them through those words and phrases or, maybe none of the above. Go ahead and in the comments section below, type which way you most clearly hear the voice of God.
And finally, I wanted to make available to you a free mini-course that I and my wife have created called keys to the kingdom, how to unlock the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, this course is so relevant to this teaching because the activation portion, which my wife actually leads you through step by step, how to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
It's an actual exercise that she leads you through and there's a ton of other great information in there that helps when it comes to hearing God's voice when it comes to discerning an authentic move of the Holy Spirit. So, we want to make sure that you check that out.
And as a bonus in there, we also have this awesome resource identifying the authentic move of the Holy Spirit. And here it's going to give you a lot of what you read in this article, but in a form that you can print off takeaway, put it in your Bible and really be able to use it in the future to inform your decision making when you are trying to decide whether or not something you're thinking or feeling is coming from God.
So, if you enjoyed this article, make sure to subscribe to the IV hop Academy and go ahead and share with anyone else that you may think would find this information valuable, stay tuned to the IV hop Academy as next week, we layout our listening prayer model. Prayer is much more than just talking to God. It's hearing from him too, and we hope you will enjoy next week's teaching. We'll see you then.