3 Ways to Discern God’s Voice when Facing a Decision
Have you ever struggled to discern God’s voice when facing a decision?
You know, that itching feeling when it comes to discernment. The one where you just want God to shout out which way to go?
I’ve been there. Too many times.
I’ve faced decisions, crossroads and major life changes and stood frozen, afraid of making the wrong choice.
If I’m being honest, my career path has been far from normal. The best way I can think to describe it is as a wrestling match between my desire for security and God’s call for me.
It took years of scrambling, trying to find a career, for me to finally take a leap of faith and follow God.
And let me tell you, along the way, I have faced so many decisions. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to discern God’s voice above the noise.
Today, I want to share with you 3 powerful ways to discern God’s voice when you face a decision.
1. Be Still
God often does not shout above the noise in our lives. When we fill our days with busy schedules, distracted hearts and occupied minds, we push out any opportunity to listen to God.
I have faced the most loneliness and discontent at the end of a busy day, a busy week, a busy season.
It is only when we slow down, that we open our hearts to hear God’s voice.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. -1 Kings 19:11-12
Satan wants us distracted with the fires and earthquakes in our lives. He wants us busy and burdened so that we are unable to hear the gentle whisper.
I want to encourage you to set a specific time aside to be still for the Lord.
Choose a day, or a specific time during the day that you can sit quietly before God and meditate on Scripture, pray and be still.
When you do this, you will see past the noise and hear God’s voice.
2. Don’t Listen to Fear and Guilt
How often do you act based on fear or guilt?
Avoiding a conversation, changing your decision, not stepping up.
I have done so many things in my life because of fear or guilt. And often, when I face a decision, these two things are on the forefront.
Whether I’m afraid I’m not good enough, or afraid of the unknown, or weighed down and timid because of guilt, I have found myself facing immense guilt and fear when it comes to some major decisions.
I have wrestled with the doubt that the fear I feel is a sign to stop and turn around.
But God does not direct us from a place of fear or guilt.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
God calls us forth in power and in love.
When facing a major decision, consider your motivation. Are you choosing based on fear and guilt or God’s love and power?
3. Keep Moving
One of the greatest ways that Satan can work in a time of decision and discernment is to paralyze us with doubt.
There are so many crossroads as we grow in our faith and move forward in our lives. We will face decisions of all different sizes.
It may be as small as who to sit with or as big as leaving a job for ministry and everything in between.
Decisions and discernment are a part of life. And we cannot let that stop us from our true calling.
It is important to seek God’s will in every decision you make.
However, do not let the process of discernment keep you from moving forward.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. -Matthew 28:19
When you face a time of discernment, be sure to ask yourself this: Are you loving others and serving the Lord?
So long as you are doing this, you will be walking in God’s will.
Don’t let Satan paralyze you when you face a decision.
Take time to discern God’s voice, but then make a decision and keep moving forward.
If you are facing a major decision in your life now, I would encourage you to spend time every day with the Lord.
When you do this, you will find that His plan for you will unfold.
He will direct your paths when you lean on Him.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:6
Right now I’m facing a lot in my spiritual life and with lots of questios as”is God actually seeing me?is the Holy Spirit still with me?” Because there’s a very different negatively from when I gave my life to Christ and now. But these encouragement will help approach God in a different way . God bless you
Thanks for the advice. Prayerfully, this will enable me and my family to decide on our next career move. Much thanks.
I am so glad that you found encouragement. I love to hear that you are prayerfully seeking God’s will in this!
Praise LORD. Thanks for this Devine advice.
When my Knick of “Defender of the faith” stopped being appropriate ~ only after my stillness, simplicity and devoted time with Him waned…The enemy is laughing and smiling near me and after reading through this amazing gift from you, I feel ready to sing to Him: Speak to me Lord, again. Jesus was never to busy to forgive every sin or stain and I need not be to busy for more than a bullet prayer. Thank you sister and may His watch care be over your ministry and days
(For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7) – one of my favorite verses. It also makes me aware that He gave us the capability to -think-. Thinking and meditating doesn’t leave room for doubt and fear either. Great post Nicole! I need this reminder from time to time.
It’s practical. I want more practical ways or what can I physically, mentally, spiritually do to find where my next step lays at the multiple road crossing!
Thanks for sharing Nicole. This has been a huge battle for me in the last few years. I doubt and sometimes freeze up. I have a difficult time trusting some days resulting from a decision I made a few years back that I was certain was the Lord’s nudging and will, yet it fell to peices making me wonder if the Lord talked to me as an individual whatsoever. Long road back to trust but always worth it.
I can totally relate, Deanna. I’ve had a few similar experiences of my own and it’s hard to truly understand how God works in those times. But that’s when “keep moving forward” comes into play. Remembering that God’s ways are not my ways and that His plan is greater! I’m glad you’re thinking about it! 🙂
Interesting- what does it mean if you thought you were hearing God’s direction and it goes wrong?
Deb, I think this can be SUCH a hard thing – discerning what is and what isn’t God’s direction. I’ve struggled with this many times as I thought I was following God. But oftentimes I later realize that so many of my own fears or desires apart from God played into my choices. I think that because we live in a fallen world, following God and discerning His voice can be so hard. I would say that if you just keep moving forward in prayer and spending time in the Word, God will work in you and lead you. I just may not be the straight path we always want!!
there is demonic energy on me and around me and in my house hold and it making me be double mined please I need help that truly strong in our lord Jesus christ please give some information on how to overcome problems
Hi Verleana, I am praying for you as you face this Spiritual warfare. I have an entire series on spiritual warfare on my blog if you are looking for encouragement in this. In Christ, you already have victory over Satan. He has defeated Satan and we just need to claim that victory and stand in it. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7) – as you resist Satan and submit to God – Satan HAS TO FLEE. This is a powerful promise you can cling to. Speak Scripture over your day and over your home. Pray the name of Jesus out loud when you feel Satan’s attacks. Satan has no place in your home and remind him of this! I pray that you will be strengthened in this and in the truth and that you would put on the armor of God and find victory!
This is a great post! I have been there where the fear of making the wrong decision brings me to a halt; and where the fear of having made the wrong decision makes me want to turn back.
And currently I’m struggling with being so very busy. I have a yearning to be quiet with the Lord; have bought everything for my prayer journal/file, but actually spending time with the Lord is like the ever shifting end of the rainbow.
I can totally understand, Elzaan! It’s so hard to commit to that time of stillness before God. But once you do, you won’t want to stop!
Doubt – that evil little distractor that manages to knock us from purpose right into a ditch.
These are great points and awesome shields to hold back that doubt!
Thanks so much, Kathryn!
Nicole, I know this so well. When you say “a wrestling match between my desire for security and God’s call for me.”this is what ibe been going through lately. I feel like there’s a few things that I would like to pursue, but I also feel like I need to stay where I am for security. I’vr be focusing on 3-keep moving. I’m just going to keep moving towards those things that I would like to do, and let God open or close the doors as He chooses. This post is great time in, thank you so much for sharing.
Love that testimony there, Jen. Even in the times of unknown and doubt, keep moving! I’m so glad you are able to 🙂
But what happened to” when in doubt don’t act ( leave it out)”- can that not be the right thing to do too, sometimes. Wait,wait,wait… until you know.
I think that there is a time for waiting and being still before God, but even when we are “being still”, we are called to love others and to make disciples of all nations. We are called to grow in our faith and to live out that love that God fills us with. So when we may be spending time being still in one area, I don’t think that means we aren’t moving forward. I also think this takes a lot of discernment as we seek to spend time listening to God, but then following that up with obedience and action! And it is different for every single situation!
Very insightful. You bring out points not often heard. Oh yes, I can certainly relate to being too scared to move or make a decision. Getting still and quiet before the Lord is so important. One of the enemies greatest weapons in this day and time is distraction by being too busy. God certainly speaks in a small still voice within us and we have to be in tune and listening to hear Him. Love your writing.
Thank you for your kind words, Ronnie!
Great reminder this post – I have not been still in ages.
Yes, can be SO hard to truly be still. But so powerful. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!
Great advice! I’ve recently been going through those step myself and have found them helpful.
Thanks, Kira! It really is an ongoing process, isn’t it? 🙂
and make sure that you know for sure that it’s from God!
Yes, great point, Andrea! Thanks!
Seeing this post could not have been more timely.
Over the last couple of years, my struggle was security vs God’s call. Eventually through prayer and a few great supportive friends, I was able to work past the fear of the unknown and accept his call.
That fear of the unknown can be SO hard! Thanks for stopping by, Alyx. I’m so glad you were able to take that leap!
Thank you so for the word of God. He on teaching.