Twelve Angles on Discerning Gods Will for Your Life

  1. Submission and Surrender 

At the end of the day, it comes down less to ‘what is the correct choice or path to take’ but more ‘Am I fully surrendered to you Jesus?’ He who tries to save his life will lose it but he who loses it for the sake of the gospel will save it. We need to be surrendered if we want to hear His will. If we are half surrendered, half still me-focused, we want the power still. Full surrender means fully open to His ways.  Because on the new road, He knows we will need to trust Him more, and walk hand in hand with Him more closely still, for it all to work. How surrendered are you?

  1. What is your heart’s desire? (Ps 37: 3-7)

He will have planted a desire in your heart which is like the instinctive capacity migrating birds have to find home. He has given you the vision, the calling, for your life, and will see it through with you. Don’t be afraid to take time to clearly hear your heart’s purest desire, and with this sense where it leads you. What is Your hearts highest calling?

  1. Scripture: General and Rhema 

The way ahead will always be congruent with the general will of God as declared in scripture. Maybe care for the poor; feed my sheep; share the good news and so on. Then there will often be Rheema words from scripture which confirm a particular direction. Seek Him in His Word, and He will show you.

  1. Opportunity for Kingdom Growth

Does the opportunity in front of you make Kingdom sense? Does it give God more glory? Does it facilitate the growth and expansion of His Kingdom in greater ways than currently? Or is it something that would be of benefit more for you? How can you usher the Kingdom in?

  1. Wise Counsel 

Seek wisdom from those who know you well. Don’t make big decisions alone but put them in front of those who will seek His will with you, those who are for you and for Him. Spend a session with such people in prayer, just waiting on God. This has been immensely helpful for my family at several significant times, as those we sat with offered their impressions which added up beautifully to a full picture. Seek counsel and prayer.

  1. Fasting 

The spiritual disciplines are all important in seeking His face. Solitude, silence, submission and so on. And yet there is nothing that seems to grant us greater access to His Spirit than the discipline of fasting. There are many ways of doing this – length of time, types of abstinence, solo or with others, and so on. Ask Him what He would have from you.  

  1. Holy Spirit Leading 

Ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit. For these major decisions, intently seek His clear voice and guidance. I have experienced this ever so clearly at major decision points in life, including dreams, hearing His audible voice, confirmation by 7 people when I just asked for 3, and so on. He loves you, He is for you, He is on your side. He will not give you a snake when you ask for a fish. Ask Him to lead you.

  1. Faith vs Obedience 

This is an interesting one worth mentioning and holding in balance. At some stages of our spiritual walk He seems to want to test our obedience. At others He seems more interested in our faith. At one of the biggest decisions of my life it was the latter…not so much a sense of I should obey His call but more He was inviting me to step out in faith. Of course it involved the release of His gift of faith to me, but it interested me that it wasn’t just a step of pure obedience that was called for. And in His wisdom He built my faith up to live confidently in this new paradigm. What is He calling you to – a step of faith or a step of obedience? 

  1. Is there a God Gap?

God Gap meaning the way ahead is only possible if God is with me. If I can do it alone then really there is not much Kingdom challenge here. If the new path looks in a way like sitting on a sailing boat at sea, only able to move if or when the wind arises; if it involves rock climbing antigravity style under an overhang, then these are times I must have the wind of His Spirit, or be held up by His hands against gravity, to move at all. It is living in this God Gap where, in my view, Kingdom life is most challenging, enjoyable, and eternally fruitful. What is your God Gap here?

  1. Building on Life Experience 

Look back over your life. What were your most significant life events, your sense of God and His journey so far with you, maybe key life scriptures. What is your hearts desire? Journal these. As you look back, what step or steps does it seem to make the most sense that you would take now in the journey, as prepared or inadequate that you feel. When I did move to Asia, so often afterwards I would be in awe at how He had already built experiences and learning into my life so I could do well what was required of me.

David, at 15, had life experience in defending sheep. Goliath was simply one more step along that path. There was a God Gap, where he needed faith, and obedience, (and loads of courage I imagine) which subsequently led to an amazing array of Kingdom events for the rest of his life. 

What are some of the main areas across your life, likely they are preparation for what He is inviting you to walk forwards in to? What was that investment for, if not for this next step?

  1. Timing 

Is it the right thing but not yet the timing? I have also experienced this. The major call was right, but suspended for several years until it was truly the right time to take the new path. This allowed those around me to adjust to the idea so when it was the right time they were on board. It also allowed me to be located in one place where I was needed for that season, then released for the new.  Be patient, wait on Him, don’t move until it is the right time. For me  I never looked back. How about you?

  1. Peace that Passes Understanding 

When we have taken the decision and begin the action steps that affirm to ourselves and others that we are taking a new way, there may be opposition, criticism, or objection. But like Nehemiah, we need to continue in faith. More than likely, even though there may be some doubts, deeper than that, we will know His peace that passes all understanding and keeps our hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

Likely you have thoughts and experiences which have helped you too. Do draw on your past walk with Jesus to inform your present and future!

My prayer for you is that you find:

His good and perfect will for you at every fork in the road, 
His loving and gracious presence in your heart at every step, 
His encouragement when times are tough, and 
His affirmation of a life well lived when you move to glory.

Don’t settle for less.

David Nikles
January 2024