Doing God’s will is at the heart of those who desire to follow Jesus, yet discerning his will can be one of the most confusing parts of the Christian journey. Is there a right way to determine God’s will? Or a wrong way? What is at the core of knowing whether or not we are following God’s will for our lives?

Have you ever tried to bargain with God? (I wouldn’t recommend it!) I can recall a time when I was trying to discern God’s will and offered a so-called “fleece” to him. The problem was that in the depths of my heart, I wanted my way, not God’s. Essentially I told God, “If you do ‘this’… then I will do ‘this’… knowing that ‘this’ therefore is your will.” As it turned out, I was the one running the show, not God; or so I thought. God had some work to do in my soul.

In 1 Samuel 14:8-12, Jonathan declared his trust that God could direct and then waited to hear God’s answer to his “if, then”. God answered and against all odds, gave the Israelites victory over the Philistines.

Similarly in Judges 6, Gideon set out a fleece not once, but twice, testing whether or not God would truly save Israel. God answered Gideon’s, “if, then”, but that was not the end of the story. God continued to take Gideon through more challenges, testing his faith, and in so doing, Gideon’s faith increased. Gideon tried to demonstrate faith, but he was nervous and wanted confirmation that God was truly going to protect him and his people. What Gideon found was a patient God; a God who didn’t hesitate to push his limits but through that process gave him opportunities to see who was in charge. As Gideon delighted in his relationship with God, his confidence in his Lord grew.

When I finally reached a point of surrender, of relinquishing my will to God’s, I too found a patient, loving God who longed for my trust. God is not beyond using our human need to set out a fleece to increase our faith. That does not however mean that we will always get what we want, or at least what we think we want.

Far too often Psalm 37:4 is taken out of context. In this verse, David is not saying God will give us whatever we want nor is he giving us permission to determine our own “if, then”. No, it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desire of your heart.” Do you see it? IF we delight in the Lord, THEN he will give us the desire of our hearts. Those desires will come directly from delighting in him! The battles faced by Jonathan, Gideon and by you and me are not ours to fight. God’s will is clear. Delight in him and he will direct your path.

Lynette Fuson
Care & Counseling Director

Subscribe to the Daily Fill