Discerning Divine Direction

Discerning Divine Direction

Discerning Divine Direction

Don’t you ever wish you’d receive every morning a fax from heaven telling you what you need to accomplish that particular day? That thought is a bit tempting when life is chaotic. But if we think of it a bit further we realize that would be terribly boring. Even if we feel that life is out of control, we can rest assured on these facts:

A) God has promised to guide us.

I will instruct you and teach you
    about the direction you should go.
    I’ll advise you and keep my eye on you.
(Psalm 32:8, CEB)

B) Sometimes we need to wait but it’s for our good.

Nonetheless, the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you,
    and will rise up to show you compassion.
The Lord is a God of justice;
    happy are all who wait for him.
(Isaiah 30:18, CEB)

C) God does give us direction, we need to discern it in our hearts.

If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21, CEB)

How do we then discern divine direction? How do we know a decision is right? Here’s a short but surefire way to discern God’s guidance á la Ignatius of Loyola (in the Spiritual Exercises):

“It is characteristic of the good spirit . . . to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations, and peace.”

“it is characteristic of the evil spirit to harass with anxiety, to afflict with sadness, to raise obstacles backed by fallacious reasonings that disturb the soul.”

This means that if you prayerfully consider your choices, God will direct your decision making process. Remember that God will never guide you to go against the word of God. God’s plan for you will make you more fruitful. And if you stay open for God’s guidance, a certain decision will bring you peace. Follow that lead. Leave anxiety and restlessness behind and move towards peace.

Even then bring this decision to God in prayer for confirmation. God will let you know in your heart if this is his will for you. Time after time I have found that this really works. At the same time I always pray that the wrong doors will be closed and the right ones will be opened. It is amazing how some doors are really closed against all odds. And when the right doors are opened and you truly have peace, you can move on with gladness. Even if the whole world thinks you are crazy!

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for your steadfast love & guidance.
Give us patience to wait for your best timing.
Open our hearts to discern your direction for us.
May only your will happen in our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you discern divine direction?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you follow Christ wherever He leads you!

Image courtesy of Emanuel Neiconi. Linking up today withFaith Filled Friday.

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