Tom Patterson defines discernment as “the insight given from a God-given inner sense of what is the truth and what is to come from that truth." In other words, discernment is receiving a revelation from God and then knowing what to do about that revelation.
True discernment should result in a desire to change because once you know the truth of where God wants you to go, it becomes very difficult to look back and stay stuck.
I am not saying that discernment comes easily. And there has to be a relationship with Christ in order to know what He wants from us.
I believe there is a process that we can follow in order to gain discernment.
The following are 6 steps that I learned when I did my very own “Find Your Beautiful” life plan that I think are important for this process:
1) Invite God into your life: God will never force Himself upon us because He is a perfect gentleman. Welcoming Him into our hearts will open the door so He can go to work in our lives.
2) Bravely seek the Truth: Only when we can look at our lives in honesty can we truly develop a life plan based on godly discernment.
3) Search His word: God wrote a manual for living called The Bible and all we need to thrive is found in it. Searching His word will open our eyes to His truth and guidance.
4) Be still and listen: Not only is it important to schedule time for Bible study and prayer, but being still is critical for listening to what God is saying and revealing to you.
5) Surrender: This may be the toughest step of all. It is difficult to yield to anyone but ourselves. However, surrendering is a crucial part of discernment because if we don’t let go of things that are not good for us, we can’t make room for what is.
6) Practice Patience: This process is not something that automatically fosters a discerning spirit in us. In fact, this process may be a slow one because God doesn’t operate within our timetable. Therefore, patience will allow us to wait for what is best instead of settling for the good.
You’re probably asking yourself what to do once you have an inclination of what God wants from you. Well…that’s when you start putting one foot in front of another in the direction God is leading you in, remembering that imperfect progress is still progress.
The next time you have to make a decision or need direction in your life, I encourage you to follow these steps to discernment so you can gain the clarity and peace to make the right choice and lift the fog of confusion.
Practicing patience is the most difficult step for me in this process and I’m still learning how to be patient well.
Please share which step or steps do you find most difficult to follow when trying to gain discernment.