Friday, July 09, 2021

How to Discern What God Wants You to Do

 (Out for coffee in Monroe, at Agua Dulce.)

What does God want you to do? Henri Nouwen writes: 

"God has a very special role for you to fulfill. God wants you to stay close to his heart and let him guide you. You will know what you are called to do when you have to know it." (Nouwen, Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, p. 97)

Discernment is a function of closeness, of intimacy, of familiarity. Discernment increases where there is enduring connection. 

"Staying close to God's heart" includes presenting our selves as living sacrifices to Him. Then, we are told, we will be able to test (discern) the good and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

I know this from experience. Yet, it is radical in church life, since many focus on figuring out what to do without emphasizing, in the first place, staying close to God's heart.

1. Stay close to God. (Abide in Christ.)
2. Listen and discern.
3. Follow.

All this is "the Lord is my shepherd" stuff. God desires to guide you in this life and will guide you as you stay close to his heart.

You can read about discerning the voice of God in my book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.