Acts 13: 1-3
Discernment and God's Will

Discernment and God's Will

This is a pivotal time in the life of our church.  It's a time when we will be asked to discern God's will for us as a church as we move forward.  This is not a time for complacency.

Historical Background

The church in Jerusalem began as a branch of Judaism.  They were convinced that Jesus was the nation's long-awaited Messiah. However, the Jewish authorities rejected their claims.  Persecution broke out.

Many followers of The Way decided to flee Jerusalem. They took Jesus with them.

One day this church made up of converts from many different cultures and social backgrounds gathered together for a time of worship, and fasting; God showed up and spoke to them directly.

This was an incredibly rare thing. There are only a few times in all of the scriptures when God sovereignly manifests His presence in this way and tells His people directly what He wants them to do.

How do we Discern God's Will?

  1. Pray and Fasting
    • Discernment of God emerges from time spent in God's presence
  2. Common Sense
    • God has given us a mind and He wants us to think for ourselves
    • Does this make sense?
    • Weigh the pros and cons
  3. Consider where God is already at work
    • Do we overlook where God is already at work?
    • Do we make decisions that grieve and quench the Spirit?
  4. Seek wise Counsel
    • We will often have friends who will pressure us to support their position
    • Seek counsel from people who have a reputation for being wise
    • Spend time in God's presence and seek His counsel
  5. Spend time in God's Word
    • There is no better way to know and experience God than through the teachings of His living Word
    • Seek those who are filled with the fruit of the Spirit

“If any of you lacks wisdom,
you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,
because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
James 1:5-8 NIV