Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2 ESV).
When Elijah was afraid and did not know what to do next, he ran to Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God to discern God’s will. Elijah heard a strong wind, experienced an earthquake, and saw a fire, but God did not speak through these. Instead, God spoke quietly in a “low whisper” (1 Kings 19:12 ESV). When he heard the whisper of God, Elijah could “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV), and some of what God said was not pleasant to Elijah.
Some believers expect big winds and fires from God and will not wait like Elijah for the “low whisper,” because they lack spiritual discipline and training. The will of God in ethical matters is not difficult to discern. God has given us the Bible, a conscience, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach us right and wrong. Believers can rely on God’s Word to help them make moral choices. Discerning God’s will when it comes to life’s choices in mission and ministry may not always be easy, but it is nonetheless not difficult. The believer who constantly seeks the Lord’s direction by reading the Scriptures and praying will “hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21). Wise believers are accustomed to the ways of God and will not move or act until they are confident of God’s direction. This comes by what Paul calls “testing” in Romans 12:2 – learning to listen to God and checking what we hear against the Bible, against wise counsel from spiritually mature Christians, and against what we know of God’s working in the world. This comes by experience and faithful obedience to God’s Word. Discerning the will of God requires whisper training, and few believers are willing to be trained by God to know his ways.
Today, listen to God. Make sure it is God’s direction you receive before you act (see 1 John 4:1). Obey the commands of Scripture, because God will not give further direction if you disregard the Bible’s moral teachings. Those who want to know God’s will but disobey his clear commands cannot claim God’s will in their lives. Remember to pray for others; selfless intercession for the work of Christ in the world will put you in a better frame to know God’s purpose. Do not look for the mighty rushing wind, the earthquake, or the fire; train yourself to wait for God’s “low whisper.” Then do what God says do.
For encouraging daily devotionals, visit the Daily Bible Verse page.