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5 Helpful Questions When Attempting  to Discern God’s Will

By September 28, 2016August 8th, 2021Christians, Encouragement, Faith, God

I am often asked how to knowhow to discern God’s will for our life. I’m not referring to which cereal to have for breakfast. For the most part I think God would simply say choose your favorite (and, like a good parent, try to steer you to a healthier option). I’m talking about those life-altering decisions, such as career choice, relationships, or decisions requiring huge steps of faith.

Most of us want to do God’s will, and yet, as I view Scripture, God seems to give us a tremendous amount of freedom to choose the paths in our life. If you’re like me, you’re fully capable of making a mistake. I’ve made many doing things my own way.

It seems easier for me when I have some sort of structure through which to process a decision. Years ago I began to ask myself questions when facing major options in my life.

Here are 5 helpful questions I often ask myself to help discern God’s will:

Does what I’m doing (or planning to do) conflict with Scripture?

Always start here, because God’s Word will never contradict what He’s asking you to do. God is always true to Himself and His Word is always true and relevant. We may differ in interpretation of a passage, but if it’s clearly spelled out in Scripture, then we clearly know His will.

Does what I am doing conflict with the counsel of others?

God uses others to confirm His will. I am thankful for the people in my life, including my wife and sons, who have helped shaped the path of my life. Often they see things I can’t see or believe in me when I can’t believe in myself. God sends the body of Christ to encourage, challenge and strengthen the body. (Don’t be confused, however, with times God calls us to go against the grain of life and walk by faith when everyone is saying we are crazy. See Noah for an example of one of those times.)

Does what I am doing conflict with the spirit within me?

God sent the Holy Spirit as a helper. He guides us with an inner peace or a holy unrest. If Christ is in you, He will not leave you to make a decision completely alone. Often God provides a peace or a lack thereof when He is trying to confirm His will.

Does what I am doing conflict with my life experience?

God uses our experiences in life to teach and mold us to His will. Often it isn’t as unusual of a path when we look back over our life experiences. Again, don’t be confused, because He usually stretches us out of our comfort zone also, but consider the life of Joseph. God continually used his past experiences to shape his future.

Does what I am doing conflict with my passion for life?

God tends to work with the things which fuel our fire. He loves when we are energized for the tasks He calls us to. When I look at Bible characters like Abraham, David, Peter or Paul it appears their calling matched their wiring. Paul was zealous for whatever he did. God used his passion for good. What’s your greatest passion? God may work within it to confirm His will.

Try those questions together and see how they line up to help discern God’s will as it relates with your the options before you.

I should encourage you in closing with this – I fully believe God works all things for good even when we miss His will in individual decisions. You can make a bad decision, but God retains the right to finish your story His way. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

You may want to read 7 Ways to Distinguish God’s Voice from the Circumstances of Life

Join Nate (or Chandler) and I for the Ron Edmondson Leadership Podcast. And subscribe now, so you won’t miss the next one.

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Join the discussion 99 Comments

  • Ron Tocco says:

    pertaining to the lady that asked the original question. I understand why you said what you said, I really do but you didn’t answer her question. She didn’t ask what God thinks about the situation. Read between the lines, you can tell she already knows “God can’t honor the situation.” If I may, I think what she’s really asking is, “what am I supposed to do now and how do I explain this to my boyfriend and the children in a way that will not cause them to sins.

  • Deidra Garth says:

    I love this post!I thank God for the opportunity to read this inspiratipnal story, and I thank you for putting it out there!God Bless you.

  • Dominique Rodriguez says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for two years. We have a blended family together of seven kids. One is ours. He is married because his ex refuses to sign divorce papers even though her cheating is the reason they split. He was confused and cheated on me with her the first year of our relationship. Now we are happy and he does love me very much. Around the time we first started dating I had just begun my walk with god. He was very far from god. I felt like I was to talk to him about god. He got saved a year into our relationship and has been growing. But some of our circumstances do not go with gods word. Because he is married. What is your take? Also I have gotten to a point in my walk where I feel God may be leading me because unexpected doors have opened for me to move with my children from PA. To Utah with my sister. Any advice?

    • ronedmondson says:

      If I'm reading you correctly, your boyfriend is married to someone else. God cannot honor this, because He cannot be contrary to His word. He can't contradict Himself. You don't have to question God's will here. I wish I could encourage the relationship, but I simply can't and be obedient to the word of God.

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for your thoughts on this, I will keep praying about it, and try to wait on God to lead.

  • Elenne says:

    Well right now I'm struggling in a situation, I want to study Veterinarian medicine and I have the possibility of doing it in a private University, but the first year I have to take all of the courses of the three quarters, but I'm working, and yesterday I was completely sure it was I just what I have to do, because I don't want to do it because I think it is pretty, but because I strongly believe that God has called us to take care of the land we live in and animal are a part of it, and also I want to glorify God through being an excellent professional and but the thing is that I need to work to pay for my tuition and if I am not able to do it I will not be able to study, but If I work, I can't take all of the courses because I will not be able to keep up with all of the things I will have to do. However my family thinks it is not what I should do, and I could easily take another career path but it just doesn't feel right to change what I want to do for the rest of my life, taking into consideration that I will make a lot of sacrifices to be able to be a veterinarian. Anyways I am trying to move forward and I expect to see God's hand through all these to tell me to continue and that He will fix everything for me or to tell me STOP right there and to open another path for me.

  • Elenne says:

    Well right now I'm struggling in a situation, I want to study Veterinarian medicine and I have the possibility of doing it in a private University, but the first year I have to take all of the courses of the three quarters, but I'm working, and yesterday I was completely sure it was I just what I have to do, because I don't want to do it because I think it is pretty, but because I strongly believe that God has called us to take care of the land we live in and animal are a part of it, and also I want to glorify God through being an excellent professional and but the thing is that I need to work to pay for my tuition and if I am not able to do it I will not be able to study, but If I work, I can't take all of the courses because I will not be able to keep up with all of the things I will have to do. However my family thinks it is not what I should do, and I could easily take another career path but it just doesn't feel right to change what I want to do for the rest of my life, taking into consideration that I will make a lot of sacrifices to be able to be a veterinarian. Anyways I am trying to move forward and I expect to see God's hand through all these to tell me to continue and that He will fix everything for me or to tell me STOP right there and to open another path for me.
    So what do you think?

  • Carey Barton says:

    I am struggling with addiction at this time. I God is my Lord n Saviuor. But I have fallen off track. Please pray I will find the strength n courage 2 get back on track n follow the Lord’s will.

  • laurie says:

    wrote 2 comments and feel free to email me. i feel ashamed that i was complaining of my situation when the gal had kids w/greater needs than i. wish i could help them cuz i have the room

    ty. laurie fisher

  • laurie says:

    yes generally i believe and agree with above comments re gods leading

    spec ifically for me i am doing my desire and that is taking care if elderly but my son just moved out have no hus and and very little social sec sooo…. i cant discern any peace now cuz i am experiencing being afraid (empty nest) and have no one to help with big house projects that would come up. becuz of the lack of peace now maybe just my emotions. my fears seem to be rising higher and greater than the word. i know the word very well but am extremely discouraged and scared. pls help if you can. and i do know the difference between peace of mind and heart inspite of adverse circumstances. crushing ne and cant seem to rise above

    i know jer 29:11 and so many others but not fitting at this time. taking anti seizure meds which may be cobtributing. thank you so much…looking forward to godly direction and wisdom from you…laurie fisher

  • Keila says:

    Okay I normally don’t do this but feel the need to reach outside my comfort zone for answers. I’m single mother of two, recently diagnosed with MS. Im on public assistance limited in financial resources. I just came out of a ten year relationship after being diagnosed. Well received an acceptance from section 8 but had to move to like a suburb area that I have no eexperience in. I prayed and even random ppl confirmed this moving even my mother. Problem. No doctors up there that I know, no money to travel even for food shopping, apt the close move in date comes the more I realize there isn’t sufficient storage place. Welfare giving me complications on moving. Current apartment kicking me out even though my rent is paid. Section 8 apt is doing when I’m moving but everything seems stagnant over night. I pray but feel peace within but looking around its chaotic. I’m nervous it may be either doubting like Peter or just following the desires of my own heart and manipulating my thoughts. Also kid father just popped up in my life in the end and just feel like I’m being very vexated because we unequally yoked, although I’m forced to be worth him cause I got no one to help with kids. I move in free of torment so y ssi hard at the end? If I stay vexated but why is it so hard? Am I in one accord or fooling myself. Long suffering

    • ronedmondson says:

      I don\’t know that I can answer this for you too be honest. You need someone to sit with and walk through this with. Do you belong to a church? Is there an older mature woman in the church? I\’d start there. This is far too complicated for an email exchange. I am praying you get clarity.

    • laurie says:

      keila….i just posted comment on empty nest from son moving out. i surely wish i could help cuz i love taking care of people and thrive on being needed …and have a ni e 3 bedrm home. i live in western ny area. i will pray pray pray for you and your kids. god will get u thru…keep believing trusting in god and…dont give up. when the enemy is close, god is closer still! a secure truth!

  • laura says:

    My husband decided to serve me with divorce papers out of the blue.I knew or marriage was in trouble but he did this behind my back. He moved out the same day and I feel lost. I am a Christian but at this time I haven’t felt the Lord’s presence.People tell me to take comfort in the Lord and but when you’re not feeling His presence that’s hard to do. I read the bible but most times it’s like I’m reading a grocery list just no close feeling to God. I know we aren’t suppose to go by feelings but to go by faith and trust and I’m trying but boy i would love to feel His presence and feel full of praise for Him because it worries me that I don’t and I know how wonderful it is to feel Him close to you and in awe,I miss it more than words can say. .He’s always been there like my best friend and I always felt like Jesus was sitting right next to me when I talked to Him.Now He is quiet and I know He is in control and I have to roast him but i just feel so alone.

  • Tanya says:

    Hi! My name is Tanya and I’m a freshman in high school. For the past 1-2 years I’ve been really inspired to be an actress. I know it sounds crazy “A devout Christian as an actress!” That’s what every ones been telling me. As a student in high school every one pressures you to figure out what you want to do early. Like college and what job I want. My sisters want to go to college and get great jobs like being a doctor and a lawyer. But I don’t want that. I’ve never really wanted to go to college or be a teacher or doctor etc. I’m just scared because I know it’s very risky and that I would have to make very hard decisions. Most movies nowadays have a lot of sexual content and cursing and using God’s name in vain. I feel like this is what God has called me to do, but I’m not so sure after every one told me that it’s impossible. I’m not sure if this is right. I feel like I should just have faith in God and know that He wi protect me no matter what and that I shouldn’t let anyone else decide my future for me. There have been auditions that I could do for horror movies and such, which I find that I don’t believe in, and I find that I’m torn on whether or not it’s an opportunity that God gave me after praying for one so many times, or if it’s a trial and I’m not getting His point. Thank you so much and God bless.

    • ronedmondson says:

      God may use you in that industry to make a huge impact. Stay true to your values and your calling. 

  • Paul says:

    Oh an just to add to that, I have heRd clearly from god that I am out abroad this year, not sure where, but I am beseeching god to tell me if I can go to where she is and do a ministry course there (which I’ve looked into and would be an option)

  • Paul says:

    Hi there,
    I really need some help discerning gods will! I normally try to follow feelings of inner peace and definately match them up to the word, but it seems that when it comes to relationships ad dating I can never ever just talk to a girl or get to know somebody without feeling chronic unrest and a knotted feeling in y stomach. I have had this ever since I was at least 16 and now I am 28. I dot want to be single all my life I have plenty of opportunities to get girlfriends/potential marriage partners but I never feel peace! Now I have always just accepted that it’s not gods will at the tume but the thing that is bugging me the most is that my father had this all his life and it wrecked his marriage. He was convinced tht god was punishing him for marrying my mum, she went to drink ad they divorced, then he went to the complete opposite as thought god was holding him to her even tough she had committed adultery when they were married and went on to have children with a different man. It bugs me now because I see how his life has been ruined by what could have been nothing more than his own chronic anxiety and I am worried that I will make the same mistakes thinking that it’s god. How can I tell if it is God who is troubling me or if it is anxiety about marriage. I must add that having seen what I have seen and been raised from a broken home I have been vulnerable to anxiety and a general bad feeling about family life. I pray a lot about this asking God to reveal what it is but I can’t get a clear persuasion. I have met a girl now, on a Christian online dating site, she is everything I dreamed of ever being married to and our conversation is always full of great fellowship. We agree on absolutely everything we both feel called to full time ministry and we are about to start goig through the bible together. She lives in Ireland and I in the south of England so I know god would have to evetually make a way or us to be together but I need to get rid of the unrest or just know for sure what his will is besides this feeling of anxiety. I must add that when I take this to god in prayer I do most of the time stRt to feel a very gently persuasion that it could be of him, and the unrest eases but as soon as I stop praying it comes back. Can you offer any help please? I’d really appreciate you views.


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  • Michael says:

    I don't normally post on threads, but the more prayer, the merrier.
    I should be happy, and in fact I am, where I am at. I'm a 24-year-old young dude, and I have a great job as a high school teacher. I am in my second year of teaching in an amazing rural district. There's lot of parental support in the district and my principal and colleagues support me in everything I do. I am so close to my family and friends in the area and feel really blessed to have them all. I go to a great church close by and everything is fine.

    However, I feel like everything I have learned over the past several years is telling me that I need to go abroad and be a light in a dark world for Jesus. I have been able to live in and travel to several countries. And now I really want (or is it God's will being impressed on me) to go to the Middle East (Morocco, Turkey, Azerbaijan, etc.) and work there as an English teacher. My goal is not to overtly proselytize, as that is illegal, but to be a witness for Christ by my actions and lifestyle. I also feel like I have been chosen to go abroad and do damage control for Americans, as we have a lousy reputation with regard to diplomacy.

    Going abroad certainly is something I enjoy. I enjoy meeting new people, learning new languages, and trying new things. But are my motives right? At least that's what my mom is asking me. I love my life here in the US, and I am content, but I feel like God doesn't call us to be content, right? I'm single, have no kids, and have a lot of life in me. Is it wrong for me to leave my comfy job, life, friends, apartment, car and go out on this adventure?

    I am praying earnestly (or at least I have been saying that I have been), but would sincerely appreciate any extra prayers send heavenward . . . Thank you very much!

  • Jhoanne says:

    thank you for such a wonderful article. this is so timely for me especially that I am struggling now if i should make a decision.. God gave me His word that He has prepared someone to be my lifetime partner & the one He is telling me is presently in a relationship with someone else..while there was other man who is p butursuing me which the Lord is somewhat telling me that e’ s not the right one. my heart is so distressed that I wanted to trust Hi in His tance wordc birut so hard becaue my circumstance is not that hopeful

  • Christina says:

    Hi! Great post; and thanks for asking us to let you know ’cause I was going to anyway 😛 this question taunts me… I’m 19 and I feel like everyone is upset with me (well honestly I’ve made decisions like not going to college or getting a job yet because I wanted to start a business; I felt called to do something efferent than the norm). It’s hard to explain that to people especially when my business is about helping families financially, yet I’ve always been very passionate about music and somewhat about ministry. I now have things I feel I must do (like work on a youth group and help out my business coworkers) but I also have an offer from an aunt to visit Switzerland for a month or two for free! It’s a dream of mine; but now I’m torn. Is this an opportunity from God? It seemed like it when the youth group I held at the public library had to be stopped for a bit because the room won’t be available; it just seems to line up… Yet I feel irresponsible for not hitting my business goals, having a job/steady income, not being where I hoped to be at this stage… And anyway I’m more passionate about music and ministry then anything else… Especially music. I spend entire days singing, learning, composing. It can get lonely but I Iove it& I have sooooo many other interests: counseling, psychology, writing, acting/performing, recording/designing, teaching, cosmetology, event planning and on and on…. And the choice to move to Chile (long story short my moms from there).. I hate having so many choices and being confused about God’s direction for my life as an individual (what he wants from ALL of is is clear)…

  • jose says:

    I live in conflict with God’s will often because i drink a lot of the time. Ok, just about all of the time on my weekends. Recently i met a very beautiful woman who is going through a bitter divorce because the marriage is irreconcilable and just after a week or two we fell deeply in love. My drinking brings about this worped logic and i pushed her away several times, at least 3x. Anyway i pushed her away for good and wonder if she was my one. Hence, within His will.
    Thank you

  • Godwin Kole says:

    Thanks for this great post!

    I left the church where I got saved and started out in ministry to pioneer a church but after 7 years I started feeling unfulfilled as a result of little growth then gave up the church I planted to return to the church I left which is doing well in terms of growth and impact.

    It took about 8months for me to be restored to serving in the church’s Mission Team and its already 5months after the restoration yet the team has not been allowed to start operations.

    For a while now, I’ve been having a rethink on if I’d be fulfilled serving under a Senior Pastor whose style and perspective I will have to strictly adhere to.

    I am really concerned because I may soon be sent to plant a branch of the church and would not want to be rebellious or operate against laid down policies.

    Something in me is feeling like it will be boxed, limited, caged and not given full expression if under a Senior Pastor. Not sure if its pride, ego or seeking for glory, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be out of God’s will.

    I sincerely and honestly want to do what is His will and I understand, He might be the one working in me both to will and do of His good pleasure.

    Doing another church plant, especially with my present economic condition, is not desirable but don’t know why the thought keeps coming. That is not a big deal though, when its God’s deal, I know the bill also will be His.

    Please Sir, kindly advise me.

    Thanks Sir!

  • Josie says:

    Hi Ron, can you explain further what Proverbs 16:9 means? Thanks!

    • ronedmondson says:

      Basically, God is in control. We plan our steps, but God will have the final say.

  • Josie says:

    Hi Ron,
    My other question is: does God have a specific plan for each of His children? You mentioned that God gives us lots of freedom in our choices. Through the years I've always thought that God has a specific plan for me, but recently as I look at my life I realized that I've made many choices liberally just based on my talents, abilities, and most of the time, my desire to glorify Christ. For example, when we bought our second home, I just did so on the basis that we could afford it without much analysis. Also, when I was new in the professional world, I chose to be a journalist, and eventually became a TV reporter without praying hard about it. It was just simply a consistent desire in me because of my skills. In my ministry involvement, I simply jumped into it because I wanted to serve God using my gifts. So recently I have been thinking whether or not God has a specific plan, or does He let us do what we want as long as it is in line with the great commission or the furtherance of His Kingdom?

    • ronedmondson says:

      It's one of those answers we couldn't understand. His ways are not our ways. Two exist. He has a specific plan and He allows free will. When we can't understand, we simply have to make God bigger than we currently see Him 

  • Josie says:

    Hi Ron,
    Your message is a blessing to me in my current situation as a new coffee shop owner. We started this business in a city here in Canada three months ago. However, probably as in any other startup business, I have been feeling stressed because we have not even achieved a break even. And I am running out of funds. We bought the building as well, and while I don't regret the building purchase, I regret the coffee shop side. Now I am wondering what in the world am I doing? Did I make a bad decision? I just want to be in His will. What are your thoughts?

    • ronedmondson says:

      Proverbs 16:9.Even in our bad decisions, God can work things for good. Not in our ways, but in His. Either way now you made the decision. The worst decision I ever made, I thought, was buying a business. One day I was asking God why He allowed me to make the biggest decision of my life. I sensed God say “that wasn't your biggest mistake. Your biggest mistake was following your will and not mine.”My prayer now, if I were you, would be “God, here I am. Whether this was a mistake or not, I want from this point forward to follow your will. I'm going to make the best of this. Do all I know how to make this business work. If you want to bless me here, I welcome that. If not. I wait for what you have for me next. My life is in your hands”Then the best you know how try to live that out.

      • Josie says:

        Thanks Ron. Your response made me cry. I will pray that prayer and I will keep you posted on the state of my business during the peak season in the fall. Blessings, Josie

        • Mike says:

          Me too. I started a business six years ago when I did not have an active relationship with Jesus. I used Him as a bubblegum machine – stick a dime in Him and ask Him to get me out of the mess I got myself into by not going to Him first asking for His will. In fact, I remember specifically deciding NOT to pray about starting this business because He might say "No." Wow! Was that dumb? Yes!

          God used those six years to bring me into a relationship with Him. He has walked through several valleys with me as I endure the results of my bad decision. But….He used my bad decision to give me an opportunity to grow in Him. He is now my all. We communicate daily…multiple times in prayer, reading His word and meditating on His word. I am His child and He is my Heavenly Father. I praise Him for the last six years….working His plan even when I made bad decisions.

          I want His will to be my desires. I want the desires of my heart to be His will. That is a long way from the way I was thinking six years ago.

          So here I am. Burned out, hate my business, get feel physically sick when I I go into work. This is no surprise to Him. He knew I would be burned out. No joy or motivation in my work. I have been praying and asking for the last year "What is Your Will for me?"

          That answer came today. Actually, it has been coming for about a month. But today…..and confirmed by several things and this blog post…..I know for a fact that it is not God's will going forward for me NOT to remain in this business. There is no joy….no peace. My spirit is troubled.

          Today is a turning point. This blog post plus God's word and prayer and meditation with Him is leading me to His will going forward. And as I think about those things I keep thinking…."well of course….that is exactly something I would LOVE to do." And those somethings provides opportunities to witness with my actions, my work and my voice for Him.


          Thank you Ron for this blog post. God blessed me through you.

          • ronedmondson says:

            Wow! I love confirmation from God!

          • Josie Livingstone says:

            Hi Mike,
            Wow, it took you six years! Is your business in the states? Did you profit financially at least from your business? if I may ask, what was your business? Mine is a coffee shop. We bought the whole building. God has used the business to provide employment and help immigrants here; and I meet a lot of people, which helps my other business (real estate). But since we have only been operating for eight months, we haven't achieved a break even yet. And I am praying to God to give me wisdom for next year so we can break even or get a little profit at least. So all these are burning me out. But I can always sell my business and keep the building. So pray for me as well as we step into our second year. I am almost burned out if not for God's grace. I love my coffee mornings though. But if I don't break even this next year, or if I do, I might just sell the business and end my stress.

            I have always been active though in my relationship with God, and when we started the business, I was in a right relationship with God; but in whatever spiritual state we are in, I know we can still make mistakes.

            Thanks Mike for sharing.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this. I’m currently a youth/young adult pastor but I have no formal theological education. I’ve been told by a few trusted God-fearing people that I should seriously consider going back to school (I’m 24 with a BA major Psychology, minor Sociology). Recently, after looking into a particular divinity college I’ve been feeling like that’s what God wants me to do, but I’m not positive. Also, I’m married, have a house, a job at my church, not to mention a loving church family which makes it difficult to attend the colleges I’m considering that are about 4-5 hours away. I could do some online courses but that would be very difficult. My husband has just told me he would be willing to move (leaving a job he loves, selling a house we love, leaving all of our church friends/support) if I wanted to attend college in person for the 2-3 year degree. I just don’t know what to do. I said I should pray diligently about it and see if I have an answer from God by the end of the summer. God bless, prayers welcome!!

    • ronedmondson says:

      Feel free to listen to my message from yesterday or two weeks ago. Both deal with these issues. Or my series earlier in the year on discerning God's

  • Kris says:

    My husband and I have been married for nearly three years. We were both certain we had heard God's call for us to each other as (trust me) neither of us was looking!!!! While God has brought us through some insurmountable circumstances, most of our marriage has been tumultuous and we have most often been separated and are again. How can I possibly know if I am supposed to try again? I know that God hates divorce and I know firsthand why as I was previously divorced and it carries life long consequences. My husband has been all over the place in his faith (most of which has seemed like a surface type if I am giving my honest opinion) and right now refuses to even talk about God, going to church, and praying. So do you live a Godly life before them in the hope they will return, show extreme grace because it has been shown to me? I have absolutely no idea where I am supposed to be. I prayed for months and I keep hearing the same kinds of things does it line up with Scripture and other things that you mentioned about. I prayed for months and God seems to be entirely silent. Is that because I know what to do, lay my life down and love no matter what as God has loved me? And just yesterday I listened to a message that said my relationship with my husband is a direct reflection of my relationship with Christ. PS – I love God with all of my heart but I stink at all things trust and marriage. My passion is to serve God and to be in his will but at the first sign of any trouble my husband splits not only from his God-given responsibilities but also church commitments and any "witnessing" he has done just gets ruined by his own actions. I just want to be in his will whatever that looks like no matter if I think I'd never be strong enough to accomplish it. Thank you.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I don't know that I can fully give you an answer here in a comment or via email, but I know this. God can restore your marriage. He can. He restored the relationship between Esau and Jacob. He restored the relationship between Joseph and the brothers who sold him into slavery. He can restore your marriage. Will He? I don't know. It does take two people.I think you need to sit with someone who can hear your heart and speak with you wisely. Many times a counselor can help you think through the way to approach your husband and discern where he is, what he's wiling to do and where his heart is. Again, it takes two people. It takes two people willing to lay their life on the line for each other.I believe that's possible, with any two people, but I can't tell you if one of those is your husband. Be brave enough to seek some professional Christian help. It will bless you regardless of what happens with your marriage.Praying for you.

      • Kris says:

        Thank you for your response. Answer or no, it is much appreciated. I also believe and have seen it done. Phil. 4:13, Romans 8:28, Matthew 19:26 …and who can forget…"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27 Thank you.

  • Brittany says:

    Alright…here's what I got goin on…Grad School with Grad Assistantship (paid tuition and job position) or internship with campus ministry paid for by raising support. No clue what to do. This decision changes the rest of my life. I've gotten pros and cons from both sides and I don't have very long to make my decision 🙁

    • ronedmondson says:

      Praying for you.

      • Brittany says:

        thank you so much! I'm really struggling with this. I want to get it right, and I want to honor God with my choice. I want to follow where He leads, and right now, I'm not sure where that is, so it's really stressful. It shouldn't be. I mean. It should be, but it wouldn't be as bad if I had taken this relationship with Jesus thing seriously from the beginning instead of treating it like a game. He is worthy of so much more, but I never learned to hear His still, small voice. I don't know how to sense the Spirit leading me. I mean. In some situations, it's easy. But I want REAL discernment. Not good decision/bad decision. This is seemingly-good decision/another seemingly-good decision, and only one can be right. Only one is where God has called me to for the next 10 months. Even if it's neither, He already knows what choice I will make, but He also knows which one is correct. I want those two to coincide and line up. *sighs* I want intimacy with Jesus! Not to find an answer but because the silence is deafening. And I know He isn't being silent. He's responding. But my ears and my heart haven't learned to listen; does that make sense? I want to choose whatever will bring Him the most glory, and I don't know what that looks like in my life….Blahhh.

  • Amy says:

    My husband and I have felt a call to ministry for such a long time. Here recently we have both lost our jobs, we know that God is “stirring the nest” so to speak but we just don’t have the direction. We have been seeking Him. We also wonder how we will survive financially without jobs. We are praying Gods will & direction. We have often thought about church planting or helping churches develop. Do you have any recommended resources? Thanks

  • Confused says:

    Dear Ron,

    I am supposed to be getting married in April and have been going through so much turmoil and confusion in the past couple of weeks. My fiance and I did not meet the traditional way and fall in love, we were introduced to each other through family friends and since we seemed to be relatively compatible, we decided to go ahead and get married. We also share a strong faith in God, although from different denominations, I am Catholic and he is Pentecostal. When we decided to get married, I fully agreed with it, but now with a few weeks left to go, I am consumed with doubts and wake up every morning crying and depressed and wondering if Ive done the right thing. We are very different – I am outgoing and emotional and affectionate, whereas he is solid and reserved and stable. He says he loves me – but since he does not make any outward displays of it, I am so consumed with doubt as to whether he really loves me or whether he is getting into this marriage for practical reasons. i have the same doubts about myself, I feel like I dont really know what love is anymore.

    i have been trying to pray about it but am feeling so lost and like I am in the wilderness and cant even hear the voice of God.

    Please pray for me – any words of advice you can give me would be most welcome.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Based on what you're telling me, I would wait. I know that's hard advice, but I think you need more time counseling. Even the differences you mentioned are huge opportunities for sustained conflict. Catholic and Pentecostal, for example, are miles apart in styles of worship. The differences could make you very strong as a couple, but you need to make sure you've adequately talked through them.Then again, I don't know anything other than what's written. You may have worked through much of this already and you are just nervous. That's actually normal before marriage. But, if your gut is saying you shouldn't be doing this or think you should wait, it would be better to make the hard decision now than 6 months into a marriage.

  • Kathy says:

    Last fall & early winter my husband of 17 years was sneaking around with a coworker. All the time I thought we were extremely happy as he bought a diamond anniversary necklace, took off work for my birthday & valentines day, had sex every day (we are in our 50s), called me several times a day to say he loved me, held my hand & kissed me in public, etc. & even on the day I found the two of them together. Since then, he took off his wedding ring, says he only has a kind of love for me & that he never should have married me & so on. I am devastated. He has said he’s going thru a midlife crisis & I believe it so I have stayed in the marriage such as it is, hoping it will work put in the end.
    I think he probably wants me to leave so he can play the victim but then I don’t know as sometimes he is nice to me. I want to do God’s will but I don’t want to hurt anymore.
    Please, please pray for guidance & peace. I am hurting so bad. I know I deserve respect but we all make mistakes too. I know everything is in His time but please pray that he guides me & takes away the pain whatever may happen.

  • Kathy says:

    Thank you for this post Ron. I am currently considering a life of missions (being overseas 6 months of the year) and really appreciate your points. As I read them I could see God's handiwork and am going to take some time to fast, pray and look for confirmations. I've raised 5 children with God's help and majority of the teenage years were as a single Mom. During that time I started my own business and God has taught me a lot about my character strengths and weaknesses. About 3 years ago I became disinterested in most of the routine living of the North American lifestyle and was severely convicted with so much of it being a 'chasing after the wind'. In my disenchantment, I've continued to grow and learn more about surrendering my entire life to His will, after all it is His story, not mine. I'm in a great Bible teaching, prayerful, church that is focused on reaching the lost. I have attended a great program called Celebrate Recovery and see the opportunities for that ministry. Enter…a new relationship, a man that is a committed follower of Christ with so many common interests it is uncanny. He is committed to serving in missions…is that where God wants me, is the question to pray for.

  • Nads. says:

    Hi Pastor Ron,

    I've been in this Church nearly 2years now I can't tell you the name because its a well known Church and I won't mention the name! I'm discovering as well as few people around me that its all about 'the money' in this Church,prosperity Gospel is preached day in and day out every single Sunday! Money talk is always preached,your relationship with God and building a greater one with Him is not preached at all. Don't get me wrong,i am far from perfect! BUT I want to be somewhere were the truth is PREACHED to the full! I don't want to hear goody messages to make me feel good,i want to be discipline and told the truth through my pastors! Tell me what you think Pastor,I'm kind of lost at the moment :-/?!! God bless you.

  • Ron Lane

    I have struggled with knowing what God’s will has been in my life in the past. This helps and is consistent with what I have been doing over the past year or so. I am still struggling with studying the Word to see what it says but I have surrounded myself with Godly counsel to help me with this.

    The one thing that I have struggled with about God’s will is tatoos. I do not have them but I really like them.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Ron, I can't see where, under grace, there is anything wrong with them. I would put it more in the terms of a practical sense and whether you'll want them years from now. If you're okay, I don't see the sin in them. I realize others will disagree.

      • Ron Lane

        Thanks for your input Ron. It's the "if you're okay" part that is my hold up. I'm still internally struggling with whether it's right for me. As you shared in this posting, I have to let God work within me on this issue.

        Again, thanks.

    • Brittany says:

      I know you've probably done many soul searching on this in the last year (haha), and by now you may have reached a decision. you may have tattoos, you may not. I, personally, have 10 of them, and they are FANTASTIC conversation starters. people ask me about them all the time, what they mean and why i got them. It's the perfect chance to say…well this is where I was in my life and this is how the Lord showed up, so this is my reminder. just a thought.

  • True! This has been a great struggle in mylife. Discerning God's will was not easy at all times.

  • Joel Onyshuk says:

    Crazy, I just posted a blog TODAY that had 5 very similar steps to deciphering God's will. Very glad to read yours and see similar things!

  • leah says:

    I had prayed for a job change and this particular post came up. I went for a quick chat with the hiring manager was taken a-back with the hostility. Her manner and tone was rather aggressive. I'm not sure now if I should go ahead and apply for this post. Would I be able to work for such a manager (if I was hired)? Or is this is just an instance to learn patience, or stretch my abilities? Am disturbed, and restless.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I don't know that I can answer your question, but I wouldn't let one person stop me from doing what I feel led to do by God. It could be He is sending you there to bring about some change. As a few people you trust and who know you well and see how they respond.

  • Mark says:

    My struggle is discerning His direction when dealing with the results of what I believe were actions by another against God's will; specifically, the divorce that my wife of 26 years filed for and was recently finalized (about 2 months ago). But I have to remind myself that this certainly did not catch God by surprise; he has had a recovery plan in mind (and in place!) for me (and for her) all along; we jeach ust need to be sensitive to His leading to find that/those plan(s). And He has been gracious to me in surrounding me with a new church family and a set of new friends who, althogh they are aware of my failings, have loved and accepted me without reservation.

  • Tamera says:

    Please pray for my daughter to discern God's will for her life as she graduates from college this May. What a blessing you are my childhood friend.

  • Aprile says:

    I struggle with not knowing which job will be right for me. I have never just "known" beyond a doubt what I want to do with my life, ever. Right now I am teaching English overseas (NOT Department of Defense) and I will come back to the states in 7 months. I'm scared because my dream is to live in another state but I don't seem to have a career path that I'm gifted for, and may have to stay back in Clarksville for a while, or longer. I'm struggling to believe there's something God has gifted me to do when I get back home in September.

  • Aprile bd says:


  • Aprile B.D. says:

    I struggle with not knowing which job will be right for me. I have never just "known" beyond a doubt what I want to do with my life, ever. Right now I am teaching English overseas (NOT Department of Defense) and I will come back to the states in 7 months. I'm scared because my dream is to live in another state but I don't seem to have a career path that I'm gifted for, and may have to stay back in Clarksville for a while, or longer. I'm struggling to believe there's something Gid has gifted me to do when I get back home in September.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks for your honesty. God has great plans for you. He may not reveal them immediately.

  • Kari Scare

    Generally, I do not struggle too much with whether my plans are God's will. I find that if I am faithful in prayer and Bible study, His will seems pretty clear most of the time. He confirms it through the ways you mention and also through what I read and other seemingly unimportant events in my life. It's when I stray from daily communication with Him that whether my plans are His will or not becomes unclear. If I'm not sure, I usually just wait, and the situation and His will becomes increasingly clear over time. Amazing how things have a way of working themselves out if we just wait sometimes.

  • ronedmondson says:

    It works for me, but try this link:

  • Royce Hart says:

    Thank you for this message. I've been seeking God's will for my life, and I've learned a lot about Him in the process. I think it's beautiful how carefully He works – especially when we're going through rough territory. Every time I look back on what I've been delivered from / through, I'm encouraged. He LOVES us!

  • Here's a sermon I taught once:
    (1) Look for Specific SCRIPTURES.
    1Cor 14:33
    (2) Your BODY is the TEMPLE of the HOLY SPIRIT.
    1Cor. 6:19; 3:16
    Rom. 8:9
    (3) The Principle of Spiritual SUBMISSION.
    Eph 5:22-23; Col 3:18-19; 1Pet 3:1-7
    Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20-21
    Acts 20:28; 1Tim 5:1; 5:19; Heb 13:7; 13:17; 1Pet 5:2-5
    Rom 13:1-7; 1Tim 2:1-4; Titus 3:1; 1Pet 2:13-17
    Eph 6:5-9; Col 3:22-4:1; 1Tim 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10; 1Pet 2:18
    (4) The Principle of the WEAKER BROTHER.
    Rom 14:1-15:13
    1Cor 8-10
     (5) Do everything for the GLORY of GOD.
    1Cor 10:31

  • Melissa says:

    Good morning Ron. Love Proverbs 16:9, thank you for sharing that one in particular.

    It is comforting to know that we are never alone. We are going through a tough struggle with a medical condition, at the moment, for our family. No matter our plans for the next few weeks, we will trust God to get us to that other side. We've got to hold on to that….His will. The inner peace that He provides is an awesome place to be in a time of confusion and being scared.

    Thanks again for your prayers for our situation.

  • Bryan K

    As a matter of fact, I am struggling a great deal, right now!

    In the Post Office I am assigned to, there are no full time positions available; one has come open in a town some miles away. I have been trying to apply for it, but it has not been posted, the Post Master is holding it back.(?)

    2 problems: I gave my life to Christ, I said not me but You! The answer is yes, now what is the question! I was serious and have never taken it lightly. He placed me here, and I “get” that I don’t need to lea ve till He is ready for me TO leave, I don’t want to until He says so! Which brings up the second pro blem.

    My office has informed me it is being required to hie another in my position. There are not enough hours to support 2 people in my position! This, is essence, forces me out!

    I feel lost at this point. No place to stay, no place to go. He seems to shut doors in every direction.

    I asked Him either open the full time or shut down the second hire here. I am willing to stay here even as part time, I just want to know!

    Thanks for your help! I have others praying also, but extra is not a bad thing!