Here are three practical and helpful steps for discerning God’s will when we are contemplating options.

God’s Word

2 Timothy 3:16-17 reads, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

What does God’s Word, the Bible, have to say about whatever we are contemplating?

God’s Word may reveal one of three things:

  1. God’s Word may prohibit it
  2. God’s Word may permit it
  3. God’s Word may be silent about it

If God’s Word prohibits whatever we are contemplating, then it doesn’t matter what Godly counsel tells us or what we feel the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do; the answer is no. God’s Word is our highest authority and has the first and final say.

If God’s Word permits whatever we are contemplating or is silent about it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is what we should do. Our next step should be to seek Godly Counsel and the Holy Spirit’s prompting to determine if whatever we are contemplating is what we should do.

Godly Counsel

Proverbs 19:20-21 reads, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

B.J. Thompson writes, “Surround yourself with people who feed your soul, not your ego.”

What do those who know Christ well and know us well have to say about whatever we are contemplating?

If those who know Christ well and know us well tell us that they don’t think whatever we are contemplating is right for us, or they are unsure, then we should prayerfully and carefully take a breath; stop, slow down, and do some serious evaluation about whatever we are contemplating. Godly counsel can sometimes be wrong and we may find ourselves having to go against it, but it can also be right and should always be seriously considered.

If those who know Christ well and know us well affirm that whatever we are contemplating is right for us, then we should seek the Holy Spirit’s leading to determine what our next step should be.

God’s Prompting

James 4:17 reads, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

Just because God’s Word permits whatever we are contemplating and Godly counsel affirms us, it doesn’t mean that we should do whatever we are contemplating; we should take some time and ask the Holy Spirit for His affirmation and His leading.

God’s Word may permit whatever we are contemplating, Godly counsel may affirm us, but the Holy Spirit may tell us in our hearts that He has something else in store for us. If this is the case, then we need to obey the Holy Spirit’s prompting and not move forward, or at least not move forward until He tells us to.

On the other hand, if God’s Word permits whatever we are contemplating, Godly counsel affirms us, and the Holy Spirit is prompting us to move forward; then by all means, we need to move forward!