I just found an amazing blog called Conversion Diary… it's quite unique… all about an Atheist who found God… she's now a converted Catholic, and writes about her life and her faith and how the two intertwine. I like what she has to say.
Today's blog was all about discernment… a word that's flung around in the evangelical church without a lot of discussion or understanding on my part (and maybe on yours too?). I now have a little more of a window into what discernment might be… and how I might take some steps to incorporating this spiritual habit into my decision making process.
My newly expanded understanding of discernment is this;
The idea comes first. Before any decision is ever considered, there's the idea. So I must ask…
What is niggling away at me… what thought, what idea, what unique and/or odd thing is coming to mind again and again… could this be the Holy Spirit's nudge… or as Jennifer says, is The Finger of God pointing me in a certain way? Do I have peace about my action or inaction on this?
Then I am faced with a decision to make. So I must ask…
How will this particular decision effect my primary calling or vocation in life? This involves knowing what my primary vocation is… do I know that? Figure it out… is it being a Godly wife and mother… is it being Godly writer… is it being a Godly care-giver to my ailing parents? I believe in first things first, in their appropriate season. Carefully think this through… then carefully consider what is holding you back… are these surmountable reasons?
Keep your eyes open for confirmation that you are heading in the right direction… often this comes in the form of words that others say to you, especially those wise individuals whom you ask for input (spouses, mentors, spiritual friends) or a series of events that appear uncanny in their significance, or God speaking in various ways through scripture, worship music, nature etc.
Keep in mind that you can't possibly know what God has in mind for the future… as Jennifer says, you don't have a crystal ball. So, proceed, in peace, knowing that God is in control of the details and you are not.
And then, close your eyes and prayerfully let God lead you… with fear, with doubts, with unknowns… trust that when he is up to something, he will be enough for you no matter what. He will provide, he will support, he will catch you when you fall. Ask him to lead you. Tell him you trust him. Thank him for being in control.
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