Spiritual Discernment: Aligning My Thoughts to God

These days, life’s theme seems to be crazy and busy. I’m pretty sure there was a slower and less complicated time, but perhaps everyone has always had to learn to balance life, family, work, and rest. As I get older, I have become more aware that I get more anxious and overwhelmed when I have too much on my plate. As a result, I am more discerning about what I commit myself to. Sometimes I’ve had to say “no” to things I would normally be happy to help out with, for the benefit of my well-being and my family’s.

Discerning God’s Will for Me

Spiritual discernment is when I try to align my thoughts with God’s. I must do some self-reflection and also search for God’s answer. Maybe every person is different. Maybe some people are able to have more on their plate than others. I must meditate on God’s Word, spend time in prayer, and seek His answers for my life. One way I can determine God’s will is to gauge how much time will be taken away from my relationship with God if I add that extra activity. Will I be able to spend time with God if I add something else? Or will I miserably fail at spending precious time with him? Will this activity help me become closer to God or drive me further away? Sometimes just honestly answering these questions helps me know the right answer.

Recently, I listened to a podcast that talked a lot about discerning big life choices and how to make these decisions while using your faith. I want to pass on some of the main ways they mentioned using to make these decisions.

Tips for Spiritual Discernment

  1. Take your cares and challenges to a prayer group. It’s always important to have people in your life who are willing to take your requests to the Lord in prayer. This has been an incredible blessing in my life! Having prayer warriors who support me through every decision is so encouraging.
  2. Journaling your thoughts to the Lord is another way to communicate to God. It can help you focus more on hearing God’s will.
  3. Being in the Word is, of course, most important. Reading God’s words and searching for what it means for our lives is something we should always do, but it can also help us when making decisions about our lives. Does this decision line up with what God tells me in His Word?

A Time to Serve and a Time to Step Back

Sometimes when we go through these discerning processes, we will come to the conclusion that we need to take a step back from something we wanted to do or committed to do. And that’s okay. Sometimes we go through periods of serving in any and every capacity possible. Other times, we need to fill ourselves up again spiritually. If I’m not spiritually filled, how can I serve others and serve God? Take time to have some quiet time with God so that you can once again fill your role of serving others.

I am in no way perfect at discernment all the time, but I’m learning little by little. These reminders help me when I need to make these decisions in my life. Make sure you take the time you need to rest and refill yourself spiritually. This will help so much as you reach out to serve others.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with too much on your plate? How do you discern what is on your priority list?

Prayer for Discernment

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, we thank you so much for your presence and guidance in our lives.  Thank you for giving us ways to discern how to use our time to be your servant. I pray I will always go to you for that discernment and not my own will. Give me strength and rest when I need to be spiritually refilled so I can continue the work you have for me to do. It’s in Jesus’ name that I pray,

Amen

Comments ( 22 )
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  • Katie Braswell

    “Journaling your thoughts to the Lord is another way to communicate to God” >>> I have found this incredibly helpful! I am not one to have eloquent speech. I am awkward and trip over my words! I feel most confident writing to God. I am aware that my words don’t have to be perfect, but I gain most of my clarity when I see the words. It allows me to reflect what I felt or asked for, and tune it toward God’s will.

    • April E

      That’s great that you feel so comfortable communicating that way!

  • Hannah

    I have often struggled with discernment, so I appreciate this! very practical and helpful 🙂

    • April E

      I think this is a struggle for all of us. Glad this was helpful!

  • Susan Evans

    There was a time when I had three small children and I was pregnant, and my church was demanding that I work in the nursery to hold other people’s screaming kids. I said no. When I did it at first, it took me several days to recuperate from the pain I felt in my shoulder from tantruming kids. So we said no. You need to do what God wants you to do, not what others demand of you.

    • April E

      I have had similar experiences as well. Sometimes you need time to be spiritually refilled!

  • Heather Hart

    Stepping back and reevaluating our priorities is so important. Especially at this time of year. Thanks for the reminder.

    • April E

      That’s so true! You’re welcome!

  • Melissa

    These are such great self-reflection questions that I’m going to utilize in the future! “Will I be able to spend time with God if I add something else? Or will I miserably fail at spending precious time with him? Will this activity help me become closer to God or drive me further away?”

    • April E

      I pray I can always stop and ask these questions as well.

  • Alyssa

    I love love love to journal and it has always been a way that I have heard from God.

    • April E

      I’m glad that has been such a blessing for you!

  • Sasha Mills

    This a great reminder! Having discernment is so important. Love the ideas – especially journalling which I haven’t tried.

    • April E

      I wrote this as a reminder for myself as well!

    • April E

      I need this reminder pretty much every day.

  • Alice Mills

    I also find that being patient brings understanding where rushing to judgment always leads me astray.

  • Merry

    Spiritual discernment versus our own will…the never ending struggle. I do prayer journal, and I find that journaling while praying really helps me to discern what He is saying to me through His Word and guidance.

  • Keisha Russell

    Spiritual discernment is so very important. God will lead you and guide you when you seek him.

  • Leigh

    I like that you included journaling on this list of discernment tools. Journaling has always been something that helps me hear the Lord’s voice and sort out the noise, especially as I couple it with Scripture.

    • April E

      I’m glad that he helped you!