“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other…”1 Corinthians 12:7
One of the spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit gives us is the gift of discernment. Discernment is extremely important in the spiritual life because it aligns our will to God’s.
Often, I feel my spiritual discernment resembles my selection of a watermelon. I study the outer colors, the spiderwebbing affect, press my nail in the rind listening for a sharp pop and still have a 50/50 chance of cutting into a not so ripe watermelon.
When I begin to discern, I pray… pray a little more… pray harder, and still don’t know where God is directing me in what I am discerning. Kind of like selecting that watermelon, I come out of my prayer with a 50/50 chance of knowing what God wants. In other words, I have no idea and I start to question if God is really listening.
I was reading a Christian fiction novel “Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope” by Sharon Garlough Brown. One of the main characters writes in her journal about her struggles with discernment. What she realizes is that she was putting her confidence in her own ability to hear God and not in God’s desire to speak to her in a way she could understand. This particularly caught my eye because lately I have been discerning my next steps. I feel God is drawing me to a new chapter in my life but I’m uncertain as to what it is. When I pray, I am so focused on trying to hear God speak to me that I fail to acknowledge He desires to guide and direct me. It’s not my ability to hear Him but it’s His ability to show me in a way that I understand it.
As I literally write this blog, I am thinking about how God grabs my attention with neon signs through words I read in a book. This is one of His ways of revealing His Will to me in a way that I understand. Perhaps, writing this blog is completely intended for me to see how God has uncovered His Will in my journey through books and nature and not so much me sitting 30 minutes in prayer waiting to hear Him answer me.
Some of us may hear Him answer us as we meditate in silent prayer, but not all of us. God speaks to us each in a different way.
Because He knows that we are each unique and we will understand Him in different ways. His greatest desire is for us to understand what He is calling us to.
Are you asking God questions and not hearing Him? If you are not receiving an answer as you sit in the silence of prayer, think back at the moments in your life that God guided an important decision for you. How did He grab your attention? Perhaps this is His way of revealing His Will to you in a way that you understand where and what He is calling you to do in your life. Try leaning on that method in your discernment process.