Have you asked yourself that question before? Of course you have. Who hasn't? I read a great answer to it today in Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver, so I thought I would share a summary for you from chapter 4, pages 52-53.
1. "Tune your heart to His voice." When you are spending time in God's Word and in prayer, not just talking to God, but listening to Him, you will more clearly hear His voice in your own thoughts. Something else I got from this chapter was how much I take the Holy Spirit for granted. When I have wise thoughts about something, its not my wisdom or common sense, its the Holy Spirit! And the more in tune I am with Him, the more I will recognize His voice.
2. "Mind the Checks." This is a Quaker phrase that means when we have doubts about something, we should do nothing and wait. God's direction will strengthen in time or simply pass away when we do not get that direction from Him.
3. "Test the Message." We must line up our thought about a decision with scripture. If it doesn't match up, then we know its not the right answer. Godly friends' advice and circumstances will also match up.
4. "Watch for repetition." God will often repeat a message to us from different people, places and events over a period of time. I have experienced this a number of times. Right now, He is constantly telling me about His power and how I'm not taking advantage of it.
5. "Take the next step." We are intended to take a step of faith sometimes. So, take that first step and see what happens. Does the door remain open, or slam in your face!
6. "Beware the Spirit's withdrawal." If we don't feel his answers clearly, maybe we are living in disobedience in another area of our lives. Oswald Chambers said, "God will never reveal more truth... until you obey what you know already."
7. "Ask for and expect wisdom." We should be asking for His help and wisdom in little things so that when we go to Him with the big things, our faith in Him has been built up. "If we don't allow God to direct our everyday lives, we may not be able to follow Him when crisis comes."
I hope that is as helpful to you as it was to me. Of course, it all sounds good now when I'm not actually trying to figure out His will on anything. I wonder if, when I'm faced with a decision, I'll actually use this wisdom, or continue to stress, worry, turn to my momma or hubby and make a pro and con list. My momma and hubby are helpful, but as a backup to what I feel that God is already telling me. I forget that part!