How Do You Know If What You’re Discerning Is Truly From God?

 

Yesterday, we covered Part 2 of our Discernment series where we walked through the 4 steps of discerning a major decision:

  1. Purifying my heart
  2. Inviting God to speak
  3. Testing the Spirit
  4. Acting with wisdom and courage

This week I’d like to focus more on #3: Testing the Spirit.

Specifically, that could involve a couple of things:

  • Seeking counsel from other mature Catholics (which we talked about in last week’s post)
  • Doing the “Deathbed Exercise”: If I died and was standing in front of Jesus, what would I say to Him about the decision I made?
  • Praying over, and letting the Spirit speak to us

The first 2 lean a little bit more towards the logical side, which appeals to a hyper-rational guy like me.

But sometimes, praying over can be an even more powerful and convincing way to discern.

For example, I was discerning yesterday on how I should serve God: Should it be in a pastoral role, like a shepherd or a Treasure facilitator? Or should it be through communicating my knowledge: Blogposts, social media, and conducting lessons?

The latter seemed closer to my natural talents. I liked writing and speaking. But I also didn’t want it to be driven by my human needs for affirmation and achievement.

So I went to the adoration room to pray, and one question that popped up was: Should I even continue blogging? Is my blog taking time away from my family and community, and does God even want me to serve Him in this way? I left the adoration room feeling even more confused than ever.

Then we had the pray over session. We didn’t tell each other what we were discerning about, but instead left it to the Spirit to guide our messages to each other. What happened next blew me away.

As my prayer buddies prayed over me, both of them talked about the blog. They both said that it that it brought joy and hope to others, and that it was a great channel to bring God to the rest of the world. An opportunity that not many people had.

In the past months, when I was doubting whether I should even continue blogging, these messages affirmed what I was doing.

Of course, it doesn’t end here. I’ll need to continue purifying my heart, inviting God to speak and testing the Spirit to make sure that this is TRULY from God. But yesterday’s pray over session really gave me a renewed sense of hope and a clearer sense of mission.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. You never know what the Spirit will say to you!

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