4 Questions on Discerning Direction from God – Sermon Outline


Four Questions on Discerning Direction from God
by Eddie Lawrence

INTRODUCTION: Being led of the Spirit and knowing the will of God requires discernment and an submissive heart. It is important that we get our heart in the place where we are willing to do whatever the Lord may ask us to do. We must not be like the lady that I read about who….

ILLUS-Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed.

One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. "Why do you toss the stick more than once?" someone asked. "Because," replied the woman, "it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right." She then dutifully kept throwing the stick into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go!

Today in the Word, May, 1989.

TEXT: Proverbs 3:Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

The Bible assures us that there is a way we can position our hearts to know we will be directed by the Lord. This verse says so in addition to many others. Let me share four questions we can ask during times when we are trying to discern direction from the Lord.

1. Does What You are Sensing Square with Scripture?

-Since the Scripture reveals us to us the will of God, we should never follow a path contrary to the truth of Scripture.
-We are to be led by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and the Holy Spirit will never lead us contrary to Scripture. Why? Because the Scripture was given to men through the Holy Spirit.

2. Does What You are Sensing Bear Witness with Peace?

-Paul wrote we are to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. If what we think we hear God saying causes us to lose our peace, then something is amiss.
-The ministry of reconciliation that believers carries is awesome. We must not violate that ministry by doing things that we do not have an inner peace about doing,
-Something may be right to do, but it may not be the right time to do it.
-Something may be right for someone else to do, but yet, you are not to do it,
-Something may right in your own eyes and the eyes of your friends, but if there is no peace, then the Holy Spirit is saying "No!"

3. Does What You are Sensing Connect or Conflict with Other Confirmed Direction?

-If you are having to knock down a door that God has not opened, then realize you are going the wrong way. Sometimes we want something we will try to bend everything toward it.

ILLUS-When God bolts the door, don't try to get in through the window. The will of God never will lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.- Source Unknown.

-In the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing is established. What does the counsel of godly people around you say?
-What prophetic words have you been encouraged with through the Scripture or through the Spirit speaking through someone else, or even your dreams. God still speaks through dreams but be discerning and use the Word as a standard to judge them.

ILLUS-Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams, voices, impressions, visions or revelations to be from God. They may be from Him. They may be from nature. They may be from the Devil.

J.K. Johnston, John Wesley Why Christians Sin, Discovery House, 1992, p. 102.

-Do not go against the last thing you KNOW God spoke to you about by changing directions on a word you are not fully assurred of.

4. Does What You are Sensing Contain the Fruit of the Spirit?

-Do not do what Jesus who was full of the Spirit would not do.

-This is a behavior oriented test. The Lord leads us to do things that will result in the fruit of the Spirit being demonstrated in our lives.
-For example, He will not lead you to lose your patience with your spouse. He will not lead you to respond to someone in a hateful way, or unforgiving way, etc.

CONCLUSION: Are you willing to do His will. Kent Crockett says:

People wrestle with God for one of two reasons:
1. They don't know God's will and are trying to find it.
2. They know God's will and are trying to decide whether or not to do it. (Kent Crockett's Sermon Illustrations)

Which of these might you be wrestling with?

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Categories : Holy Spirit, Word of God


  1. darling Uzoma says:

    Am already in love with this piece. its easy to use in teaching another person who is also needing to understand the rudiments of divine direction. thanks you have added to me.

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