Discerning God’s Will

You probably know some details about “D-Day” (June 6, 1944), but do you know about “H-Day?” That term stemmed from the Swedish word “hoger” which translates “right” (as opposed to the “left” side of things) in English.

Apparently, on September 3, 1967, the entire Swedish population woke up to a major societal shift. They switched from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right side.

Everyone assumed that the change would be a nightmare for the driving population. For months, the government waged a relentless campaign to prepare its people for the confusion, danger, and potential loss of life.

But a funny thing happened on the way to “the wrong side of the road.” In fact, the unintended consequence of the shift was that the roads became safer, even though the driving itself was temporarily more dangerous. The big change forced everyone to have a single-minded focus on their driving.

Drivers couldn’t just slide into autopilot mode, they had to really focus. Instead of relying on well-known regulatory signs, they had to rely on their own skill and concentration. The task of driving became a very big deal.

I read an article this week about discerning God’s will, and the author, Rick James, brought this story to mind. He wondered if following God’s will doesn’t require a similar kind of skill and focus.

As we chart our course through life, it may initially seem scary to totally rely on the Holy Spirit. That is a big shift in most people’s thinking. Most of us would probably prefer a well-marked road map with clear arrows pointing the way. But ultimately, I am convinced that our spiritual concentration can be developed. We can improve our spiritual focus and we can discern His choices for our lives.

Ephesians 5 tells us to look carefully how we walk, not as unwise but as wise. It tells us not to be foolish, but to seek to understand God’s preferences for our lives. In order to identify His will, there are some practical things that we can do to improve our skill at discerning spiritual things.

We can reign in our emotions and work to develop spiritual disciplines. We can learn to seek wise counsel from mature believers (Proverbs 19:20). We can practice pursuing wisdom above all else as we mature as students of God’s Word.

That kind of concentration will help us grow in the various skills needed to pursue His will. Is it scary? Yes. Challenging? Yes. Requiring great effort? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will,” (Romans 12:2).

Sherry Worel


Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.

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