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How do you discern between God's will and your own selfish desires?

Discussion in 'Word of Faith' started by Faithful2Faithless, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Faithful2Faithless

    Faithful2Faithless Newbie

    This might seen like an odd question, but how do you discern between God's will and your own selfish desires?

    I won't bore you with the details, but last year I uprooted my life, left behind my friends, my family and my job to try to work out a broken, long term relationship (yes, it was THAT important to me). Before I did, I prayed that God would let me find a way, somehow, to be able to find a job and make the move if it was His will to have things work out between this person and I. And, you know, He did. Not only did He allow me to find a job in a convenient area, but He allowed me to find a decent apartment in a nice area (it was only God) with a good salary. I couldn't have asked for more! And I took that as God giving me the green light to pursue this.

    But... Over the past year, things have deteriorated drastically between this person and I, to the point she no longer talks to me. And it kills me inside. I feel so dumb and lost. I feel worse now than I did at any point last year, and I just don't understand it. No amount of money is worth the emotional pain. 10+ years down the drain, just like that. I have so many conflicted feelings, too. On one hand, I want to feel as if I simply put words into God's mouth and moved here on a whim, but they would require me to believe that everything to happen to get me here was nothing more than a series of fortuitous events (I can't believe that, no matter how hard I try). On the other hand, I feel like God has abandoned me. I know it's wrong, but I feel like He lied to and misled me, working things out in my favor only to yank the proverbial carrot away when I almost had it. Why not tell me at the time that things were going to ultimately end this way instead of leading me to believe it was going to be better?

    I'm not going to sit here and say I've been a saint, because I haven't. But I've been trying. I'm, however, at the end of my rope. I don't know what to do. I really want to go back home, but deep down I don't feel like this is what I should do. And I don't know whether that's me just hoping and wishing that's there's still a sliver of chance of things working out, or because God doesn't want me to leave.

    How am I to tell what God wants me to do? How do I continue trusting God when i feel like I made a HUGE mistake coming here. How do I discern between God and my own feelings? Once I thought I knew the answers to these questions, but I don't anymore. I need help.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. rick357

    rick357 bond-slave

    My suggestion is simple but hard the word tells us that it is of him to will and to do in us so first trust him both in the situation and to show you what you must do. God does not force us or others but with longsuffering and forbearance he loves us untill we see and know the truth.I can not and would not try to tell you Gods will for you but would encourage you strip away the circumstances and at your core what do you feel God wants. If it is to continue then add to your faith patience and remember you are not alone.Abraham and Sarah were knocking on 100 years old when God said next year Sarah will have a.child...how impossible would that have seemed.
    One last thing since Isaac was not imaculantly concieved then it should be obvious that Abrahams faith coupled with him acting like he believed it. So wether prayer or whatever the Lord leads to dont fall into passive faith believe then do whatever he.leads to.
    May he lead you and his grace live through you and give you peace...
  3. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

    "Thy will be done", plus a prayerful, daily Bible reading habit will help to discern the will of God.
  4. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    Practice, learning from past experiences, wise counsel, sound biblical framework are all components.

  5. hhodgson

    hhodgson Semper-fi Supporter

    United States
    Word of Faith
    Just knowing God's will, isn't enough. You need to understand the part you play if you're going to follow it. Do these desires just involve you alone... or does it involve others? You might be surprised to learn that it may involve following the desires of your heart... But before you act on it... make sure you're able to distinguish His will from your own selfish desires.

    Prayer and fasting will help remove any unbelief you may be facing with God at this point. Though... this will NOT move God in your situation... but it will sure move YOU toward Him... maybe even with a smile. :)[/quote]

    On one hand... Read (Deut 28:1-14)... THE BLESSING of Obedience.

    On the other hand... Read (Deut 28:15-68)... CURSES on Disobedience.

    Which one sounds like you? Suggest to only read a few of the "curses"... there's just too many. However... meditate on THE BLESSING diligently so they (THE BLESSING) can overtake you.

    Again... (meditate) on THE BLESSING...
    Joshua 1:8
    This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall (meditate) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

    As noted above... Prayer and fasting. (Also... you might want to re-read the 38 posts that answered you in the Deeper Fellowship Forum with your related post to this one here on WoF. Most were very good...)

    Walk in THE BLESSING...

  6. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter


    There is some unsound things there which are not at al helpful. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss this with me.

  7. now faith

    now faith Veteran Supporter

    Word of Faith
    Not a lot of information to base advice on.
    I assume this woman and you are living together?
    Are you married?
    A lack of personal commitment from you to God and her would build a Wall.
    is she a Christian?
    a wise Godly woman is a blessing beyond compare!

    We will pray for you,I hope this will heip.
  8. Scottmcc1

    Scottmcc1 Whose Report Will You Believe? Isaiah 53:1

    No it is not an unusual question. It is always good to seek God's will.

    God is gracious and will help us even when we are going off half cocked. I'm not saying what you are doing is all wrong but it doesn't sound right on these posts.

    To ask God to help you get a job and then you get one does not mean it's God's will. It very well could be that God helped you to get your job but was not His will for you to be with this girl. Or it could mean you are a skilled worker in demand in the job market and you got the good job because of your skills. You may have got your job because you are reaping what you sowed in regards to the job market.

    Asking God to give you a job if it is His will for you to have this girl is like a fleece. Using this method is not the right way to hear God.

    Yes what hhodgson said about prayer and fasting is good. Fasting may clean away the flesh to respond to God. But your heart needs to be right.

    Marriage comes before a physical relationship. If you are treating your woman like dirt you can't expect God to fix things for you. You need to repent to God and her in the way you are treating her. 1 Peter 3:7 says that God won't answer your prayer if you are not treating your wife right. Make things right, then walk in faith.

    How do you discern between your will and God's? First die to your flesh and the desires of the flesh. Then decide to live for the purpose of Christ. THEN ask God for His will for your life. If you are not willing to die to your desires to live for your flesh you won't have ears to hear God. The flesh will scream so loud that your ability to hear spiritual things will be drowned out.
  9. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    I sometimes ask people on an issue such as this "When you pray to God for something where is God when you do, somewhere distant, 'up there', or are you praying out of a relationship with the indwelling Jesus who is right there with you? Interestingly most seem to be praying to a distant God. That's part of finding God's voice and will a bit hard to recognise.

  10. Andrea411

    Andrea411 Guest

    God's will... must be one of the number one questions in the world. God's will is like a parking lot, you get to choose the spot, change the spot, decide on the car and how you'll care for it... just stay in His lot.

    As long as what you're doing is not pulling you away from Christ, you're in the lot. But God rarely parks your life mate next to you.... but she should be in the lot.

    On the other hand, if what you're doing isn't of God, that should be fairly apparent, especially after 10 years. Is Christ the center of your life or is He someone you visit when you have a need. If He is not in the center your focus is off. Do you sense His presence in your decisions, do you know if your decisions are in line with God's will? or even if they are in the parking lot?

    I would suggest becoming more intimate with the Lord before you decide to become more intimate with a spouse... after 40 years of marriage to a wonderful man, I can tell you it is not easy. If you two haven't connected by now and you think you've wasted 10 years... you probably have. Learn from it, give it to the Lord, ask Him what to do.... Build the most important relationship before you try to build another.

    God bless, andrea
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2014
  11. Bob Carabbio

    Bob Carabbio Old guy -

    United States
    "how do you discern between God's will and your own selfish desires?"

    The QUICK answer is that IF YOU DON'T KNOW that it's God's will -

    Then it almost certainly ISN'T.

    "FAITH" isn't "blind" it's based solidly on the Word of God TO YOU - personally.

    And as a Christian you WILL KNOW HIS VOICE. He leads with clarity.

    The ONLY voice that tries to DRIVE you to DO "SOMETHING" - NOW!!!!

    Is satan's.
  12. acehighinfinity2015

    acehighinfinity2015 Born again

    Sounds like you sacrificed your friends, and family to be with this person? There is always going to be repercussion in Life. Self can also blind you to the point you ignore GOD. Love drives us crazy sometimes. We do worship a jealous GOD, so the Lord only wants our attention but will wait for you so He hasn't abandon you at all. You surely can't blame GOD for making a rash decision in the first place? That's what self does to you, you blame everyone including GOD. The Lord is the only genuine healing pill for your 10+ years of emotional pain.

    Fear not, if unsure always ask GOD first just spend quality time praying normally I like to praise/worship first even if you don't feel it.....the spirit knows what your spirit wants. It is humbly yourself first before GOD (humility is very very important).At times, you feel like the windows of heavens have opened and His presence is quite thick where it presses/forces down on you. Not sure if everyone experience the same but it will depend on your heart connection with GOD.

    You already know what GOD wants; it is clear in his word:
    Matthew 6:32-34 "..But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you...So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

    If its personal then start relying on GOD more then anyone else? GOD has the answers to your Life ;)
  13. contango

    contango ...and you shall live...

    If it appears God's will aligns with my own desires then I examine myself carefully to make sure I'm not looking to create the ultimate appeal to authority to justify what I want to do anyway.

    If it appears God's will doesn't align with my own then I can be more confident that it's not my own selfish desires pulling at me.

    It seems almost fashionable in some circles to say that every little thing that goes right in our lives is a sign of God's providence, but that rather falls flat when so many people who want nothing to do with God also have lives that are going rather well.

    Finding a job isn't necessarily a sign of God's provision, and if you've got a job with a decent salary it follows that finding a flat is easier because you've got more to choose from, and you can afford something nicer than if you had a low salary. So it might have been God giving a green light, or it might just have been that you were in the right place at the right time and a perfectly natural chain of events began.

    Without knowing a lot more about you and this girl (and probably far more than it's sensible to type on an internet forum) it's really hard to say.

    Maybe God wants you in the area for some other purpose.

    Maybe God didn't have a specific plan for you to be there, or not be there, and things just worked out for you.

    Maybe the relationship turning sour is God's way of telling you it's time to move on somewhere else.

    If we always knew exactly how things were going to pan out we'd probably never do anything. I remember a weekend retreat my wife and I went on some years ago. Had I known in advance what was involved there's absolutely no way I'd have gone. But I went not knowing, and because I went we both got a lot out of the weekend and came away with a stronger marriage. It was hard work, an emotionally draining weekend, but at the end of it we came out stronger than before.

    Maybe God is using the situation to encourage you to rely on him, and define yourself based on your relationship with him, rather than putting this girl at the forefront of your thinking.

    I don't know, I can only speculate.

    Sometimes the thing to do is push a few doors and see what happens. You can always leave options to pull out open for a long time. Without going into details, there's a very substantial life change in my near-term future that I've thought and prayed about for years. Eventually I decided to push a few doors and see what happened, figuring that if God was in it things would work out and if he wasn't things might not work out. As it happened things progressed more smoothly than I thought was even possible, but even so I'm maintaining the option of reversing the change for as long as possible just in case I just got lucky.

    I think part of the problem is that we can get so caught up in the idea that God has a Master Plan for our lives and our overriding mission in life is to identify the minutae of that plan so we can follow it to the letter. Naturally even the slightest variation means we are Not Doing God's Will and that's a bad thing. Realistically speaking, I think if God wants us to be doing something very specific he is more than capable of making it very clear to us, and in the absence of that specific instruction we can make a lot of decisions for ourselves, guided by Scriptural instructions regarding how to live our lives in general.

    On that basis, if you live in Boston and God wants you to become a missionary to Ecuador, God will make it very clear to you what is expected, in a way that may appear ambiguous to others but will be crystal clear to you. If you decide you're tired of Boston and want to go and live in Chicago, if God has a specific reason why you shouldn't be in Chicago he will make it clear in some way and if he doesn't do that then feel free to live in Chicago, or Copenhagen, or wherever else takes your fancy.
  14. CGL1023

    CGL1023 citizen of heaven

    Word of Faith
    Like you, I got blind-sided by Satan about a year ago. It gave me a chance to see how Satan works. Any one can be fooled by events that seem to endorse our choices or actions. It can appear to be God blessing you but Satan can do the same things. Appearances are subjective and of the flesh. The Word is where we go for answers and it may take some time for the answer to materialize; recall that Abraham waited 20 yrs for the 'child of promise'.
    The way to get your way with God is simple and given in Mt 6:33. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." This speaks of having close relationship with God.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  15. Truthfrees

    Truthfrees Well-Known Member Supporter

    Word of Faith
    If the Lord is the one telling you to stay put, you won't be able to leave.

    Stay sensitive to the Lord.

    He doesn't pull away the carrot, the devil does.

    If your girl isn't talking to you, that could mean the devil is working on her too, but GOD is bigger.

    Someone needs to double up in prayer and the Word of God. It might as well be you.

    Ask the Lord what to do about your girl not talking to you.

    He has answers and provisions. Hang in there. Keep pressing in with the Lord. He'll help you overcome the tricks the devil is playing.

    The Lord speaks to our hearts and minds and spirits. We need to stay in prayer, scripture, praise, etc to stay encouraged.

    If you think you've made a mistake, ask the Lord if you did and wait for His answer.

    This is the time of your life to learn how to hear the Lord and overcome the tricks of the devil.

    If you've made a mistake somewhere, the Lord will help you with that too.

    It's all a learning process my brother. Be patient. Keep trusting the Lord. Don't let any temporary set backs throw you. With the Lord, all setbacks are temporary.

    Stay with the Lord and learn from Him how to walk through this adventure. Don't lose faith brother. God is your provider, protector, teacher, redeemer, etc.

    Jeremiah 29:11 is the truth my brother.
  16. prayingforfaith

    prayingforfaith New Member

    United States
    Wow, this situation describes my life! The only difference is that I am girl. I wonder what happened to this relationship... Would truly appreciate advice and guidance.

  17. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

    Life.. trials.. to many times in these trials, life.. we try to have faith. But.. we never worked out faith. Since we didn't we fall and it hurts. We walk by faith. Not what we see not what we hear and NOT by how we FEEL! Feelings are up and down all over the place. I now this pain. I once was not happy.. and duh I know the lord failed me.. gave up.. left me. And.. that moment.. He did respond. :)

    It was not anger..it was like.. how could you be so blind kind of thing. He said "WHEN have I ever failed you?". then shows time after time after time He was ALWAYS there. When my little boy was like 4-5.. He really liked this girl Adena at preschool. SO cute. But she would never have anything to do with him. So.. one day I told him...lets pray.. I said.. with children its easy for them to listen when God whispers. Not long after that.. as I when to get him .. he gets up.. she got up.. walked over and hugged him. As we get older.. well you know the rest.

    The hard part is WHO is this about? How many "I's Me's" in this? He has never left.. that thought should have been a RED FLAG showing you.. WOW Hes always been here. Satan can not tell the truth. So.. if your hearing.. He left..doesn't care etc.. then FLIP IT! He does not will not force ANYONE to do to think to say.

    Worry doubt fear are never from God. And the more we LISTEN to them....well when were in a hole? STOP DIGGING! Again.. GOD does not make ANYONE do think say feel. He never yanked took away anything. When God does something? Its ALWAYS of our GOOD. Meaning something SO much better would be coming. Again.. God wont do it .. unless we say something. How many times do we sin? WHEN did God stop us?

    Again worry doubt fear.. ALL are not going to do any good. But open the door to more of the same spirits. So.. PRAY walk by faith no matter how dark.. if you want GOD to move.. then KNOW He is for you.. He has NEVER been against you. He WANTS to work for us...but if we choose to listen to fear worry doubt poor me (forgive me) then He has to stand there and let us. DONT let the enemy in.. give him no ground.

    NO matter how dark it is.. HE WILL make a way out.. something SO MUCH BETTER IS COMING. The fear doubt all that proves GOD has something wonderful coming. Get up.. dust off and keep going. TRUST HIM! KNOW He HEARS....and tell Him.. this time KNOW He hears.. KNOW He crys with us.. but KNOW He is working EVERYTHING out for your GOOD! And ALL things are possible.
  18. fwGod

    fwGod Well-Known Member

    United States
    Whenever it's a choice between God or you at fault. It's wise to own up to you being at fault.

    Be reconciled to God. Satan would really like for you to be estranged with God over this. The devil would like you to think that God lied to you.. that God misled you.

    Don't wait until you understand how you went wrong. Just repent now. Admit to God to be the one, the only one who made a mistake.

    When you're not blaming God, then seek Him to know the difference between your own desires and His will.
  19. WoshipWarrior

    WoshipWarrior Well-Known Member

  20. SavedByGrace3

    SavedByGrace3 Whoever calls on the name of Jesus will be saved Supporter

    United States
    Is the thing you are asking for sinful?
    Start with that.
    What could not be deemed "selfish."
    Is eating selfish? All it does is keep you alive.
    Is asking for a car selfish? In this world it is going to be very difficult to survive without a dependable vehicle.
    Is having a roof over your head selfish? If so then all church members are selfish.
    Really... you can drive yourself crazy here. In my heart and mind, I do not desire riches or fame or power. I am content with my little 2000 square foot home. I have a good car, a 55 inch tv, 8 or so computers... sort of a hobby there. The wife and I also tend a garden... a couple hours a day. We share the veggies with family, friends, and neighbors. I do not think any of the things we have are selfish.
    If I have any selfishness it is with my time and energy. I don't think that affects my prayers... other than just not doing enough of it.
    I find most WoF believers are not selfish in their prayers.
    Things just do not attract me that much. The older I get (65 now) the less appeal they have to me.
    Most of the things I have I could do without or give away. I don't know... I think this is a non-issue. At least for me.