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From This Place: Torrey Conference 2012

Reflections on learning how to discern God's will

On Wednesday afternoon, Michelle Sanchez teaches a workshop on discerning the presence and will of God. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

After attending the Torrey Conference workshop titled "Missional Vision: Learn to Discern God’s Presence and Will," I feel very refreshed. Through the speaker, Michelle Sanchez, God spoke some very important insights into my heart.

Being a freshman at Biola, I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed with all the decisions I have needed to make, ranging from which church I should attend to whether or not I should stick with my major. I have definitely been struggling with knowing how to discern God’s will and being fearful of making decisions that are outside God’s desire for my life.

Sanchez did a wonderful job of breaking down how to discern God’s will. She discussed how, in order to follow Jesus and achieve his mission for us, we must find God and follow him.

“Discernment is the point at which prayer and action meet,” she said. This statement was both motivating and encouraging to me because I think I am often impatient about immediately taking action without first praying and hearing from God.

Sanchez also encouraged me by saying discernment is not necessarily about the decision and making the “right” choice. Rather, discernment is about Jesus and knowing him. Sanchez said that Jesus’s will for our lives is to be in a deep love relationship with him and when we know Jesus deeply, decision-making becomes much more natural.

Sanchez also discussed how discernment is a way of life and a chance to fall more deeply in love with Christ. When I am unsure about a choice I need to make, I often dread decision-making. However, this view of drawing closer to Jesus with every decision I make excites me. I believe taking such a perspective reveals our trust in Christ. When we focus on knowing him more, as opposed to making the right choice, we are affirming that God is sovereign and he will guide our path.

After listening to Sanchez, I desire to be someone who focuses wholeheartedly on my relationship with Christ in the midst of discernment, rather than how I can benefit from the choices I make. After all, every decision I make should be for the glory of God. 

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