Discerning God’s Will In Difficult Decisions
For the Catholic who is attempting to discern God’s Will, it is difficult to determine when we are going after our will and not God’s.
Ultimately, every decision we make should be in accordance to God’s Will. Now, sometimes our will matches that of God’s, but many times it doesn’t.
From what I have discovered along my journey through the Catholic faith, there are times when I know that God wants me to do something and it is obvious. I simply put my options before God during some time of silence, and it becomes ever apparent what God’s Will is. This practice eventually becomes so easy that you don’t even have to ask, you just know. This occurs when you have a regular prayer life with God and are obedient to Him. The signs become apparent.
However, there comes that time, when decisions are no longer obvious. The gut reaction is to think “God has abandoned me, what do I do?” This is just what happens within our fallen nature as humans. Keep your chin up, it isn’t as bad as you think.
Generally when this happens, it is a sign that you have matured in your faith. God has shown you His Will up to this point and based on what He has shown you, it is now up to you to determine what is His Will and what is not.
Let’s look at it in another light. A young child is in constant need of their father to point out good and bad. Yes, you can have this, no you can’t have this. Don’t do this, do this. The child may or may not come to his father for this guidance, but the father is there nonetheless to ensure that he is not getting himself in trouble. When he gets older, his father isn’t always going to stand over him to make sure that he is doing everything that he needs to do. Now, depending on what is going to occur, he may intervene, but he will gradually let go in order to let him decide what is right and wrong based on what he has taught him.
This is exactly how Our Father in Heaven operates. When we are immature in our faith, we need constant guidance in order to ensure we aren’t getting ourselves in trouble. Similarly, when we have matured, He will be watching us (as God always does), but we have to make the tough decisions ourselves.
We will make poor decisions in our life, but ultimately God will still love us and be there for us in those times. It is critical to note that God never wants us to choose any action that is evil or sinful. Sinful amusements are never in tune with God’s Will simply because God never wants us to sin, as sin cuts us off from Him. If the choice you do make is a sinful choice, go to confession.
There will be times too that God will allow an opportunity in which it appears to have a lot of pros and very few cons, but He wants us to stay either where we at, or take the option that isn’t obvious. Time in prayer will help alleviate this. If you are having difficulty, talk to a trusted spiritual director.
Spend much time in prayer, and get a trusted spiritual adviser. Having someone who is more experienced in the faith and closer to God will help you in figuring out those situations where there is no easy answer. Pray, fast and always stand vigilant.