How can I discern God's reasons?
Our curiosity makes us want all the details. God's will, however, is not revealed as a road map, but as street signs. Additionally, God's "lightning bolts" are extremely rare, while His "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12) is quite common.
In Acts 9:1-9 the Apostle Paul gives us an example of following God's will. In this passage Jesus changes Paul from a persecutor of Christians to, arguably, the most zealous advocate for Christianity of all time. In his change from persecutor to preacher, Paul displays three qualities that are essential to knowing the will of God: willingness, meekness and openness.
Like Paul, you must be willing to do what God desires, though it may be contrary to your immediate desires. Also, you must be meek, or teachable, putting aside your pride and letting God give you new insight and wisdom. Finally, you must be open, desiring God's best for your life.
In this passage God only tells Paul the next step, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." Likewise we are to simply listen to Him and then obediently take the next step. Note, however, that God's will was revealed to Paul through His Word, not circumstances. God may not speak audibly to you, but you have a Word that's just as sure - the Bible. Read it. Pray. Seek godly counsel. Then interpret your circumstances. Whether obstacles or open doors, circumstances alone can sometimes be misleading apart from God's Word.
Fold up your map and start paying attention to the street signs - God's "still small voice." Then simply obey one step at a time, and the peace of God will assure you that you are walking in His way.
Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. © 2001, The Commercial Appeal.