As Christian leaders, we want to know God’s heart for our ministries and obey His will. But exactly how do we discern His heart, and how do we know when we’ve received the full download?

Let’s lay a little groundwork, and then I’ll share a scenario from our ministry.

Our Concealing, Revealing God

  • It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out (Pr. 25:2).
  • The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deut. 29:29).
  • Thus says the Lord who made the earth… “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jer. 33:2a & 3)

God knows all, and while He conceals some treasured things, He invites us to call to Him so He can reveal His incredible will to us.

Recently, a small group of our staff gathered to discern the program for a ministry event. We had a general idea about its theme and how we’d communicate it. But we’ve learned to go to the Lord with ears and hands wide open.

As we talked and prayed, God showed us that the theme was right, but our initial plan for communicating it was off. So we adjusted our plans. And we experienced a level of peace and joy.

But a few days later, the peace lifted. Something wasn’t right. We went back into discernment mode, and God shifted one final aspect of the program.


Everything clicked into place. The event was smooth, creatively put together, impactful to our supporters, and God-honoring.

How to Hear the Fullness of God’s Heart

1. Gather in prayer. Choose the staffers who are most connected to the project, event, or issue, and meet with God together. Start with musical worship and/or Scripture—it’s a great way to fully focus on God. Talk with Him about the issue at hand, expressing your various thoughts about it.

2. Listen with hearts wide open. Surrender any preconceived ideas you may have, and quiet your mind to hear impressions from God, Scriptures, ideas. Listen closely to the prayers of your comrades. The “Christ in them” will speak to you, too, as they’re praying.

3. Glean God’s will. As everyone prays without an agenda and lays their thoughts before the Lord, He will begin to reveal and shape His plan. He does this through His Spirit, through His Word, and through the way He prompts the actual words you pray.

4. Proceed with God’s plan. When it seems like the discernment is coming to a close, ask if anyone is sensing anything more. If not, conclude the prayer time and take the next practical steps God’s revealed.

5. Keep your spiritual antennae up. As you’re moving forward with God’s plan, keep listening to Him. He may have a subtle or a substantial adjustment to make. Be willing to receive that from Him, and weigh it with others for confirmation.

6. Make adjustments. When you’re certain God has made a correction or a change, implement it. Have faith in God’s ability to further clarify things, the fact that as His “sheep,” you hear His voice, and that you and your team have remained in a discernment mode together.

7. Move forward in peace. Step out with confidence, believing that You’ve heard from God. And also knowing that we see through a glass darkly, and that God’s not calling us to perfection. There is grace and peace as we seek, hear, and obey Him.

Visionary leaders are prone to hear from God and leap. But as you’re seeking heart on an issue, it’s wise to stay in a posture of prayer and listen for further discernment. As a leader, if you want to walk in the full counsel of God, listen to Him with others, and obey. And then keep listening, and keep obeying.

“As a leader, if you want to walk in the full counsel of God, listen to Him with others, and obey. And then keep listening, and keep obeying.”

- Lisa Hosler

How has God helped you keep your spiritual antennae up while discerning and obeying His will? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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