Romans 12:2 says ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. That by testing, you may discern what is the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect to God.
And even though I am sure that they had all heard the whole ‘do not be conformed to the world’ sermon before, I wanted them to know HOW they were supposed to go about being transformed, having their minds renewed and testing what is God’s will and what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I told then that this was their formula for testing
Testing * (Praying + God’s Word) = Discernment and Knowledge(God’s will, Good, Acceptable, Perfect)
And since they are memorizing God’s Word, they have a distinct advantage.
When I read something or hear something, even if it is from another christian, I can test it against what I know from memorizing God’s word, and I can pray.
These are iterative processes:
– being transformed – constantly
– the renewal of your mind – daily
– testing – does what I read or heard line up with God’s Word – over and over again
– Discern – pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern – constantly
In fact, this is the process Martin Luther went through when the Spirit led him to discover the truth about being saved by Grace.
‘Luther knew so much of the Bible from memory that when the Lord opened his eyes to see the truth of justification in Romans 1:17, he said, “Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory,” in order to confirm what he had found.”‘ (Richard Bucher,Martin Luther’s Love for the Bible”)
These processes (‘running through the Scriptures from memory’ along with prayer) will help you answer the following questions:
– what is God’s will?
– what is good?
– what is acceptable?
– what is perfect?
(April 10, 2014) Edited to add
If you are looking for more help on How to know God’s will for your life, I highly recommend Sean McDowell’s post ‘How Do I Know God’s Will for My Life?’