Mueller on 5 steps in discerning God's will

It's the question many would love a clear answer on.

How do I know it's the will of God? How can I become better at discerning His desires and purposes?

I've been reading Mueller's autobiography recently, reflecting on his dependence on God and desire for God's glory in everything. There's a little section in there that's worth sharing - how to ascertain the will of God.

Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be.
— George Mueller
  1. He sought to "get his heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter." Mueller observed that heart condition was a key test.
  2. He did not leave the result to "feelings or simple impressions", believing it made him liable to great delusions.
  3. He sought the will of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God. Mueller stated that the "Spirit and Word must be combined - if I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them."
  4. He took into account providential circumstances, understanding them to "plainly indicate God's will in connecting with His Word and Spirit".
  5. He asked God in prayer to reveal His will to him.

Thus through prayer, study of His Word, and reflection, he came to "deliberate judgement" and if his mind was at peace and continued so after two or three more petitions, he proceeded accordingly. He found this to be always effective in trivial and important issues.

On a personal note, there's no short cut in this. There's no process or method which does not rely on the heart coming before our Lord in humility and obedience, and allowing him to work out His purposes.

I'm praying that the missional businesses, current and future, will testify to this as Mueller did and be able to give God all the glory.