John Markum

Discerning the Will of God: Part 1

I constantly know of people who are struggling to grasp the will of God. This is such a needed and important subject to talk about that I felt it necessary to split into 2 parts regarding individual choices and your life’s direction. To be sure, I believe the two are intertwined. Yet I’m going to deal with them separately as one feeds into the other.


For example:

  • Which college should I go to?
  • Should I ask out that girl?
  • Do I buy that new car?
  • Should I take this job?
  • Should I look for a new church home?
  • Should I vote for this person or that person?

So here are a few things to consider as you discern God’s will for single choices you make:

  1. What does Scripture say? Too many times we are looking for God to speak to us through some kind of sign, when we haven’t even looked to see what He says in His Word. It has been said that 95% of God’s will regarding choices we make are spelled out in His word. If not directly stated, what principles does the Bible talk about regarding, debt, relationships, influence, putting God first, work ethic, etc…
  2. What are the long-term rewards/consequences? every choice bears intended and unintended consequences. For instance, you may be aware that buying that new car will give you a $350/month car payment, but you didn’t realize until after you bought it, that your insurance would go up another$50/month! Think through the obstacles you’ll have to face, whether intentionally or not.
  3. What are the pro’s and con’s? Not just a list. Weigh each one. Any time I make a list of pro’s and con’s, I weigh the pro’s on a scale of 1 to 10, and the con’s on a scale of -1 to -10. This helps me see more than a long list and short list, but how much do those things actually weigh in my decision making.
  4. Have you prayed about it? Now I saved this one for last because of something that often frustrates me regarding people’s prayer life… There are some things that you just don’t need to pray about. Such as, “Do I wear the brown or black belt?” Who cares? Wear the one that matches! Or, “should I sleep with my girlfriend?” God already spoke in His word concerning that, you don’t need to pray about it. But when you have a major decision, yes, you should spend some time praying about it. How much time? That depends on the decision. You may need to spend several days praying about it… and fasting. More on fasting later, though.
  5. What do the people I trust think? Outside of my wife (which should be obvious), I have a handful of people that I go to when making a big choice. Not so that they can tell me what to do, but so that I gain their perspective. We have a saying on our staff when it comes to collaborative thought: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” The people I go to often help me see things that I had not thought about… or that I was trying to ignore. But I’m still responsible for my decision.

I’ll come back later with a slightly different take on the subject of finding God’s will for your life. Til then…




Traffic Rock-Out

I got stared down in traffic the other day while rocking out to some Skillet on my iPod. Awake, good CD! Anyway… I’m certain that I looked ridiculous in traffic playing a crazy air guitar and drum solo. The truck next to me in traffic had two little girls and their Dad getting a good laugh at me rocking out in our minivan.

I’m sure you don’t look nearly as bizarre as me in traffic, but have you ever felt the same way? Like you were excited and passionate about something you felt God wanted you to do, but others were just getting a laugh at your enthusiasm? Or maybe you have something compelling that God has put on your heart, but you’re apprehensive of sharing it with someone else because you don’t think they would get it?

Truth is, you’re probably right. The reason? The same reason I look like a moron in traffic. The people in the other car can’t hear what I hear. And the people critical of your calling don’t hear what God is telling you to do either. If the people in traffic could hear what I was hearing, then maybe they would be moving like I was moving.

If God was telling other people the same thing He was telling you, then maybe they would share your enthusiasm.

But God didn’t tell them. He told you. It doesn’t have to get others excited. Just you. Don’t wait for other people to approve of God’s calling on your life before you obey. And pay no attention to those who don’t get it.

My response to the other people in the other lane, laughing at my traffic time rock-out? I smiled, waved, and kept jamming out.

The music was just too good to stop for the sake of the opinion of someone else.



The phrase no pain, no gain has been a mantra for athletes and fitness junkies for years. And what they understand about physical pain needs to be broadened to a much more general use in all of our lives. Pain hurts. That's the whole problem. No one enjoys it, and if someone does, we rightfully

The Premium of Pain