... An excerpt from Elisabeth Elliot's A Lamp For My Feet -
Discerning the Will of God
The primary condition for learning what God wants of us is putting ourselves wholly at his disposal. It is just here that we are often blocked. We hold certain reservations about how far we are willing to go, what we will or will not do, how much God can have of us or of what we treasure. Then we pray for guidance. It will not work. We must begin by laying it all down--ourselves, our treasures, our destiny. Then we are in a position to think with renewed minds and act with a transformed nature. The withholding of any part of ourselves is the same as saying, "Thy will be done up to a point, mine from there on."
Paul gives four important steps to discerning the will of God:
1. "Offer your very selves to Him,"
2. "Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world."
3. "Let your minds be remade."
4. "Your whole nature transformed." "Then you will be able to discern the will of God" (Rom 12:1,2 NEB).