"Just as there are conditions favorable to discernment, there are impediments. Everything that gets in the way of hearing God's call is a barrier: 'They served their idols, which became a snare to them' (Ps. 106:36). Obstacles arise from:

• "Culture. Cultural values emphasizing competition, success, productivity, self-sufficiency, individualism, or material progress may impede discernment.

• "Prosperity. Prosperity knits a person to the world. 'I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, "I will not listen" ' (Jer. 22:21).

• "Self-interest. We need to free ourselves from the trap of self-interest that so grasps and clutches that it gets in the way of a free and open relationship with God and with others. God begins where clinging to things ends.

• "Self-absorption. Ambition and self-absorption obstruct discernment.

• "Self-righteousness. To be sure we are living in God's light is a sign of spiritual smugness and an impediment to discerning God's call.

• "Desire for security. Our desire for security and control interferes with our ability to hear God's call.

• "Desire for certainty. To insist on an exact answer diminishes our freedom to listen.

• "Human time frames. Our own timetables impair our ability to let God point the way.

• "Self-doubt. If we do not think we are good enough, we may not believe we can be useful to God and may be unable to pursue God's call. Moses was fortunate that God would not accept his response of personal inadequacy. We need to act on our best understanding of what God wants, praying that God will correct us if we have been misunderstood.

And so, as we move from self-will to God's will, we place our lives in the hands of God. And then we find that God has work for us to do."

. . . you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. — Deut. 4:29