I received a note from a lady named Donna who was looking for God's leading for a particular situation and was not sure how to discern what He was saying. Here was my response...
Discerning God's voice and direction is one of the biggest challenges that we face as believers. Every Christian, no matter how long they've been walking with the Lord, deals with this from time to time.
A great place to start is understanding that we have lots of "voices" in our lives, offering direction. We have God's voice, but then we have voices like our own desires, friends opinions, and cultural or family expectations, as well. Understanding this challenge makes us aware that not every impulse we feel is, necessarily, the leading of the Lord.
When learning to discern God's leading, the scriptures are where we begin. The bible is God's given and established word. Nothing He ever says to us will contradict the scriptures. So, being a person of the word teaches us what God has already said and what He desires and values.
The next place to go is to mature believers who are committed to you, and care enough to tell you the truth. That's why the scriptures tell us to gather together with other believers. Any of us can get confused and conflicted, and none of us are objective when it comes to our own dealings. We need other believers who can remind us of what God has said, in spite of how we may feel in the moment. Your small group leader or another mature believer you trust would be a great place to start.
I encourage you to keep seeking God's direction in your life. There is nothing like regular time with Him in prayer and the scriptures to train your spiritual ears to hear His voice above all the other noise.
I hope this helps!