Determining God’s will for our lives may be the greatest struggle believers encounter as they attempt to walk with Christ. It presents questions and statements that are heard often in this faith known as Christianity.
Some ask, “How can I know what God’s will is for my life?” Others will state, “I’m seeking desperately for His will.” I don’t intend to be mean-spirited when I say these questions and statements depict our God as some sort of divine Easter bunny who has hidden His will and sits behind a cloud claiming, “you’re getting warmer.” Our God has not hidden His will from us.
The most common answers to these questions and statements, however, are very misleading. Why? Because most, when approached, give a very churchly answer, “Read your Bible and pray.” To a lot of believers, this is similar to placing them in the pilot’s seat of the space shuttle and saying, “have a great flight.”
Trust me when I tell you there is no verse in Scripture to let you know what home to buy, what college to attend, who to marry, where to invest, and a gazillion other questions. So how do we determine His will?
First, let me take all focus off of me. This is not my work. It is the work of countless men of God who have searched the Scriptures diligently for these answers. Most importantly, it’s a close duplication of a good friend of mine’s published words who decided to make them unavailable. I’m writing this for the purpose of knowing these truths are available because I lean upon them often.
So, how do we determine God’s will for our lives? I believe there are four essential steps required for every particular instance and situation.
First, go to your Bible. I know, I know. I just told you that was a confusing thing to tell people searching for God’s will. But it is the first step.
God has revealed His will for each and every one of us in His Word. Once again, that doesn’t mean He has told us which house to buy, but it does mean that the Bible provides us with enough of God’s will to make those decisions in a way that is consistent with His character.
In the Bible, there are at least six places where God’s will is expressly given.
1. It is God’s will that you be saved. 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4
2. It is God’s will that His people be Spirit filled. Ephesians 5:17-18
3. It is God’s will that His people be sanctified. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
4. It is God’s will that His people be submissive. 1 Peter 2:13-15; Hebrews 13:17; Romans 13:1
5. It is God’s will that His people accept suffering. 1 Peter 4:19
6. It is God’s will that His people be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Once we’ve ensured we are practicing obedience in these expressly stated areas where God’s will is known, then to find His will, we should go to our knees. We should pray. James 1:5; Colossians 1:9
After bathing our desire to know God’s will in prayer, we should go to our friends. This means seeking godly counsel. It doesn’t mean finding someone who will simply agree, but someone who loves you enough to be truthful. Proverbs 19:20; Proverbs 15:22
And now the fun part… If we have truly sought God’s revealed will for our lives, and we have yielded ourselves to prayer, then sought the good counsel of fellow believers… we simply go to our desires.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Remember that God does not hide His will from us. There must be a point where we can confidently move forward with a decision. If you have been through the steps described here and you feel strongly like you want to take that job, or buy that house (using wisdom – you can’t buy a million dollar home on a twenty thousand dollar salary), or make that move, or go to that college, or serve in that ministry, then do it… and trust that God will bless your decision.