One of the questions most asked of me is something along the lines of, “Pastor, how do I know God’s will?” Many people seem to think God’s will is elusive or they’re not really meant to find it. That is not true. God doesn’t hide His will from us or play games we can’t win when trying to discover it. He want us to know what His will is! He wants us to be in the middle of His will for us because that is where our purpose is, that is where we thrive and that is where He gets the most glory.
There are places in scripture that tell us point blank what God’s will is in a general sense for all of us. An example is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Whenever you find the words “this is God’s will” written in scripture, pay close attention as God is about to tell you outright what He wants.
We also have Romans 12:2 which tells us that to discover God’s good, pleasing and perfect will, we must “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As long as we are chasing after the world and have that mindset, we will never discover God’s will for us.
Assuming you’re familiar with those pre-requisites, here are some other things to consider as you discern if something is God’s will for your life.
- Pray. Do this with a genuine searching and attitude of acceptance.
- Listen. Remove the clutter of activity and even your own speech. You’ll find it nearly impossible to discern the will of God if your life is a chaos of noise, activity and lacks quality, quiet time with the Lord.
- Search the scriptures. God will never contradicts his Word. Never. If something is forbidden in scripture, God is not telling you to do it. Consider that he may already be teaching you what He wants you to know.
- Seek Godly counsel. If you are married, bring your spouse in on the decision. Whether married or single, seek counsel from someone who will be objective and isn’t afraid to tell you something you might not want to hear.
- Consider Jesus. If what you’re thinking about is not something He would do from a moral position, do not do it!
- Seek glory for God. Will this end up bringing Him glory?
- Emphasize others. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Remember, you are not an island. Your actions and decisions affect those around you. Always.
- Follow faith. Hebrews 11 is full of people commended for their faith, even when circumstances didn’t make sense.
- Embrace sacrifice. Many times God’s will requires some form of sacrifice. The greatest example to us in all things is Jesus and that is certainly true here. Jesus was in the middle of God’s will when He hung on the cross. It was a great sacrifice. Don’t shy away from something solely because you have to sacrifice something, because you’re scared or because it’s hard.