Does God still speak to people today? Does He really have a master plan for our lives? If so, can it really be discovered?
I wish that I could say that, after more than 30 years of walking with the Lord, I have discovered a foolproof method for knowing the will of God in all circumstances. There have been times when God has led me in a way that was so clear and obvious. There have been other times when it was just a journey of faith. But I can tell you this much: as Christians, we are not victims of chance. I do believe God has a plan for our lives. I do believe God has a will that He wants to reveal to us. I do believe He wants to speak to us and does speak to us.
I want to share a few principles from the Bible that will better enable you to discover, know, and walk in the will of God that He has for you. But first, you need to know that the will of God is not so much an itinerary as it is an attitude. Be willing to walk in the way that He wants you to.
The good news is that God does not play hide-and-seek. He is more interested in revealing His will than you may be in knowing what His will is. But we often make hearing God's voice and knowing His will too mystical.
When you put your faith in Christ, you entered into a friendship with God. Jesus said in John 15:15, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you" (NKJV).
Friends share secrets with friends. The Bible says, "The secret of the Lord is with those that fear Him" (Psalm 25:14 NKJV). God, your friend, wants to reveal His will to you. He wants to speak to you.
God has given us a user's manual for life called the Bible. It helps us to understand the will of God. Before we get into the specifics and try to discover His plan and purpose for our lives as individuals, let's ask ourselves the question, Am I already doing what God has clearly told me to do in His Word?
Let's start with the simplest of all: To know the will of God, you need to be a believer. 2 Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (NKJV). In other words, it is the will of God that you believe in Jesus Christ. By that I mean that there has to come a moment in your life when you acknowledge that you are a sinner, that you are separated from God, and that you turn from that sin and put your faith in Jesus.
Having established what is obviously the will of God for every person, let's look now at Romans 12 to help us discover the will of God for our lives as individuals. If you want to know God's perfect and acceptable will for you, give yourself to God (see verses 1-2). Present yourself to Him without reservation, 100 percent. God is essentially saying, Give me your life, and then I will show you My will.
Next, don't let this world squeeze you into its mold. When the Bible speaks of the world, it is speaking of a culture that is largely hostile to God. Live the way that God wants you to live. As you do that, you will begin to discover His plan for you. Then you will know what is "that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).
Did you know that God's will is good? Sometimes, we envision God as the ultimate party pooper. How far from the truth that is! God's plans for you are good. The Bible tells us, "No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11 NKJV).
God is not trying to make your life miserable. He wants you to reach your potential and live in the perfect plan He has for you. His plan and purpose for you is good. Not only is His plan good, it is perfect. No plan of ours can improve on the plan of God. Don't be afraid to surrender it to Him.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.