Knowing God's Will
What is one of the most common questions asked by Christian believers?
You might think it would be a significant doctrinal question, questions about challenging Bible passages, or concern about the prophecies and signs of Jesus’ Second Coming. But none of these make it to the top of the list.
The question that I hear most from people is, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” There is a genuine interest among believers in understanding God’s plans, getting God’s guidance, and gaining some insight into their personal future. Many times Christians agonize over the question of God’s will, wondering how they can ever know what God wants them to be and do.
My perspective is that we over-complicate the whole process of knowing God’s will. If we sincerely want to know His will, He will faithfully guide us into His plan. Our job is to simply do what He clearly asks us to do. Doing our part is what we should focus on. If we do our part, God will do His part to guide us.
Here is a Bible study that will help you discover the will of God for your life. If you follow these principles, you will experience God’s guidance:
To live in God’s will:
God’s will is revealed in His Word. Living in the will of God requires conscientious obedience to His Word. If you focus on living by God’s Word you will not miss God’s plan for your life.
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” — Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
When we allow ourselves to be polluted with ungodly attitudes, thoughts or actions, we are certain to miss God’s will. Pursuing purity, inside and out, is essential to experiencing God’s guidance.
“God’s will is for you to be holy … ” — 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NLT)
Worry leads to bad decisions. Worry leads to emotionally-based, impulsive, reactive actions. Trust in God frees us from anxiety and fear that lead to bad or imprudent decisions. Trust is surrendering ourselves fully and completely to God, sincerely believing that He loves us and knows what is best for us. When we trust God we stop striving with Him and with the circumstances in our lives. We rest in His care and sovereignty.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” — Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NIV)
The pathway to God’s best in your life involves being faithful right where you are. As the old adage teaches, “Bloom where you are planted!” If we are unfaithful in our current responsibilities and assignments, we cannot expect God to expand them and promote us.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” — 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
Too often we miss the big blessings God has for us because we ignore the small things God asks of us. To discover God’s will, we must pay close attention to the little assignments, the small opportunities and responsibilities God gives us to do. How we handle the small things is a true measure of our character. It determines how much God can trust us and what He will do with our lives.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much …” — Luke16:10 (NIV)
God’s plan for us is maturity. To mature us, He will take us through tough, training seasons. If we run from God’s training process we will never experience the fullness of His will.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” — James 1:2-4 (NLT)
One of the keys to remaining in the will of God is gratitude. Being thankful and content with the blessings and opportunities God has given you keeps you in the frame of heart, mind and spirit to be further guided and used by Him.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
Knowing God’s will is not complicated. If we do our part, God can be counted on to do His part. He will guide and direct our lives!
Positive changes happen in us when we know, believe, confess and obey God’s Word. When we agree with what God says about us, our minds are renewed, and our choices and habits improve. In this new book from Pastor Dale O'Shields, you will find 25 biblically-based affirmations that will help you think right about God, yourself, others and the world.