Have you ever asked: How can I know the will of God?
If you have, then, welcome! It is one of the most common questions asked about the Christian life.
We read, pray, study and occasionally listen. Sometimes we feel content and in the center of God’s will. Other times we wander unsure of the direction that we are headed. Privately we wonder if God really has a plan for our life.
God’s ultimate will for us is to know Him and to make Him known (John 17:3, 25-26). We come to know God through prayer, worship, the Bible, and fellowship with other believers. We make Him known through our words and our actions.
These we know, but it’s the expression of His will in our lives that we long to know.
How then can we work out God’s will in the specifics of our lives? How do we get the details? How can we learn more of what the Lord desires?
The Path to Discerning the Will of God
We make our search far too complicated. The Bible offers help to discern God’s will. The process recurs throughout scripture as God’s people seek to life faithful lives. Sometimes they carried through with God’s plans; other times they stepped off the path and strayed far from His vision.
To discern the will of God, pray: “Lord… show me, teach me, guide me.” (Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 143:7-10)
Step 1: Show me
Ask the Lord to show you the way to go. He gives vision of what is to come. In the Bible, we find that God communicates in a variety of ways — prayer, dreams, inspired thoughts, people, the Spirit’s prompting, and more — with those who seek Him.
I love the way Psalm 143:8 in The Message paraphrases this step. It reads: “Point out the road I must travel.” Most times God reveals only the very next step on the road. Sometimes, however, He lifts the veil high and we get to glimpse the whole roadmap… the huge, God-sized vision of the road! Either way, He reveals His will.
Step 2: Teach me
Ask the Lord to equip you for the journey. We need to be open to learning new stuff. Spend time studying the Bible. Do personal study and group Bible studies. Additional classes, conferences, and mentors may also be in your future. Are you teachable?
Following God’s will can also lead to new ways of doing things or thinking about things. He draws information seemingly lost in the dusty cobwebs of our minds only to apply it in a new way. Sometimes it’s knowledge from a college class, from experience, or even from failure and tragedies. Are you teachable?
Step 3: Guide me
Ask the Lord to direct your steps. Be strong and courageous! With the confidence that He is your hope and your salvation, allow Him to guide you. The Holy Spirit indwells all who call upon the Lord . (John 16:7-13) You need to allow Him to lead you. Our independent self chaffs, I know! But you need to obey: from His precepts in Scripture to the daily promptings of His Spirit. Is your heart prepared to follow?
A Final Word
Soak your journey in prayerful reflection. We can know the will of God as He chooses to reveal it … and as we chose to receive it.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
How do you invest time to discover God’s will for our life? Share your insights and experiences so we can learn from you. :)
Laurna Tallman says
When I joined Redbud to improve my writing, I did not realize I would be roaming through gardens of Bible studies, journals, homilies, and art. The words you write that arrest me are, “Are you teachable?” I become so involved in teaching that I fail to stop to think about what I am supposed to be learning from those same people, a point Judy Douglass also makes gently in her video interview. One meaning of the word “meek” is “teachable.” Today, I am listening meekly in your garden so that I will listen better in my wilderness.
Sharon R Hoover says
Hi Laurna! So glad you stopped in to browse this garden. I, too, am gratefully immersed amidst the writings of fellow Buds. Thanks for the reminder about the simple word, meek. The contentment it conveys so beautifully enables us to be teachable! Have a wonderful day!