Understanding God’s Will is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries that throughout the years individuals have approached me about. How can Christians know God’s Will for their lives? Many times, Christians believe that they must “discover” or “find” the will of God. Has His will been lost? The confusion of this topic is vast and unclarified in the minds of many. Unfortunately, I believe that it has confused and damaged many believers.
There are so many decisions to make and none of the answers seem clear. What should I do this summer? What should my major be? What kind of career do I want? Do I want a career? Should I get married? Whom should I marry? Do I want kids? Should I play sports or sing in the choir? Where should I go to college? For some there are money, relationship, and even retirement questions. How should I spend my money? Where should I give my money? How should I serve my church? What should I be doing with the rest of my life, and where and with whom should I be doing it? When should I retire? What should I do in retirement?
1) Knowing God’s Will Should Be Our Desire (Col. 1:9-11 & Eph. 5:15-17) Ephesians 5 speaks to the fact that we are to walk carefully, understand what the will of God is and "redeem the time.” Essentially, to take advantage of opportunities while moving forward. Paul many times prayed for the saints that he was ministering to that they would “be filled with the knowledge of his will.” Never did he say or pray that they must “go find it.” He desired that they would be filled with it! So what is God’s Will? It's not a mysterious or mystical listening for the “VOICE OF GOD,” but rather a continual intake of the revealed will of God. His Word to us.
2) God’s Will Is Rendered Through His Revealed Word (Various Passages) Often, we ask does God have a secret will of direction that He expects us to figure out before we do anything? And the answer is no. Yes, God has a specific plan for our lives. Yes, we can be assured that He works things for our good and His Glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). Often, we are able to trace God’s direction in bringing us to where we are. But while we are free to ask God for wisdom, He does not burden us with the task of figuring His will of direction for our lives ahead of time. God does have a specific plan for our lives, but it is not one that He expects us to figure out before we make a decision. As we look to His Word, here are some expectations of what God desires for his followers:
to glorify God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31);
to serve others (Romans 14:19);
to fulfill God-given responsibilities (1 Peter 4: 10-11);
to evangelize lost people (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Peter 3:9); to do good works (Titus 3:8);
to produce spiritual fruit (Colossians 1: 10).
Our decisions should not only conform to God-given realities, but also reflect appropriate attitudes. God's will for this area of our lives would include: love (Mark 12:28-31), reliance (Proverbs 3:5-6), humility (Philippians 2:5-8), gratitude (Colossians 3:17), integrity (Colossians 3:22), diligence (Colossians 3:23), eagerness (1 Peter 5:2), generosity (1 Timothy 6:17-19), courage (John 16:33), submission (Ephesians 5:21), contentment (Hebrews 13:5), and joy (James 1:2).
So many believers look for a heavenly sign when considering the will of God. However, with scriptural support, following Christ can be summed up as you strive to be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God!