How can you find God’s will for your life?
His Revealed Will
We don’t have to see God’s will for your life as a mystery to be solved because the Scriptures clearly teach that God’s will is knowable and is doable. The Apostle Paul identifies several things that are God’s will, for example, we are to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1st Thess 5:18), and “this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1st Thess 4:3). God’s will is for us to be thankful enough to give Him thanks no matter what our circumstances are, but God’s will is also for us to live a life of ongoing sanctification, or a growing towards holiness, which means we must “abstain from sexual immorality,” so it’s not hard to know what God’s will is. It’s revealed in the Bible, like go and make disciples of all nations, and teach them the same things Jesus Christ taught us (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). One thing is clear; God will not reveal more of His will for your life until you walk in His revealed will for your life.
His Hidden Will
I cannot tell you or anyone else what God’s hidden will is for your life. If it’s hidden because God’s not yet revealed it, nobody can tell us what God’s will is for our life, at least that which has already been plainly revealed (1st Thess 4:4, 5:18). If we walk in the light we’re given, God may give us more light. The goal is to become more “Christ-like” and to know God better. We can if we are walking in those things which He has revealed for us to do. Here is what I can say with assurance; “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29). If God wants us to know, He will let us know, otherwise, it is none of our business to inquire about the secret things of “the Lord our God.”
To Know God’s Will
If you want to discern what God’s will is for your life, the Apostle Paul has shown us a way to do that. He tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2). If you are transformed by the renewal, that means you undergo a transformation, as the Greek (“metamorphoō”) says, “to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure,” which is the exact word used when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:2). A person that’s never been transformed into a new creation in Christ (2nd Cor 5:17) cannot know “what is good and acceptable” to God, therefore, they cannot fully discern what God’s will is for their life.
Agrees with Scripture
I recall an account where a missionary claimed that it was best that he divorce his wife and split their possessions, and use that to fund his personal mission to Africa. He was convinced that it was God’s will to divorce his wife so he could devote more of his time and money for the kingdom. My problem with that is God hates divorce, although He loves the divorced, but God would not tell this man to do something that is contrary to the Word of God. The Spirit of God and the Word of God always agree and the outer Word (the Bible), and the inner Word (the Spirit), point to the Living Word, Jesus Christ. He is the Head of the Church. He alone decides who goes on what mission in His name. Can you imagine Christ telling someone who was with Him during His earthly ministry to “Go and divorce your wife and follow Me?” How would that agree with Jesus’ teaching on divorce where He said, whoever “divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matt 5:32). God’s will cannot ever be in disagreement with God’s Word. “God is not the author of confusion” (1st Cor 14:33).
Open and Closed Doors
If you think it’s God’s will for you to do something for Him, then He will either open a door, or close a door you’re not supposed to go through so that you’ll find the door that’s open. God may see if you’re genuine in seeking to do His will by seeing how you react to closed doors. If you find a closed door, would you be willing to go through a window? One way to know God’s will is to try the door and see if it opens. Some never get that far. How many open doors have we walked right past in our life? I think it’s wise to at least look at opportunities. Perhaps opportunity and God’s will meet at the same place.
Jesus was always fixated on doing the will of God. He put aside His own interests and said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). For Jesus, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). He was focused on the will of God and His consistent prayer life connected Him so intimately with the Father that Jesus always did those things that were pleasing to the Father because He knew what things pleased the Father. Some of the things that are the will of the Father, and thereby are pleasing to the Father, are abstaining from sexual immorality, giving thanks in all circumstances, studying what His will is in His Word, and checking a few doors to see if they open or not. This takes a regenerated mind with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1st Cor 2:14).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.