How can I know God’s will?

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By BibleAsk Team


Knowing God’s will is one of the most vital quests for a believer. It involves understanding His desires for our lives, His plans, and His guidance in our daily decisions. Discerning God’s will can seem complex, but Scripture offers clear principles and guidance to help us navigate this spiritual journey.

Understanding the Concept of God’s Will

God’s will can be understood in different dimensions:

  1. God’s Sovereign Will: This refers to God’s ultimate plan and purpose for all creation, which is unchangeable and will come to pass.
  2. God’s Moral Will: This encompasses God’s commandments and instructions as revealed in Scripture, guiding us on how to live righteously.
  3. God’s Personal Will: This is God’s specific guidance for an individual’s life regarding decisions, career, relationships, and personal direction.

Seeking God’s Will Through Scripture

The Bible is the primary source through which God reveals His will to us. Here are some key principles and practices for discerning His will:

1. Study and Meditate on Scripture

God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Regular study and meditation on Scripture help us understand God’s moral will and align our lives with His teachings.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV): “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Studying the Bible equips us to discern God’s will by teaching us what is right, correcting our wrongs, and instructing us in righteousness.

2. Prayer and Communion with God

Prayer is essential in seeking God’s will. Through prayer, we communicate with God, express our desires, and seek His guidance.

  • Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV): “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Prayer provides peace and clarity, which are crucial in discerning God’s direction for our lives.

3. Listening to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is our guide and counselor, leading us into all truth and helping us understand God’s will.

  • John 16:13 (NKJV): “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

Being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit is vital in discerning God’s personal will for our lives.

4. Seeking Godly Counsel

God often uses other believers to convey His will. Seeking counsel from mature Christians, pastors, and mentors can provide valuable insights and confirmation.

  • Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV): “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Godly counsel helps us make wise decisions and avoid pitfalls.

5. Circumstances and Open Doors

God can use circumstances and opportunities to reveal His will. While circumstances alone should not be the sole determinant, they can serve as indicators of God’s direction.

  • Revelation 3:8 (NKJV): “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

An open door can signify God’s provision and direction, but it should always be tested against Scripture and prayer.

Ask the Lord to show you a sign that will help you know His will when there is no clear instruction on the Word of God. But remember that a sign should not be relied on to find God’s will without applying the previous points.

  • Judges 6:17 (NKJV): “Then he (Gideon) said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.”

Specific Areas of Life

1. Career and Vocational Decisions

Choosing a career path is a significant decision where seeking God’s will is crucial. God’s guidance in this area often involves understanding our gifts, talents, and passions, and how they align with His kingdom purposes.

  • Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV):
    • “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

Working with a heart to serve the Lord ensures that our vocational choices honor Him and fulfill His will.

2. Relationships and Marriage

Decisions about relationships and marriage significantly impact our lives and spiritual walk. Seeking God’s will in these areas involves prayer, wise counsel, and adherence to biblical principles.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV):
    • “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

God’s will for relationships is clear in Scripture, emphasizing the importance of spiritual compatibility and shared faith.

3. Moral and Ethical Decisions

Everyday decisions that involve moral and ethical considerations should be guided by God’s revealed will in Scripture.

  • Micah 6:8 (NKJV):
    • “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”

Walking in justice, mercy, and humility aligns our lives with God’s moral will.

The Process of Discernment

1. Surrender to God’s Will

A heart fully surrendered to God is essential in discerning His will. This involves a willingness to set aside our own desires and submit to His plans.

  • Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV):
    • “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Renewing our minds and not conforming to worldly patterns helps us discern God’s perfect will.

2. Patience and Waiting on God

Discerning God’s will often requires patience and waiting on His timing. Rushing decisions can lead to mistakes, while waiting allows God to work out His purposes.

  • Psalm 27:14 (NKJV):
    • “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Waiting on the Lord strengthens our faith and ensures we move in His timing.

3. Testing and Confirmation

Testing our understanding of God’s will involves seeking confirmation through prayer, Scripture, and counsel.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NKJV):
    • “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”

Testing ensures that our discernment aligns with God’s truth and wisdom.

Examples of Biblical Figures Seeking God’s Will

1. Abraham

Abraham’s life is a profound example of seeking and following God’s will. His obedience to God’s call to leave his homeland demonstrates faith and trust in God’s plan.

  • Genesis 12:1-4 (NKJV):
    • “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”

Abraham’s journey was marked by a continual seeking of God’s direction and promises.

2. David

King David frequently sought God’s will, especially in times of decision and conflict. His practice of inquiring of the Lord is a model for us.

  • 1 Samuel 23:2 (NKJV):
    • “Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’ And the Lord said to David, ‘Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.'”

David’s consistent inquiry of the Lord shows his dependence on God’s guidance.

3. Paul

The Apostle Paul’s ministry was directed by his continuous seeking of God’s will. His journeys and missionary work were marked by prayerful discernment and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

  • Acts 16:6-10 (NKJV):
    • “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

Paul’s sensitivity to the Spirit’s guidance led him to impactful ministry opportunities.

Practical Steps for Discerning God’s Will

1. Commit Your Ways to the Lord

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV):
    • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

Committing our plans to God ensures He directs our steps.

2. Seek Wisdom

  • James 1:5 (NKJV):
    • “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Asking God for wisdom helps us make decisions that align with His will.

3. Be Willing to Obey

  • John 14:21 (NKJV):
    • “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

A willingness to obey God’s commands is essential in discerning His will.

Conclusion

Knowing God’s will involves a multifaceted approach that includes studying Scripture, praying, listening to the Holy Spirit, seeking godly counsel, observing circumstances, and testing our understanding. By committing to these practices, believers can confidently navigate their lives according to God’s divine direction.

The lives of biblical figures like Abraham, David, and Paul serve as exemplary models of seeking and following God’s will. Their experiences highlight the importance of faith, obedience, and sensitivity to God’s leading.

Ultimately, discerning God’s will is a journey that requires patience, trust, and a deep relationship with God. As we grow in our knowledge of Him and align our hearts with His purposes, we will increasingly understand and follow His will, fulfilling His plans for our lives and glorifying Him in all we do.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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