How to Discern God’s Will for Your Life

“What is God’s will for my life in this situation?” Whether it is knowing God’s will for this afternoon, next week, this year, or a lifetime, I’ve often prayed and sought earnestly to know the will of God in my life.

In order to accurately hear from God concerning His will in a given situation, I must hear His voice through the Bible, His written word. In the precious Bible, He has given me all that I need to live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:3-4).

As the Holy Spirit applies the word of God to our hearts, we discern His will. I want to mention three things that the Bible clearly states are God’s will, and then look at how to know God’s will for our lives when the Bible does not literally state what we are to do or not to do.

How to discern God

This Is the Will of God

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15)

God speaks to us through these Scriptures so clearly about His will. And there are many, many more commands and instructions like these concerning God’s design for us, His children. These commands are not a heavy yoke upon us, but a great blessing to see God’s path for our lives so clearly defined.

And so, God’s will is that we not engage in sexual immorality. God’s will is for us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. God’s will is that we entrust ourselves to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

God’s will is that we faithfully obey and honor the commands and precepts revealed in His word.

When God’s Will Is Not Clear in the Bible

But what about when God’s will is not clearly defined in His word? Whether we are trying to decide whom to marry, when to start a family, where to go to college, which job offer to accept, how to spend our time, or a myriad of decisions, how do we know His will?

“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8

We prove His will through a life of obedience based upon a relationship with Him through His written word.

We see from Romans 12 that we test, or prove, God’s perfect will as we are transformed through a renewed mind.

“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.” (Romans 12:2)

As Christians, we are to be “renewed in the spirits of [our] minds” (Ephesians 4:23). The only way for us to be renewed after the image of our Creator (Colossians 3:10) is through “beholding the glory of the Lord,” thereby “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We behold God’s glory through His word. Sister, God cares very much about every large or small decision that you have to make. But His way of revealing His will to you is to reveal HIMSELF to you. He will make known His will to you through transforming your MIND to be like HIS mind, for Paul says we have the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

PRAY to see HIM. Pray for the mind of Christ as you seek to intimately know the ways of God. Open your Bible and ask God to transform your thinking, your ways, your will to be that of His Son, Jesus Christ, so that it becomes clear to you how to have the mind of Christ in the decisions you have to make. Be very wary of seeking signs or revelations outside of the Bible. As the Scripture is applied to our hearts through His Spirit, the revealed, written word of God is sufficient.

How challenging these seasons of uncertainty and indecision can be, but if these decisions cause you to dive deeper and run harder after the knowledge of God and intimacy with Him, is it not worth it all?

I want to leave you with a very helpful tool from George Muller, a faithful Christian from the 19th century, on “How to Ascertain the Will of God.” I found it so helpful, and I trust that it will be a blessing to you as well. Grace in Him .. Amanda


How to Ascertain the Will of God
George Muller

I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
2.–Having done this, I do not leave the results to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3.–I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
4.–Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5.–I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.
6.–Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

(extract from “Answers to Prayer from George Muller’s Narratives,” public domain)

 

Amanda Easley CrissAmanda Criss is a wife, stay-at-home mom, and blogger at Bless Your Heart and Home. She writes to encourage the hearts of women through the good news of Jesus Christ. She and her husband, Jody, have two children and live in their home state of Mississippi.

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4 Comments

  1. I find that so many get all stopped up when they try to figure out the will of God for their lives. I have come to realize there is much more freedom in the will of God than we think. His will is not some heavy yoke of bonding but the place where we find our life!

  2. Amanda,
    So much truth here! You wrestled with a complicated, but important, question and did such a great job! Thank you for encouraging us in our faith and in seeking God’s will in our lives!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  3. Hi Amanda! Thank you for this post. Often times I have found myself asking God what his will is for my life, marriage, etc. And like you pointed out, it is through reading His Holy Word. That is how believers come to know the will of God. I also agree that seeking Him through prayer is also key to understanding His perfect will.

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