How to Know God’s Will for Your Life
So you want to know God’s will for your life. Knowing God’s will can sometimes be confusing, but my friend Jane is here today to share what the Bible says about how to know God’s will for your life.
Recently my husband and I were driving to a weekend retreat to celebrate our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. We typed in the address on my phone and the navigational system told us exactly how to get to our destination and how long it would take.
Not only that, but it told us when we made a mistake and it recalculated so that we could get back on track again.
About fifty years ago, no one would have thought that we would have a hand held device, like a smart phone, that could do this for you. Considering that I have a terrible sense of direction this modern technology has been a lifesaver for me many times.
When we look at wanting to know God’s will for our lives, many people would like to treat God like a GPS or navigational system.
We just type in our question “Who should I marry?” “What missionary organisation I should join?” What career path should I take?” And out pops the answer.
But do you know what? You cannot have a relationship with the person who is speaking directions to you on your phone. But you can with God. And that is what is important. It’s the relationship.
How to know God’s will for your life is about the relationship we build on the journey to our destination.
This is the foundation. This is the starting point. Yes, God cares very much about who you should marry, or what career path you should take but he wants you to start with the right foundation and that is your relationship with him.
Tip: If you need assurance of your relationship with God, start here.
So from this starting point there are four steps I would recommend taking to know God’s will for your life.
How to Know God’s Will for Your Life
If you have ever wondered, “How do I know what God’s plan is?”, you are most certainly not alone! In relationship, God has given us very specific ways for us to understand his will for our lives. If you are wondering how to know the will of God in any give situation, these four ways are where to start.
Read the Bible
Read it. Study it. Meditate on it. Then obey it.
How do you get to know someone? You spend time with them.
God has revealed who he is through his word. So spend time in his word and attend a good church and join a small group where you can learn from each other as you study together. If you need help studying God’s word on your own, this eCourse Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days will teach you exactly how to study the Bible.
From there you will understand more of God’s character. God is interested in you becoming like his Son. He wants to transform you. And as you do this, you will come to know more of his will for your life.
Look at Romans 12:2 (ESV) “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.”
God may not necessarily give you a specific answer to your questions in the way you want, but as you grow in your understanding of God in his word, you will find that step-by-step you will be guided in the path that he has for you.
What a privilege we have in prayer! Do you know in the Old Testament there was a man named Solomon. He was the wisest man that was living at that time. Many people wanted to come to him to ask him all sorts of questions so that they could get the wisdom they needed to make decisions.
Well in the New Testament Jesus was describing himself when he says “something greater than Solomon is here” Matthew 12:42 (ESV)
There is no need to travel or go anywhere to seek wisdom.
At any time of day or night we have access to Jesus in prayer.
And he expects us to ask him. In James 1:5 it says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
So take advantage of what you have and go to him in prayer.
Every day I thank God for the family of God that I belong to. That is the world wide church. Within that family God has given us each gifts.
These gifts have been given to build up God’s church and help us to become more like Christ. Some are teachers or biblical counsellors.
My husband and I both have people we know we can go to within the church who will listen and give us advice when we need it.
Nowadays we also have access to online podcasts, biblical counselling websites and courses we can take. I definitely recommend you subscribe to this very blog as Arabah Joy has mentored women for many years in their walk with God.
Look at Proverbs 15:22 (ESV) “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
So take God’s advice and seek out some trusted counsellor you can go to when you are seeking to know God’s will.
The last point to remember is circumstances. As we study the bible we will come to understand that God is sovereign over our circumstances.
What a wonderful characteristic of God that we can rest on.
This is what Proverbs says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
As we read God’s word and seek to obey it, as we depend on him in prayer and then as we seek wise counsel we can look to how God might be leading us through our circumstances.
How do I know what God’s plan is?
To conclude, I’d like to share an example of this process in our own lives.
My husband and I had only been married for six years when we started becoming interested in oversees mission work.
Now when we first met each other neither of us had any interest whatsoever in doing this. We were very comfortable in our lives with two incomes, our first home and living in our small hometown where we knew everyone and everyone knew us.
However as life progressed for us things didn’t turn out as we had planned.
We had planned to have children and raise our family in our hometown where life was good.
God had other plans for us though.
As it turned out we were unable to have children during these first six years of marriage. We went to doctors, had tests and tried different treatments.
This made us begin to question what God had install for us.
As we searched for answers we ran to his word for comfort and hope and spent time with him in prayer pouring out our hearts to him.
We began to learn about his character and his mission for reaching the nations with the gospel.
Instead of being inward focused we began to look outward and became aware of the people who had no one to share the gospel with them.
Also during this time our church had missionaries come and visit who needed a place to stay. We had plenty of room and so we often had these people stay in our homes. We heard their stories and were challenged by what they had to say.
Over a period of years, as God was shaping us through his word, prayer, our circumstances and with wise counsel we began to make plans to join a mission organisation and to be sent out to take the gospel to the unreached nations.
Long story short we ended up living overseas for many years and we also had three children during that time.
So knowing God’s will is a journey. It’s a journey in which we grow in relationship with God himself. Then through that relationship he will shape us more into his image and lead us in the paths that he wants us to go.
Jane is in the prime of her life (fifties Yeah!!!!). She is married to Mark and has three young adult children who are all starting to make their own life following Jesus and leaving his footprints wherever they go. She loves reading, date nights with hubbie, quality time with her children and also encouraging and supporting other women at her local church as they live life together. She can be found at her website Just Take a Moment. She would love you to join her online family and hear from you about your own journey. Or you can follow her on Facebook.
What a great list! I love the circumstances part. God so often speaks to me through circumstances, and circumstances that I would not choose on my own. My job/my career/my vocation was a funny circumstantial-God-thing. This is a great reminder to listen: to God, to others in community, to things happening around you. Thanks for sharing.
Now, I’m thinking about such a notion as “destiny” as you made me getting some thoughts about it again. Sometimes, you think someone follows you to the very point where you will be destined to get all he wanted. But what about the choice? Anyway, you have the right to choose and manage your wish. Some people think that we can’t do anything but will get the concrete plan because this is a destiny. Time to time, I ask myself about it as due to some circumstances you think you need to experience it without any doubts and if you could choose other way you might get the same result.