Friday, October 26, 2012

How To Know God's Will For Your Life

Is knowing God’s will for your life sometimes a little blurry? It would be awesome if He wrote out His will for us on billboards around town or just sent us a message on Facebook or Twitter saying “Here is My will for you today”. There are certain Bible verses that tell me His will in general principles (1 Thess. 5:18; 1 Peter 2:15; John 6:40; 2 Thess. 4:1-8; etc) but what about specific decision I have to make like should I take this job, should I marry this person, should we have a baby, or should I move my family?

First you must ask yourself what does God want from every person. His general Biblical principles tell us many things that every person should be doing. When you do these first and let them guide you, it is easier to make decisions about things the Bible doesn’t specifically address. One of these general principles is life is about God, not you. You were made to serve Him and others, not yourself. You are in for an uphill battle if you make decisions based solely on you.

Sometimes I want quick answers without learning a lesson or growing in Christ-like character. I just want to get past the decision even if the decision is less than satisfactory. I’ve found this out over time: God’s will usually isn’t instantly revealed and develops through a process. God wants more from me than the ability to get past a decision. He desires discipleship and character formation. More than that, He desires a relationship with me. Knowing every answer immediately would require no faith, no trust, no character, and no relationship with Him. God is not trying to keep us in the dark. He is not caught off guard by our circumstances. He didn’t mess up. That thing we are struggling with may just be God’s will for our lives. Praying through a few questions will not only help you find answers but strengthen your faith and relationship with God.

The first question is, “Is this a distraction from God’s ultimate call on my life?” Satan is trying to steal, kill and destroy your life (John 10:10). If Satan can’t get you to sin He will attempt to distract you by keeping you busy with good things that don’t fit into your calling. God desires great, Satan desires good enough. Maybe the decision you’re facing doesn’t involve sin or violate Scripture. It just has the potential to lead you away from God’s ultimate call for your life.

The second question is, “Is this decision sinful or am I in the flesh?” Does this present an opportunity to serve only your interests? Are you violating Scripture directly or indirectly (I’ve played the “Scripture doesn’t specifically say that is bad” game). Is it the easy way out? Will it cause you to be lazy or avoid character building circumstances? If you did this thing, would it cause you to be further away from your God-given relationships: Him, church, family, small group, etc.?

The last question is, “Is God in this?” If it isn’t distracting you from you calling and it isn’t sinful, is it possible it could be part of your calling. Could this decision serve people better? Will this build the church, your family, or your ministry? Is this a way God could use you in new and fresh way?

Whatever you do, get counsel from someone wiser and stronger in the faith. God speaks through your opportunities – good and bad. Everything requires faith. He will not lead you to something that violates Scripture. Maybe instead of asking, “Is this God’s will for my life” you should ask, "Does this cause my life to bring glory to God?”

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