“How do I know what God’s will for my life is?” Have you ever asked that question? If so, you’re not alone. It’s probably the number one question that I get asked as a pastor.
Several years ago my family and I left our home in South Louisiana and moved to North Carolina-that was a big deal, on lots of levels, as we were trying to discern God’s will. Through the experience of uprooting our family and re-planting almost 1,000 miles away, we have learned much about the subject of “God’s Will.” Here are a few things that God has shown us:
- God’s will is much bigger than just my life. Asking the question, “What’s God’s will for my life?” may just be the wrong question. Instead we should try asking, “What’s God’s will?” The answer to that quesiton is simple-LOVE GOD & LOVE PEOPLE. And that can be done regardless of your circumstances-you can choose to love God and love people right where you are. Once you realize that this is “God’s Will”, it becomes a lot less about knowing it and a lot more about doing it.
- You must be both faithful and content with your current circumstances before God will change them. Over the years, we’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way. God has entrusted each of us with a sphere of influence and until we are faithful with those resources and content where God has placed us, He very well may “leave us put.” Furthermore, we can spend so much time and energy searching for God’s will elsewhere, that we miss the very opportunities that he’s placed right in front of us. If someone is not willing to serve God in their current circumstances it communicates, “I’m above or beyond these circumstances because God has something bigger and better for me.”
- Sometimes the most obvious and logical decision is the right one. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when God calls us to take tremendous leaps of faith. But quite often, God works in very practical, tangible ways that “make sense” with our circumstances and our DNA. Like when I went to Seminary-I was thinking of choosing a school in another state, but my former Sr. Pastor explained to me that I needed to be careful not to over complicate the decision because there was a great seminary less than an hour away from our home, and that meant we could keep our house, our friends, and our jobs. He was right, and God blessed that decision!
- God’s will NEVER goes against His nature or His Word. We live in a world that says, “Follow your heart and your dreams, and do whatever is best for you, because you’ve got to make yourself happy!” However, our hearts can deceive us because they are ruled by emotion, which can be easily manipulated by outside influences. Following the world’s wisdom can get you into trouble real quick, which is why it’s important to seek Godly wisdom, based on His Word. God will NEVER ask you to break His Word-only keep it.
- God wants your heart to desire what His heart desires. When we begin to seek the heart of God our heart becomes more like His, which makes us want the things of God over the things of this world.
In order to know what God wants you to do, you must first be able to recognize the sound of His voice. The more time you spend with God, the easier it is to hear from Him. If you’re only approaching God when you have a decision to make, odds are you will have difficulty hearing from Him because you are not used to the sound of His voice, which is unique to each one of us. So, as you’re thinking about the future, needing to make decisions, and trying to discern what God wants you to do, here are some practical steps:
1. Spend time with God, consistently.
2. Ask Him for His wisdom .
3. Purify yourself from sin by confessing it and turning from it.
4. Make time to worship him daily.
5. Be grateful for what you currently have, and be faithful with your circumstances.