Knowing God’s Will For Our Lives
I’ve often heard people say, and I’ve said it myself, “what is God’s will for my life?”. When we say this, we are seeking to know God’s plan for us, what He wants us to do and the direction He wants us to go in. So we set out in prayer, asking God to reveal His will for our lives. Sometimes we may even become frustrated because we may feel we aren’t in His will or confused on the direction we must go in. However, when we look in the Bible, God makes it clear what His will for our lives really is. We just fail to see it, realize it or accept it. We often think about the big jobs in life such as a Pastor, a ministry leader, a missionary, etc and not about our current or past jobs and how it all works together for His glory.
The Bible makes it clear what God’s will for our lives is and below are just a few examples:
1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 – 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Peter 2:13-17 – 13 Therefore submit yourselves to every [c]ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for [d]vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Ephesians 5:15-20 – 15 See then that you walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Micah 6:8 – 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?
Hebrews 10:36 – 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise
Romans 12:1-2 – 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. 2 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.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
God does not leave us in this world without instruction and examples. Jesus was our prime example of knowing the will of God for His life…being obedient to His Father. Jesus took the time to pray daily and connect with His heavenly Father so that He would not only receive strength to complete His mission but to receive direction. We must do the same. Jesus was obedient to God’s instruction for His life and obedience is the key to God’s will. God calls us to be obedient to what He tells us to do. When we look at the scriptures above, they all lead one thing…doing good. Doing good is not just a physical act, but something we do in the mind and heart as well. It has to be a part of us. We must commit ourselves to what the Word of God tells us to do and apply its instructions to our lives. Once we are able to become obedient to what the Word tells us to do, then God’s direction for our lives will become clearer. But if we are unable to be obedient to the requirements of “doing good” from the heart, then how can we expect God to utilize us to do His work? Obedience is the key:
1 Samuel 15:22 – 22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
God requires us to be obedient to what He tells us in His Word right down to the smallest request and there is a reason for this. Not only will it make us holy and blameless before Him, but it helps us to remain in victory over the enemy. In a battle, if a General gives a command to his troops which will assist in defeating the enemy and obtaining victory, yet a soldier(s) does not follow the command, not only could it cost him his life but that of his team as well. How many times have we failed to follow God’s command such as turning the other cheek or feeding our enemies because we felt it wasn’t needed? How many times have we thought our way was better only to find out our way made things worse? How many times have we opted not to apply the Word to our situation simply because we didn’t think it was valid for our situation or the time we live in? When we do something other than what God has instructed, it’s called rebellion and disobedience. God’s instructions will keep us from harm and keep us in freedom.
Take a moment to evaluate yourself and if you are truly being obedient to the Word of God. Doing good isn’t just an action, it has to do with the heart as well. What are our motives? Are we glad to do the right thing or are we simply doing it to mark it off our check list or get noticed? Do we grumble and make excuses when the opportunity arises to help someone or do we help them with a glad heart? Sometimes it’s the little things that can trip us up.
Today, seek God in prayer and ask Him to show you your own heart and whether you are truly committed to Him or not. Don’t be discouraged because we all, in some way, lack in this department, but because we serve a gracious and merciful God, He will help us get back on the path and restore us.