How to Know God's Will for Your Life

Friday, June 14, 2019
Finding God's will for your life can seem scary, but it's really a lot easier than it seems. What is God's will for your life, and how can you know God's will? Learn how to find God's will for your life today.

How to know God's will for your life.

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When I was a teenager, I held to the popular belief that, as Christians, we need to figure out the will of God in every big decision. I believed that if I were to misstep when it came to things like where to go to college, who I should marry, what job I should take, and where I should move after college, I would mess up God's plan for my entire life. I subconsciously believed that if I made a mistake or made a wrong decision, the rest of my life would be a second-rate version of the plan God had for me initially.

Thankfully, I've started to see that I am not powerful enough to thwart God's plan for my life. How freeing is that, friends? No matter how bad I mess up, God is still in control and will still carry out His purpose for my life.

Of course, the Bible is clear that this is not an excuse to live apathetically or sinfully (Romans 6:1-2), nor should we stop seeking God in times of making decisions, but it is a burden-lifter to know that I cannot mess up what God has planned.

"But Kristin, I opened this post to learn about the will of God!"

Don't worry, friend, I gotchu!

How to know God's will for you life. Picture of a Bible on a bed.

What Is God's Revealed Will In Scripture?

In order to understand the will of God, we need to dive in to what Scripture has to say about it. Here are a few Scriptures that we should start with.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17, ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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. (Ephesians 12:1-2, ESV)

The Bible tells us that in order to know what God's revealed will is, we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? Through reading the revealed Word of God (Scripture) and by praying and asking God to renew our minds.

When we study Scripture regularly, we will be able to draw closer to God and know Him better and we will also find verses that tell us exactly what God's will is.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people ... that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)

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, ESV)

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. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, ESV)

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV)

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11, ESV)

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 3:5-6, ESV)

Basically, God's revealed will is for us to love Him above all else (Matthew 22:37) and to obey the moral commands He gives us throughout the Bible. Some passages will explicitly say "this is the will of God", like the ones above. Others will not say it quite so boldly, but if it's a command of God that is a moral law then we are called to obey. That is God's will for us.

*Note: A moral law is different from a cultural law, such as not eating shellfish or not wearing cotton. Those were rules given specifically for the Jews to make them stand apart from other cultures. Moral laws would be things like the 10 Commandments, sexual morality, gossip, kindness, honesty, etc.

Bible verse, Ephesians 5:17

 What Is God's "Hidden Will"?

God's "hidden will" is simply what I am calling the will of God that is not blatantly obvious. Who we should marry, where we should move, where we should work, how many kids we should have, etc.

God's hidden will is something that He may choose to reveal to us in advance, but often it's something that He lets us see as it is happening (or even in hindsight).

Don't get me wrong -- when we are making a big decision we should absolutely seek God. And sometimes there is a blatant answer that God makes abundantly clear. God will lead us in the direction that we should go, and He will take care of His children.

But what happens when things are not clear? What happens when the Bible doesn't necessarily answer our questions, and we've prayed and prayed, yet feel no direct leading? What happens when both job offers are awesome, there's no red flags for either, but they are on opposites sides of the country? What happens when you feel very neutral about a situation and everyone keeps asking you "Do you have peace about it?" What happens when you struggle with anxiety and you can never tell what feelings are from God and which ones are not?

In these moments, we have to trust God. Seek Him. Ask for His help. Ask Him for peace. Ask for His will to be obvious to us. But if decision-making time comes and you still have no idea, you still don't see one as better than another, or you still just aren't sure what you are "supposed to feel", then trust the God that saved you and make a decision. Choose something -- choose to the best of your ability the thing that is most honoring to God -- and trust that God is bigger than you. Trust that the creator of the universe has a big enough plan to work through every choice you make, and trust that He isn't surprised by your choice at all. Trust that if He didn't make it clear, then maybe He was okay with you making either choice. Maybe both choices were great, and He already pre-planned to work through the situation based on the choice He already knew you would make. Because He always has a plan, and we aren't big enough to mess it up. Praise the Lord!

We've Already Been Told God's Will

When it comes down to it, we may want to know what job to take, who to marry, where to go to college, and what city we should move to -- and those are important -- but God has already told us what His will is for us.

I wouldn't have liked this answer to the question "Which job offer should I accept?" and I would have been annoyed that someone gave me this answer. But if I had actually listened to this answer, I would have realized that God has already spelled out a big chunk of His will, and He has promised to direct my steps (Proverbs 3:5-6), so if I will obey the will that He has blatantly revealed, and seek Him each day, He will work the rest out.

Trust the God who has everything in control -- the God who is working out even the scariest things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). Trust that He will do what He promises in His word by leading us, directing us, and finishing the good work He began in us. We may not know every single step to take, but we do have everything we need to live a life for God (2 Peter 1:3). Seek Him and rest in the fact that He will fulfill His purpose for you (Psalm 138:8).

For Further Study on God's Will: 
How to know God's will.

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