Is it God's Will? 4 Ways to Find Out!
Jobs, relationships, moving, school, marriage... an endless list of things we desire to be God's will. BUT..... are we truly searching for God's will or are we walking into what we want, with our minds and hearts set on hearing that "THIS IS" (for the rest of the post, "this" will represent the thing we want His will for) God's will. Perhaps we start investing on/in "this" with the hope that we will get the approval as we go along. Sometimes, or, a lot of times, we live life verbalizing that we want God's will for our lives, but our actions say otherwise. For this post, I'll be sharing 4 ways to know if "this" is God's will or ours. There are many ways to know God's will of course! But, these are the ones I've found helpful in my life as I learn how to discern God's will and surrender my own.
1- God's will
God's will for our lives, DOES NOT go against His Word.
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2, NLT)."
Jesus said: "Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own (John 7:17, NLT)." If we want God's will in "this," we have to confirm with God's Word that "this" is not going against His will. Jesus was teaching God's will during His ministry. Another thing, Jesus is the literal Word of God. If Jesus is truly our Lord and Savior, anything that goes against Him is not His will for our lives. Additionally, when we read what Paul said to the Romans (12:2), we are reminded that we should seek to behave differently than the world does. God's will is "good and pleasing and perfect," thus, anything that is the opposite of this, is not of Him.
Goes against the Word - a.k.a. His will!!!
Choosing "this" without praying or finding out what the Bible says concerning "this." The Bible might not be super specific about "this," but there are many instructions and advise in it that relates to everything we deal with daily. With that said, we might do "this" without considering how it might affect other responsibilities, relationships, or your salvation. Needless to say, it ultimately affects you personally and can be damaging.
2- God's Will
God's will is NOT ambiguous
"This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14, NASB)."
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; (1 Thessalonians 4:3, NLT)."
When we are asking for God's will in "this," His Holy Spirit will guide us. Not only will we receive clarity through Scripture, but through prayer and godly counsel. Proverbs 12:15 says: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice (ESV)." God gave us the proper tools to succeed in our lives. If we really are seeking His will in "this," we will use the tools available and guard our hearts from walking into "this" without confirmation.
Our will can keep us guessing
"This" can bring a lot of uncertainties and doubts. 1 John 4:1 tells us: "do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world (NASB)." How do we test the spirits? With Scripture - the will of the Lord. "This" can seem right and good for us, but when we test it against Scripture, it is a false hope and a way to destruction. Many things can seem harmless, but they are baits used by Satan to lure us back into living based on false emotions and perceptions.
There are many examples I can choose from, but friendships and dating seem to be two of the most talked-about topics when it comes to ambiguity and God's will. We might begin friendships or dating but realize that we initiated these without having complete assurance that these were in fact God's will for our lives. If we become aware that these friendships or relationships fail the test against Scripture, they are indeed our will and not God's.
3- God's Will
God's will is led by His Holy Spirit
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18, NASB)."
Does "this" bring with it such things as described in the verse above? "This" should bring with it a wisdom from above. Whether "this" is a career opportunity, ministry, relationship, or school, etc., God will cause it to fit perfectly with everything else. We'll have the support, the balance, wisdom, guidance and peace we need to move forward with "this."
Our will is led by our flesh and emotions - can be very impulsive and won't surrender to God's perfect will
"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)."
"A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds back (Proverbs 29:11, ESV)."
Holding back and trusting in God completely can be very difficult when we are led by our flesh and emotions. When we are totally surrendered to our emotions, we won't think rationally, and there's a big chance we might regret making the choices we did. Instead of acknowledging God and letting Him make our paths straight, we want "this" so bad that we try to make it work at all costs.
Ever made a big purchase that left you unable to make ends meet? Ever decided to accept a responsibility that you couldn't be faithful to? What about a relationship where you should have held back but didn't?
4- God's Will
God's will has a purpose
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28, ESV)."
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NASB)."
"This" will bring us closer to God and bring Him glory and honor. God will not place us in situations that will hinder our relationship with Him and/or bring Him dishonor.
Our will can bring negative consequences
- practice of sin
- neglecting our relationship with the Lord
- lack of sleep
- broken relationships
- violation of boundaries and values
So many of us grow very impatient and weary (sometimes very quickly), and in turn make decisions that keep us from seeing God's very best for us. We have a Father that loves us so much that He ALWAYS has a better way! I hope our takeaway from this post is that we should pray, stay in the Word, surround ourselves with wise counsel and trust the Lord with all our hearts, because if we do, we will NOT be ashamed. And WAIT! WAIT AND DON'T GROW WEARY!
We will be blessed abundantly!
Abraham and Sarah's story - This story is a perfect testimony of God's faithfulness, His perfect will, and the consequences of Sarah following her own will instead of trusting the Lord's best for her.
David and Bathsheba - David's testimony of how disobedience led to death, adultery and the consequences of going with his own will. God's faithfulness led to a blessing, but David and Bathsheba still faced a pretty difficult situation.
This is for You!
Praying with You,