Many people think that knowing God’s will for their lives is like shooting an arrow in the dark hoping they hit the target. We may even wish God would show up to us in dream or send a stranger to pick us out of a crowd and exclaim, “Thus says the Lord, you should do this!”
Seeking God’s will does not have to be that way! Jesus did not die on the cross and save you from your sins to leave you wandering and confused as to what you are supposed to do next. As a matter of fact, we actually have solid biblical principles to guide us in how to seek God’s will for our lives. Three principles to remember when seeking God’s will are: God reveals His will through His Word, His people and His voice.
God Reveals His Will Through His Word
Many of our questions as it pertains to daily life have already been answered in the Bible. Similar to an open book test, the answers are already there.
- Should I teach my children about God? Yes! Deuteronomy 6
- Should I be mean with my words. No! James 3
- Should I forgive this person? Yes! Matthew 6
- Should I cheat on my taxes, speed to my appointment, cut corners in my work? No! Romans 13
Each of these questions, and many more, have specific answers in scripture. Psalm 119:105-106 reminds us that God’s word is a lamp on our path while on earth. Reading the Bible daily will help as we seek God’s will in our lives. I suggest reading a Bible such as the Life Application Bible (either in the NIV or NLT). This Bible is easy to read and contains study notes at the bottom of each page for easy understanding and application to life.
God Reveals His Will Through His People
One of the most comforting things God has given us is the counsel of wise, trustworthy people. It can be immensely helpful to go to a godly friend, share your roadblock, and ask for prayer and counsel. Over and over in scripture, God uses other people to give encouragement and advice. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
In Exodus 18, God used Moses’s father-in-law to give him advice in delegation so he will not wear himself out. Queen Ester took the advice of her older cousin, Mordecai, in Ester 4 and it led to the Jewish people at the time being spared from disaster.
As we seek God’s will, we can look to others to help shed light on our situation or impending decision. This is why many people may seek out a pastor or a counselor. They desire an objective viewpoint in their life.
God Reveals His Will Through His Voice
God can and does speak directly to our hearts. What does his voice sound like? James Earl Jones? Morgan Freeman? No matter what you think God’s voice may sound like, I am talking of a knowing in our heart that God is communicating with us.
Remember, when we place our trust in Christ for salvation, at that moment, the Holy Spirit, who is God, comes to live in our hearts and begins to help and direct us from the inside out. So He will speak to you in your heart, in your soul.
Obviously many questions are not directly addressed in scripture. What college should I attend, what job should I take, where should I have my cancer treatment, and should I go to grad school can all be confusing for a person seeking God’s will.
In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
God is speaking to us. He is clear. The question is, are we listening? We need to turn off the radio, the podcasts, the audible books. We need to silence the phone, stop the endless scroll on social media and focus on listening to His voice. Rest. Meditate. Journal. Listen. Don’t rush. God is not a high-pressured salesman trying to get you to hurry. Spend time with God and you will learn to hear His voice and know His will for your life.
It is not a shot in the dark, a blind guess, a hope we are getting it right. God reveals His will through His word, His people and His voice. Keeping this in mind, we can confidently seek His will in the big and small decisions we face daily.