The question pastors get asked more than anything else is not “Where did Cain get his wife?” but “How can I know God’s will for my life?” Nobody wants to waste time going down the wrong path to a dead end. We want to be in His will. We know that’s where we’ll be happiest, most fulfilled, and above all, most pleasing to God. How can you find the will of God for your life?
God Isn’t Stringing You Along
God won’t play hide-and-seek with His will for you. He wants you to know it. His Word says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
Knowing God’s will isn’t for just a special few, and He doesn’t think any less of us for asking. God is on our side, wanting us to know His will.
Programmed for Success
You’ve heard “God has a wonderful plan for your life” so often it’s become a cliché, yet it’s true. But few people know, much less do, the will of God for their lives. God has programmed you for success, not engineered you for failure! Living in victory is God’s gift to every child. If we’re in His will, that’s when we’ll flourish.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
God’s promises to guide us appear throughout the Bible. One of the best promises is in Proverbs 3:5-8. I call it “the recipe” for finding His will.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
The Father is above us, watching over and controlling all things.
The Savior walks beside us, guiding our footsteps.
The Spirit is inside us, helping to control our inner life.
If we don’t know the will of God, it’s because we haven’t followed the Proverbs 3:5-8 recipe. God has a plan for every life. To find it, we must:
1. Confess our full dependence on Him. Trust in the Lord.
2. Grasp who we’re depending on: The Lord Himself. We cannot trust people until we know them. Once we really know God, we learn to love Him.
3. Lean not on our own understanding. Trusting our own perception is a terrible mistake.
4. Not be wise in our own eyes. It won’t turn out well. We don't know all the factors involved. God does. He will help us understand. In the Word and in prayer, we must search for wisdom like hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:1-5).
5. In all our ways, acknowledge Him. God doesn’t settle for second place. Turn everything over to Him. He deserves nothing less.
You may fear, “But what if God’s will is something I don’t want?” Don't be afraid of the will of God. 1 John 4:18 tells us we have no need to fear Someone who loves us perfectly. His perfect love for us casts out our fear.
You see, God's will is what you would choose if you had all the facts. If God gave His priceless Son for you (Romans 8:32), won’t He give you what will be the very best for you? He won’t lead you into some dreadful future. When you delight in Him (Psalm 37:4), He gives you the desires of your heart.
When you're praying, walking in the Spirit, trusting in Him, not leaning on your own understanding, acknowledging Him in all your ways, He will direct your paths:
- through His word
- by speaking to you in prayer
- through sanctified wisdom
- by renewing your mind
- by opening and closing doors
When you trust Him, He makes your paths straight. He’ll not just show you the way, He’ll clear the way. God has done that for me so many times. He’ll do that for you. He doesn't leave you wandering around like a ship without a rudder. God will guide you. But first, you must know Him.