Some Christians are afraid they are going to miss God's will for their lives. But they have nothing to worry about. The first way to be sure to find God's will is by following the first foundational principle we discussed:
1. We can discern God's will by surrendering our lives to him.
There are two other important ways we can be sure to discern God's will.
2. We can discern God’s will by studying Scripture (Psalm 19:7–11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–6; 2 Timothy 3:16–17).
The more we understand Scripture and have his wisdom, the clearer the right paths will become for us (Hebrews 5:11–14). Paul has this to say about discerning God’s will:
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.
How are our minds renewed? How are our thoughts and attitudes changed? We learn from the psalmist that we are changed by God’s Word.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
If we want to know God’s will, then our first task ought to be to discover what he has already revealed about his will in Scripture. God has already revealed to us that he wants us to love him, love people, and make disciples. He has also shown us many specific ways that he wants us to do these things. Many believers are seeking God’s will on something, when they really just need to get busy doing what God has already revealed in his Word.
If we are seeking his direction about a matter that is not specifically addressed in Scripture, we can be sure that he will lead us in a way that is consistent with what he has already revealed. The Bible is authoritative in the believer’s life, so anything that we believe to be true and right should be tested by Scripture (Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1–6; Titus 1:9).
3. We can discern God’s will by seeking him in prayer (Philippians 4:6–7; Jeremiah 29:11–13; James 4:2b).
God loves for us to seek him and his will in prayer. When we ask for anything according to his will, he hears and answers us (1 John 5:14–15). So here is a simple question: does God want us to know and do his will? Of course! We can have absolute confidence and peace that God will direct us as we seek him.
I meet believers who are afraid that they are going to miss God’s will. They worry that God is trying to speak to them, but they just can’t hear it. However, God is not playing games with us. He is not leaving hints to a puzzle we must figure out. He knows what we know, and he is able to communicate with us. We can have the confidence and peacefulness of a child who knows that his Heavenly Father can handle it! If we are stressed and afraid as we seek God, then we are not trusting that he is able and willing to show us his will.
[This is the the third post in a series. The first two are: