Numerous people go to their pastor asking for help discovering God’s will. Some ask out of a sincere desire to please God, but others ask due to fear of missing out.
The problem with discussing finding God’s will is that it assumes God is hiding His will and wants us to find it. When we work out the twisted view that God wants us to discover His will in our lives, it leads us to search in the wrong places, from Magic 8-balls, goosebumps, horoscopes, fortune tellers, and random Bible verses to coincidental incidents. When it gets to this point, we’re no longer trying to find God’s will. Instead, we’re trying to decipher our will and make it match God’s.
To understand God’s will, we have to have a biblical view of God. Then, we must remind ourselves that God has a plan for our joy and His glory. Because God is sovereign, He’ll accomplish His holy will, as stated in Isaiah 48:8-11. Not only is God sovereign, but He’s good. Because He’s good, we don’t have to be afraid of God’s will for us. Thankfully, Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that God has revealed His plan, will, and purposes by His word. Discerning your will from God’s will can be tricky sometimes. However, it’s possible. Here are some ways to discern your will from God’s will.
Talk to God in prayer.
The best way to discern God’s will from yours is to pray to God and talk with Him. If we don’t take our issues to God in prayer, we won’t be able to discern our will from His. If you’re wondering whether something is in God’s will, talk with Him. Maybe you’re making significant life decisions and need guidance on what to do. Some critical decisions could be where you’re going to college, your career or whether to move out or not. Each decision is weighty and requires God’s guidance.
Christians also need to discern God’s will from their own in relationships and friendships. Who we choose to have relationships with and our friends must be decided through God’s will, not ours. If we act on our understanding of our desires and wants, we could act on what we want instead of waiting on God’s understanding and perfect will.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” We have to follow this verse to truly understand God’s will and discern it from our own. If we go to Him in prayer, He will show us His will.
Read your Bible.
Discerning God’s will from ours can’t be done without reading and meditating on His Word. God doesn’t talk to us through storm clouds or prophets these days. Instead, God speaks to us through the Bible. We can differentiate our will from His by reading the Bible and meditating on the Bible’s truths.
When we weigh the Bible against our will, we sometimes find that our ideas don’t align with His calling. Our intentions must align with God’s. It can be challenging when God says no on a job interview, a relationship, or a college application. Still, God’s will doesn’t only see your current circumstances but also the path to your future and healing.
Reading the Bible can help us understand how God works as we see Biblical characters navigate issues similar to ours. Their findings on God’s purpose will show us how to follow Him best. Meditating on the Bible differs from the meditation practiced in Buddhism or Hinduism. When Christians meditate on the Bible, it lets you think about what you’ve read. You let His words soak in and transform your soul.
The Bible isn’t meant to be read and forgotten. We’re supposed to read the Bible, meditate on it, and follow its principles. James 1:22-25 tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
Don’t be afraid to lean on the Holy Spirit.
Leaning on the Holy Spirit is vital to discern our will from God’s. Our souls have two powers at work—our sinful nature and the Holy Spirit, as noted in Galatians 5:16-26. In this sense, we can’t follow our hearts because they’re deceitful. We should follow the Holy Spirit instead. The Holy Spirit guides us if we let Him. It wants us to follow and listen to Him. When you feel the certainty of the Holy Spirit, let that conviction allow you to make positive changes in your everyday life.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus told His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit when He got back to heaven, and the Holy Spirit would guide them. The Holy Spirit constantly instructs us and urges us to do the right thing. The sinful flesh is attempting to pull us in the direction of trusting our own will, but we have to follow God’s will, not our own.
It can be hard when God closes the door on something we want. In our minds, our will sound perfect or seem like everything we’ve ever wanted. However, we have to remember that just because we want something doesn’t mean we need it. God knows our heart’s desires and what we want. However, He gives us what we need, and these gifts give our souls the ultimate satisfaction. There will be hard times in our lives, but God is with us through the highs and lows. If God closes the door on you, don’t be discouraged but take His no as a redirection to something bigger.
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