Your life is full of questions and decisions: “Will I marry this girl or not? Do I take this job or not? McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Should I stay or should I go?” Figuring out God’s will for your life can be pretty tough. How do you make decisions in life? How do you know what God wants you to do?
There are three wrong ways to go about figuring out God’s will for your life. You could guess – “Maybe it’s this, hope I get it right.” But what if you’re wrong? How will you know if you find, “THE” plan? And, does God leave His people in the dark, anyway? What kind of a god would do that? Or you can wait and listen for, “that still, small voice,” but the Bible doesn’t instruct us this way. Graeme Goldsworthy wrote, “Every case of special guidance given to individuals in the Bible has to do with that person’s place in the outworking of God’s saving purposes. There are no instances in the Bible in which God gives special and specific guidance to the ordinary believing Israelite or Christian in the details of their personal existence.” The most dangerous words in a church are, “God told me.” Or you can ask for a sign, like Gideon and his fleece, right? But in Judges 6, Gideon was afraid and doubted what God told him; that’s the reason for his fleece. And, when people asked Jesus for a sign, He replied, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.” Guessing, listening, and asking for a sign are not good ways to know God’s will for your life.
The right and best way to know God’s will for your life is to read His Word and grow in wisdom. Spurgeon preached, “When your will is God’s will, you will have your will.” God speaks today, every day, and reveals His will for your life in the pages of His book. Hebrews 4:12 instructs us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). If you lack wisdom, ask God, and He gives generously (James 1:5). Nancy Guthrie writes, “God has spoken and is, in fact, still speaking to us through the Scriptures. We don’t need any more special revelation. What we need is illumination, and this is exactly what Jesus has promised the Holy Spirit will give to us as His word abides in us. The Holy Spirit of God works through the Word of God to counsel and comfort and convict (John 16:7-15). Through the Scriptures, we hear God teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Word of God transforms us by renewing our minds so that we think more like Him and less like the world. Instead of needing God to dictate to us what to do, we become increasingly able to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Elizabeth Elliot wrote, “The desire for instant advice is not new. Sorcerers, magicians, wise men, oracles, witch-doctors, palmists, shamans, astrologers and horoscopes, and fortune-tellers of all kinds have always been in business. Although more education for more people is available than ever before, the majority seem to feel no more confident than they have ever felt of their ability to make decisions by themselves.” If you are looking for direction and God’s will for your life, commit yourself to Him and His cause. Pray and read His word and seek His instructions for you. Ask believing, mature brothers and sisters for input, if needed, then “pull the trigger,” knowing that what Paul wrote is forever true: “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).”