WANTING GOD'S WILL
How can a Christian know God's will in his life? Every Christian should be keenly interested in knowing God's will for his life. Unless the Lord's plan is known and obeyed, then our lives are wasted, and we will miss the Master's “Well done.” The Scriptures are emphatic in teaching that God does reveal His will to those who desire to know it. John 7:17. It is a privilege that should be the normal experience of every believer. Romans 12:2.
Whether one is seeking guidance as to a momentary problem or as to a life career, there are five steps to be followed. These may be summarized as follows: YIELD; CONFESS; PRAY; STUDY; WAIT.
A. YIELD. To yield is to present oneself to the Lord. It means to lay
aside personal hopes, ambitions and desires. It means to want His way supremely. Paul yielded when he asked, "What wilt thou have me to do?" Isaiah yielded when he said, "Here am I; send me." Amasiah yielded for we read that "he willingly offered himself unto the Lord." II Chronicles 17:16.
B. CONFESS. If we want to be in the center of His will, we must confess and forsake any secret Sins, which we cherish. Remember the words of the Psalmist, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. " Psalm 66:18. We should also confess our own helplessness and inability, and depend on His power. Psalm 139:23-24. We should also confess Christ before men. Acts 1:8.
C. PRAY. This simply means that we must come before the Lord regularly, asking for His direction. We should claim His promise for guidance, asking Him to do as He has said. Our prayers should have His glory as their chief aim. Colossians 1:9; 4:12.
D. STUDY. Spend much time in the Word of God. Read it while you are on your knees, asking God to speak to you through it. Read it slowly. Read it thoughtfully. Read it expectantly. II Timothy 2:15.
E. WAIT. If God does not answer immediately, wait. Psalm 62:5. If you
have prayed for direction and no answer comes, then God's guidance is for you to stay where you are. If you are really trusting in the Lord, you will not be in a hurry. "He that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah 28:16. God reveals His will to us in several different ways. He may use one, or a combination, of the following methods:
(1) Guidance through the Bible. The Scriptures give direction in two ways. First of all, they definitely prohibit certain courses of action. For instance, if a Christian were praying for guidance as to whether he should marry an unsaved girl, he could get God's answer in II Corinthians 6:14. On the other hand, God often uses other verses of Scripture to guide us to take a certain definite course of action. A verse that you had never noticed before may take on new meaning because it tells you what to do at the very time when you were praying for direction. Psalm 119:105.
(2) Guidance through Christians. It is sometimes helpful to seek the advice of mature, spiritual Christians. Their experience and counsel can often save a younger person from serious pitfalls. Hebrews 13:7-17.
(3) Guidance through circumstances. Since God controls the entire universe, He can and often does plan the circumstances of our lives to reveal His will. A letter, an email, a message heard on the radio or Internet may arrive at just the right time with just the information needed to point the way.
(4) Guidance through the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God can influence our convictions, our desires or our inclinations in such a way as to make God's will clear. In such cases, the guidance is so obvious that to refuse it would be the same as disobedience. Acts 11:12; 16:6-7.
(5) One further word. When God gives light, walk in it. Acts 26:19. Guidance must be obeyed to be continued. Obedience is the basis of a life of true happiness and lasting value.