6 Ways To Discern God’s Will In Your Life
Here are 6 ways that you can discern God’s will for your life.
Obey His Revealed Will
We cannot know God’s secret or hidden will because it’s secret. Some people ask me how they can know God’s will for their life and the first thing I tell them that if you want to know what God’s will for your life is then do what is God’s revealed will for your life that is recorded in the Scriptures. For example we know that we are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit” (1st Thess 5:16-19). Jesus said “whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35) and further, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor” (1st Thess 4:3-4). More about the will of God is to be “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution,[a] whether it be to the emperor[b] as supreme….For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1st Pet 2:13, 15).
Pray for Him to Reveal it
We need to pray about God’s will for our life to be revealed to us. The Bible says that the Spirit of God “searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:27). The Spirit of God can help us to find God’s will for our life but it takes prayer as Paul wrote “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you” (Rom 1:9-10). God will not reveal His will, even by prayer, if you are not living a holy and pleasing life as Paul writes “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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” (Rom 12:-2) so to be able to discern God’s will, we must pray for God to transform our minds by renewing it and only then can we “discern what is the will of God” and “what is good and acceptable and perfect” for us.
Are you Suffering for Good?
Most people miss this obvious will for their lives; that it is the will of God for us to suffer. That’s shocks a lot of people but that’s what the Word says as Peter writes “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1st Pet 4:19). It was God’s will that Jesus would suffer and die for sinners and if it weren’t, we’d still be in our sins and have no hope of eternal life. Peter wrote “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1st Pet 3:17). This should not surprise us for “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2nd Tim 3:12). Did you realize that “it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand” (Is. 53:10). Why would we feel that God’s will for our life is only good and pleasant experiences when the Father’s will for His Son was to suffer?
God is looking for us to trust Him even when things seem to be falling apart around us. Job cried “even though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). Paul understood that whatever happens ultimately works out for our best in writing to the church at Rome, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:28). His purpose is the same thing as His will and His will is that we will trust Him in all things; the good and the bad, the holy and the evil. The truth is “whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1st John 2:17).
We are commanded by Jesus to forgive others because “if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15). Some will say to this, “Now wait a minute! I want to discern God’s will for my life.” Is that not His will that you forgive others for their trespasses against you? It most certainly is. If you don’t, how can you expect God to reveal His will for your life when you are not doing what He asks you to do? The truth is He won’t. Only the merciful “will be shown mercy” (Matt 5:7b) because it is only “if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt 6:14) since “if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:26).
Seek the Lost
The imperative command given by Christ which is called the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) is for the vast majority of believers (1 in 10) the “great omission.” If we are not seeking to save those who are lost then we are not aligned with God’s will since He “desires (wills) all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1st Tim 2:4). God takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live” (Ezk 18:32)! Remember that He was “patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2nd Pet 3:9). Paul’s great desire was that he “may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them” (Rom 11:14). If it is God’s will that none should perish apart from faith in Christ, then that should be our will too. To seek and to save those who are lost is God’s will for your life and for mine.
I am sorry if this article disappointed you since you obviously want to discern God’s will for your life or you wouldn’t be reading this but the truth is I cannot tell you what God’s hidden will is for your life. It is none of my business. Does God want to have you go to college, to move to a different city, to start a ministry or be called into the ministry? I don’t know but if you really want to discern God’s will for your life then I strongly urge you to pray and ask God for wisdom Who is eager show it to you. James writes “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). You will never discern God’s will for your life if you don’t obey His revealed will in the Word of God, if you don’t pray for Him to reveal it to you, if you don’t accept suffering as part of His will for your life, if you don’t trust God with all your heart, no matter what happens to you, if you are not forgiving others, and if you are not involved in obeying His command to seek the lost. If you do these clearly revealed things that are the obvious will of God, I believe that God will allow you to discern His will for your life. It is just that simple.