How to Test and Approve God's Will (Romans 12:2) - Your Daily Bible Verse - November 17
How to Test and Approve God's Will
By Matt Erbaugh, Bible Study Magazine
For me, it didn’t take long before I began to think the Bible might not be big enough. During my college years, the Bible guided me through many moral choices, like alcohol consumption. But it seemed to fall short in other areas, like which career path was right for me.
This became a problem when I was offered a job. I felt called to do the work, but the job required me to move away from friends and family—and the pay was barely enough to make ends meet. While the Bible could not confirm that this job was God’s call for me, the difficult circumstances seemed to indicate that this could not possibly be God’s will.
While the Bible holds no information about specific job offers, it does give insight into judging our circumstances. Two passages in Matthew and five loaves of bread changed my perspective.
1. In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by Satan after fasting for 40 days: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (4:3). Satan did not ask Jesus to do something impossible (the man who changed water into wine would have no problem changing stones into bread). Rather he tempted Jesus with something that He could easily do.
2. Contrast that with Matthew 14. Here, the disciples tell Jesus, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food” (14:15). Instead of taking their advice, Jesus tells His disciples to feed a crowd of 5,000 with just five loaves of bread. He does not ask them to do something easy—He asks them to do the impossible.
I realized that there were plenty of differences between these two passages and the way I was judging God’s will for my life. The ease of the path no longer seemed to be an indicator of God’s call, as it did before. The more I studied God’s Word, the more I realized He was orchestrating my circumstances—not for comfort, but to encourage my dependence on Him. If I passed on a job opportunity simply because of how difficult it seemed, I might be missing the whole point of why God was calling me to it in the first place.
In the end, taking that job was the right move for me, not because it was the difficult path, but because it was the path God desired. Studying the Bible confirmed that when the circumstances seemed to indicate otherwise.
While the Bible does not always give us the direct answer we are looking for, we have the promise that God will renew our minds through it so we can “test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:2).
Editor's note: this content is based on the original article: The Bible: A Guide for Every Situation?
We want to experience God through the Bible… we really do!
But our good intentions fall flat when reading the Bible just doesn’t seem to help us experience God in a real way. What should feel alive often feels confusing and boring and irrelevant. But it doesn’t have to.
In the How to Study the Bible podcast, pastor and Bible teacher Nicole Unice brings life back to reading the Bible by walking listeners through her Alive Method of Bible study, helping us personally encounter God through his Word by giving us a practical, clear road map for understanding, interpreting and applying Scripture to our lives. Just click below to start listening now!