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Should We Say "If It's God's Will" and Can We Really Know?

Should We Say "If It's God's Will" and Can We Really Know?

How do we know if something is God’s will? How do we discern what to do in a particular situation? Am I doing the right thing God? Am I doing what You want me to do? These are all important questions. I have asked these same questions during my life. There are times when I have a “gut” feeling about something. But how do I know if that is my personal desire or God’s will for my life? When I pause and listen to God’s message, I will be able to know if I am choosing the right path, according to His plan. God is showing me how to use discernment (Micah 6:8 NIV). We are called to love Him and honor Him through our words and actions. Scripture shares how God has plans for each of His creations. By reading His Word, we can learn how to use wisdom and discernment in fulfilling His plan.

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if it's  gods will

What Does the Phrase "if it Is God's Will" Mean?

You may have heard someone say, “if it’s God’s will.” The person may be sharing how they have relinquished control of circumstances and are giving the situation to God. Or, perhaps, in another example, when someone says “if it’s God’s will,” they may mean that they don’t know what else to do and are not sure of what will happen, so, they are stating that God’s plan will work out, one way or another.

When we pray and ask God for wisdom, discernment, or revelation in a situation, we are giving God glory and honor (Matthew 6:10 NIV). We want to know how things will happen, yet we must trust in God. His plan is best. We may not know what will happen from moment to moment. Our faith in God gives us comfort that His will is working out for the best.

In 1998, when my daddy was journeying through lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, our family didn’t know how much longer he would live. We knew God had a plan for Daddy. I never questioned if lung cancer was God’s will. The doctors provided possible reasons for lung cancer. Daddy worked in a shipyard for over 40 years. There could have been asbestos in the area and that might be a cause of the disease. Other scenarios were considered. Yet, instead of focusing on the cause of his cancer, our family focused on how to lean on God and help Daddy through diagnosis, treatment, and the effects of that treatment. Through my faith, I knew that whatever journey Daddy endured, God would be with him and God would be with our family.

Did I wish God’s will would be different for my daddy? Yes. I prayed for healing. I knew my daddy would be healed on this earth or in heaven. God called him home on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1998. Daddy was healed in heaven, according to God’s will and plan for my daddy.

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Woman reading the Bible outside

Can We Really Know the Will of God?

That “gut” feeling I mentioned before has often helped me make the right choice. I believe that feeling is not from anything I have done or any special ability. That feeling is from God. God speaks to us in many ways. Through the humming of bees, the fast-moving wings of hummingbirds, the ocean waves, the bright sunshine, the cooler temperatures, the laughter of children, and many other ways, God shows us His glory.

When we take time to pause and listen for God’s message, we are open to making the right decisions. Will we fail? Yes, there will be times of failure. God will continue to love us and call us His own.

Rushing through life does not allow us to listen and absorb God’s message. When we are too busy, we tend to focus on ourselves and not on God. How can we know His will if we are totally concentrating on our own life?

So, how do we know something is truly the will of God? First, read God’s Word daily. Immerse yourself in His message. His guidance is found in the Bible. I enjoy reading daily devotions written by other believers. Their understanding and love for the Lord help me in my relationship with Him. Study Scripture with a group or alone. Ask questions. Often, we are not the only ones with questions. Ask God for help in understanding His message and how to apply that message to your life. Pray and ask God to open your heart and mind to receiving His message and knowing His will (Romans 12:1-12 NIV). Listen and be ready for His answer.

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group holding hands praying, praying doesn't have to be hard

Five Ways We Can Know Something Is God's Will

First, pray. Ask God to help you to know if something is His will. We are never alone. He waits for a conversation with His children. When doubts arise, let your faith rise higher. Reach for Him.

The Word of God will show you the way (Psalm 18: 32-33 NIV).

God never asks you to sin (Romans 12:2 NIV).

Surrender your will to God. His plan is best (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

Go to God in prayer and ask for wisdom, discernment, and revelation (Matthew 6:33 NIV).

Always put God first in your life. Sharing time with Him will bring you closer in your relationship with the Lord (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

I am thankful for the many ways God helps me to draw closer to Him. I am thankful for family, friends, and strangers who help me learn more about Him. When a decision needs to be made, I will go to God first and seek His will. There may be times of uncertainty, yet the assurance of God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy for His children will bring comfort and peace.

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man thinking over decision, nothing is impossible with God

How to Make Godly Decisions

Recently, I have been blessed with several extra writing and speaking opportunities. I love sharing God’s message. Yet with those opportunities, came questions. Was this God’s will for me? Was I supposed to be the one sharing the message this time? Or should I say “no” to these opportunities so that someone else could be used to share His message? Every opportunity is not for me. There are times when I say “no” and someone else can be a blessing and be blessed by sharing their message. I calmed my breath. I closed my eyes and prayed. I asked God to help me make the right decision so He would be glorified, not me.

Sometimes we make quick decisions and learn later that we didn’t wait for God to guide us. Yes, certain situations call for quick decisions that need to be made. Something as simple as stopping and waiting before crossing the street can be life-changing. Then, there are those decisions that we need to make that have the opportunity to honor God and show others His love.

Have you made a decision and later realized it was a Godly decision? Or perhaps you have made a decision only to realize later that it wasn’t working out and that was not what God wanted for you? Both ways give us the ability to have a closer and deeper relationship with God.

God invites us to read and learn from His Word. Being close to Him will help us make the decisions He wants us to make.

God’s Word will always guide you and remind you of His love (John 3:16 NIV).

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Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

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