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Discover God's will

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2001 16 Jul
Discover God's will
What does God want for your life? Sometimes it's clear; sometimes not. The better you know God, the better you can discover His will.

Here are some principles to guide you as you seek God's will for both large and small decisions:

  • Know that God cares about all your decisions and wants the best for you. But He is more concerned about the kind of person you become than He is about any particular decision you might make. So seek His presence rather than just His plan for your life, because the most important part of His plan for you is to have a close relationship with Him.

  • In the Bible, God has revealed His general will for all His children. His specific will for you as an individual will never contradict the principles He mentions in Scripture. But to discover God's specific will for your decisions, you need to consult Him with the understanding that God is willing to guide you, you're capable of receiving His guidance, you must want to hear what God is saying, you must demonstrate your sincerity by doing what God has already asked you to do and you must be open to acting upon whatever new guidance God gives you.

  • When facing a decision, use at least these five ways to consider how God wants you to act: Bible reading, prayer, advice from mature Christians, an assessment of your circumstances and a sense of inner peace. It's best to consider a decision in light of all these elements to be sure of God's leading. Don't act just on the basis of just one or a few of these elements unless you are in a crisis situation that must be handled quickly.

  • Remember that seeking God's will is a process and that you need to be patient through it. God will act in His way and in His time. Often, God will reveal only enough for you to take the next step He wants you to take rather than showing you a long-range plan. That's because He would rather be your guide - walking beside you and asking you to trust Him during your journey - then simply hand you a map for you to use alone.

  • Don't routinely look for supernatural signs from God to show you what He wants you to do. Know that most of the time, God works through the natural world that He has created, using ordinary means to speak to you. Sometimes He will use "signs and wonders," but only when He deems them necessary.

  • Think through every aspect of your decisions thoroughly, asking questions such as whether they will likely honor God and help you grow spiritually. Know that it's normal to have doubts, so don't feel guilty about having them. Instead, use them to help you investigate each facet of your decisions.

  • Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you about each decision about which you're seeking God's will. Also ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind, so that you begin to think more like Christ.

  • Once you've discovered God's will for a particular decision, be courageous. Act on it quickly, and don't second-guess yourself afterward. Know that if you've made an honest mistake, God can always transform your situation to accomplish His purposes.

Adapted from A Compact Guide to Discovering God's Will, copyright 2001 by Gordon Jackson. Published by NavPress, www.navpress.com, 1-800-366-7788.

Gordon Jackson is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, where he has taught journalism since 1983.