Have you ever scratched your head, like me, wondering how to discern God’s will? Wouldn’t it be nice if our Father used a megaphone to communicate his plans for us? We’d hear his will, good and clear, wouldn’t we? Discerning the desires of God Almighty doesn’t always seem that simple, however. Do you suppose we make it harder than necessary?
A stroll through the Bible uncovers several instances of “this is my will for you.” Call it a megaphone of the written sort – from our faithful Father straight to us. Brand it a light for our path.
Following are four suggestions clad with scriptures available to seekers of God’s will. Grab the acronym “STAR”, and let’s consider if perhaps God’s will isn’t that complicated after all.
Start with a search through the Bible. Our heavenly Father points the way, oftentimes even using the words “God’s will.” Take a look at these four instances:
This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
"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 sanctification and honor, not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles who don’t know God; that no one should take advantage of and wrong a brother or sister in this matter; because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as also we forewarned you and testified" (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6).
"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
"For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men" (1 Peter 2:15).
- A search with key words offers insight into God’s will as well.
"In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).
To forgive or not to forgive?
"And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
"Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).
Transformation comes with a renewed mind. Renewal comes as we soak in the Word of God, learning His ways and understanding our Father’s wisdom.
- "Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).
Ask God for wisdom. Lean in to the Holy Spirit’s counsel.
- "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).
Pray and pray again.
- "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Ask mature Christians for godly counsel.
Sometimes it helps to seek the counsel of godly friends and mentors. They often offer a piece of God’s Word we somehow missed.
- "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who is wise listens to counsel" (Proverbs 12:15).
The 10 Commandments – remember these? Given generations ago, God’s will remains solid in them.
- Leave other gods alone.
- Idols? Just say no.
- Misusing God’s name is a no no.
- Keep the Sabbath holy.
- Honor mom and dad.
- Forget murder.
- Adultery? No way.
- Steal a little or steal a lot? Neither.
- No making up lies about your neighbor, okay?
- No googly eyes over another’s spouse, things, and so forth. If it’s not yours, it’s not yours.
Then there are the umbrella New Testament commandments. These two tidy up the law well and usher us into today’s age.
- "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’" (Matthew 22:37-39).
So there it is: a path toward discerning God’s will, megaphone-style. When we follow the “STAR” of God’s Word, we discover deciphering our Father’s will isn’t so complicated after all.
Like Jesus, I determine to set my will aside this year, gathering and running the race with yours instead. Instill wisdom in my heart and mind. May my ears hear you clearly. May my feet walk steadfastly with the wisdom of your Word. Thank you, Lord. I love you.
In Jesus’ name,
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/Chalabala
Kristi Woods, writer and speaker, is passionate about women walking deeper with God. She clicks words of encouragement at www.KristiWoods.net and is published in both Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions and Military Families as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today. Kristi, her husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle, and have set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.