How Can I Know God’s Will for My Life?
Answer: All that we need to know about God’s will for our lives has been revealed in His Word, the Bible. Other aspects of His specific will for us will be made clear as He makes them known to us throughout our lives.
Many people spend hours agonizing over trying to know the specific will of God for their lives. This particular question occupies the thoughts of Christian young people more than any other. People often believe that God’s will is some elusive thing that He hides from us and we need to take extreme measures to find.
God’s will can be divided into two categories, His general or revealed will and His specific will. God’s general will are those things which He has made clear to us through the Bible. It is in the Bible where we must begin to discover the Lord’s plan for our lives. If we fail to determine His general will there is no way we can ever find His specific will.
We are told in a number of places in the Bible that God has made His will known to us.
And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:9-10
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Ephesians 5:17
There are several verses which specifically state God’s desire for all people. For example, it is God’s will that everyone would be saved.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4
It is God’s will that we live holy lives.
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality. 1 Thessalonians 4:3
It is God’s will that we be thankful in every situation.
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Basically it is God’s will for us to obey every direct command and principle in Scripture that He has given for the Body of Christ. Thus it is important to diligently study and be familiar with the Bible.
God’s specific will for each individual is not necessarily going to be clearly revealed to us. Even the Apostle Paul often expressed uncertainty regarding God’s specific will for his ministry (Romans 1:13; Romans 15:31-32; 1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 16:7). In many cases we simply will never know until we are face to face with the Lord what His specific will was in any particular situation.
When we are faced with decisions we should ask ourselves which options fit most closely with God’s revealed will. For example a Christian should not ask whether it is God’s will to marry a particular individual if that person is not a believer (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:39). In such cases God’s revealed will has given valuable insight as to His specific will. God will never direct us against His revealed will. When all options are equal regarding God’s revealed will we are free to choose any of them after considerable prayer and receiving counsel from other believers whom we respect.
We should not be consumed with trying to discover God’s specific will for our lives. Once we understand God’s revealed will, and live it out the other matters will fall into place.
Please read the following verses: Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 5:1-2; James 4:13-17; Romans 14:19-23