Today, I’m going to cover a topic that has become very prevalent in my life – a question that has haunted me for years, and one that I think I have begun to understand slightly. Nothing about God is simple, and I do not claim to understand this question completely, but I think I am beginning to grasp at the straw beginnings of it.
This question (or set of questions) is…
How can you know the will of God? How can you be sure that the way presented is the way He has provided?
First, the will of God. God’s will is not something that can be boxed. It is beyond our imagination. Here are a few things that I have begun to think about and understand about finding the will of God in any situation in life.
If you think you know what God thinks without searching His Word, think again.
Do not presume that just because you’re a Christian you automatically know what God wants. You will never truly know God’s will for you or a particular situation you’re going through without 1.) reading His word thoroughly and 2.) searching for His guidance through prayer.
~ Scripture: Scripture exhorts us to lean on God for understanding, not ourselves (Proverbs 3:5-6). You are but a mortal, not knowing the eternal things of the Lord. He has given you understanding and wisdom as His child, but do not presume to know His will if you do not rely on the truth and power of His Word to guide you. So, when you are unsure, read His Word and draw strength and assurance from it. Also, do not search the Bible for verses that agree with you. Just sit down and read. If you are truly listening, the Lord will show you what to read and what to understand from it.
~ Prayer: Philippians 4:6 instructs us to bring all of our prayers and supplications before God, making your requests known to Him. If you want to know God’s will, the best thing to do is ask Him yourself. Of course you can ask for council. And that is wise. But other people are not your only source of council. God is your ultimate Wonderful, Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s okay.
In 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul reminds us that, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” It may not be expressly a “sin” to do something. However, do not just get on the band wagon of life and make decisions based on other people’s actions. You need to go and search the Word of God and speak to God on the matter. Seek council outside of those who are in the pit with you. Often times, you will be shown a different, better solution to something you originally thought was final. Do not give up because YOU see no way out. When you cannot see where the road leads ahead, stop looking around and look up. He will be your Strength and your Shield in Whom you should put your trust (Psalm 28:7).
Trust God above the council of others – sometimes including your leaders.
My mom mentioned something the other day that I think a lot of people forget. God does not call us to trust our leaders, but to trust Him. Often, trusting Him means that we trust those He has put in authority over us. It is wise to follow the council of our elders and authority, and most of the time, you should. However, there are times when God is calling you to do something that everyone – including your leaders whom you trust – may not agree with or support. At times like that, if you are sure (from reading His word and praying) that the Lord has called you to do something, you are not to disregard Him for the comfort you feel in the council of your leaders. You are to be bold and attempt great things for your God – even when you may be shaking in your boots. You are called to obey God – no matter your fears, no matter your setbacks. God’s plan for you is greater than you or anyone can imagine, but you need to have the courage to embrace it. Sometimes the solution He intends is not the one He presents openly in order for you to seek Him more deeply.
Now, to address the issue of how can you be sure that the way presented is the way He has intended?. How can you be sure that the obvious solution is His will.
For this, you will again need to go to His word and pray. You may not know for certain but there are a couple simple things that I have come to notice that usually demonstrate that a solution is not from God.
1.) It is not not within God’s character. If your decision is not one of mercy, justice, love, or any other character qualities of God, chances are, it is not from God. For example’s sake, if someone thinks God has told them to go and murder a bunch of children as a sacrifice, they are very mistaken because God specifically says that such a thing is an abomination to Him (Levititcus 20:1-6; Deuteronomy 12:30-32; 2 Kinds 16:1-4; Psalm 106:34-41).
2.) It compromises/disobeys God’s law, causing you to sin. If the solution put before you is one that compromises or violates God’s basic moral 10 commandments or a statute that has been explicitly stated in Scripture by God or Christ, it is probably not the solution He wants you to use. God will never ask you to sin in order to complete His will. And I think that’s a wrap, y’all. I hope these were helpful for you guys as your continue seeking God’s will and provision in your life.
What are you seeking God’s will for in your life?