Many of us spend too much time worrying about what “God’s will” is for our lives. We toss and turn over decisions we are faced with. What if we make the wrong choice and find ourselves out of His will? Some people ponder this question and say, “Well, I don’t think He really cares which choice we make. He can work through either one.” Others say that God opens and shuts doors for us. If He wants us to walk one way, He will swing that door wide open so that we can’t miss His opportunity. Otherwise, He will slam another door before we can walk through. Sure, sometimes He does work that way. But what about the other times, when there is no obvious direction?
Haven’t we all faced that same dilemma? One of Satan’s greatest weapons against us is to whisper, “What if?” in our ears. He gets us to hesitate and drag our feet. What if we are doing the wrong thing? What if He has something else planned?
Let me pass along a really great thought. I wish I could claim that it came from me, but I once heard a Christian speaker make this profound point. God NEVER says, “What if?” Go ahead. Get out your concordance. He never uses that phrase in the Bible. That phrase hinders so many of us from His will. His will is for you is to obey, not to over-think.
Now, how can we know that we are following His will? First, we need to work on completely surrendering our lives to Him. In fact, we should be aim to be at a point where we can surrender before Him and say, “My life isn’t my own to live. Lord, live it for me.” At that point, He starts to change your ideas about your life. He can and certainly might change your idea of what “success” looks like.
Many of us hate rules. We hate being told what to do. Therefore, don’t look at walking with Him as having a huge list of “to-dos” and “no-nos.” Instead, think of it as “reckless abandonment.” Coming to that point with God is like skydiving (but safer). It is your choice to jump. You have to trust that the parachute is going to open. But once you jump, your life depends on that parachute. You aren’t really sure how fast you are going to go, or where you are going to land, but you know it is going to be an amazing ride. When you give your life to Him, you aren’t sure where He is going to send you or what plans He has in mind, but you are promised an amazing ride.
Here is the key to knowing God’s will … it is the attitude in your heart. That does not mean loudly proclaiming, “I am seeking God’s will for my life.” Only you and God know the true desires of your heart. Jumping is up to you.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search with all of your heart.”
What a promise! God has a plan for his children, and He promises to help us find Him when we are searching with all of our hearts!
Psalm 25:14-15 gives us another promise: “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant. My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.”
That is another profound promise. He promises to “make us know His covenant.” And as long as we keep our eyes focused up on Him, He will take care of where are feet are to go. Here are a few steps to go through when trying to determine God’s will in a decision you are facing.
[THE RIGHT HEART ATTITUDE]
The place to start is with the right heart attitude. If you cannot honestly look at the decision and say, “Not my will, but yours, Lord,” then that is the place to start. You can pray that God gives you the desire for His will if you are not already at the point.
The next step is prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 states, “Pray without ceasing.” Obviously, that means it is pretty important to Him that we talk to Him daily. Pray that He gives you direction in your decision-making. Be honest with yourself and with Him when you are evaluating your willingness to go and do whatever He reveals.
During the time you spend alone with God every day, devote time to reading Scripture. As you pray for direction, He will often use the Bible to speak to you. The Bible is God’s living word, and He wants you to apply what you read to your life!
[WORSHIP WITH FAITH]
Here is the best part. There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will. Step out on faith. He does not promise that “taking up our crosses daily” will always be easy. He does promise eternal blessings, though. And He promises us peace. When we are following His will, He gives us peace. Philippians 4:7 states, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” What an amazing gift from Him, peace in the midst of the turmoil of life.
Finally, rest in His promises and enjoy that peace that passes our human understanding. And don’t forget to thank Him. After all, God is … pretty great.