God's Will: Can We Know It?

RossS By RossS, 18th Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/aox7hfor/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The question concerning God's will for many Christians is a very confusing and worrying thing. But the uncertainty that often comes with it is not necessary when we look at what Scripture says on the issue.

God's Will

What is the will of God? And how do we find it? I have heard several explanations and ideas about how one is supposed to find what the will of God is for their life, but most of them leave one feeling anxious about missing God’s will, and most of them have no Scriptural support.

In the last few years, I have observed many young men who were troubled by this issue. Some of them had a desire to serve God by going into the full time ministry, but were unsure if that was what He wanted them to do. Some of them were college Bible students who were heading into a pastoral ministry, and developing a strong burden for foreign missions, were unsure of whether they would be going outside of God’s will by pursuing their desire by being a foreign missionary. Still many others have faced this issue regarding countless other areas of their life.

However, if we look to Scripture, it becomes evident that the stress that this causes is unnecessary. God’s will is not a mysterious puzzle that we have to decode. But there are some areas that must be addressed in any believers life before they can know what it is that God is calling them to do. My focus text here is Psalm 37:4-5.

—”Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”–

First of all, one must know God. I am not talking here about salvation, as I am assuming that if you sincerely want to know God’s will for you, that you have already come the the place of repenting and placing your faith in Christ. What I mean by “knowing God” is that which takes place after conversion. It is the developing of an intimate relationship with God. The Christian must understand that God’s primary calling for every believer is to have a relationship with Him. If you are not actively pursuing a closer relationship with the Lover of your soul, than you cannot even attempt to know what His will is for you.
That is what is involved in the phrase, “Delight thyself also in the Lord.” It is taking your joy in knowing God and in spending time with Him. This involves time in prayer and in the Word of God. It has been accurately said, “prayer does not change God, it changes us.” And that is exactly what happens! As we spend more and more time in prayer, God molds our will to be the same as His will. The two become as one. Trying to know God’s will without knowing Him is like trying to be the model employee at your new job without ever taking the time to talk to your boss. You never give him the opportunity to show you what he wants from you,

Second, one must be dedicated to God. Not only must you know God, but you must come to the point where you commit yourself to do whatever God wants you to do. You say “God, I don’t know if you want me to go to the dark jungles of Africa; but if you do, I am willing.” Thomas Hale said that “God’s call doesn’t register in a vacuum; only a person who is committed to doing God’s will can receive God’s call.” And that is so true!
In Isaiah 6, Isaiah was taken into the throne room of God and given an awesome glimpse of the amazing holiness of God. After being overwhelmed by the glory of God on His throne and falling to his face, Isaiah hears God saying “Who can I send? Who will go?” But it wasn’t until after he said “here am I, send me” that God revealed to him the specifics.

Third, one must be open to God’s leading. After being right with God and committing yourself to Him, you need to be open to His leading. And God often uses our desires to lead us. “Delight thyself also in the LORD, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When we have the proper relationship with God and are seeking Him, and when our way is committed to Him, He will mold our desires to His will and use them to lead us. It is not natural for a depraved, sinful human to want to be a pastor, or a missionary, or a mechanic that brings Christ to his community. Those desires are set against our sin nature, and so they could only be planted there by God.
David Sills wrote an excellent book called “The Missionary Call,” where he says: “God’s will is not a tightrope, it is a football field.” When we are seeking to follow Christ, we do not have to tiptoe a thin line, always being afraid of falling off one side or the other. But rather, God’s will is obedience. It is like a football field where one end zone is obedience. As long as we are living in obedience to God, heading that direction down the field, he will direct us in His will.
It is our responsibility to seek to serve Go. And if we are doing that, and living in obedience to God’s direction when He clearly reveals it to us, than we can have the peace and confidence that we are truly within the Lord’s will.

A personal example: Last school year I was face with the opportunity to sign up for a missionary internship in West Africa. As the time closed in to make my decision, I sought God in prayer. But He did not show any definite direction one way or the other. The responsibilities would be far beyond my natural abilities and the expenses beyond the scope of my finances, so I wanted to be absolutely sure that God was leading me in it. But He remained silent. So finally I prayed, “Lord, I want to go on this trip. But more than that, I know that going on this trip will be serving you and will bring you glory, So I am going to plan on going unless you make it clear to me that I shouldn’t.”
I signed up and started raising support. God never showed me a definite “sign” that I was supposed to go, but He didn’t show me that I shouldn’t either. And God blessed that trip incredibly! The money came in, though at the last moment. The trip was amazing! Many, many people were saved. We saw great fruit from our labors as the Lord blessed our ministry. And I learned so much that has helped me to prepare for my future.


Christian, David Sills, Direction, Gods Will, Guiding, Lords, Ministry, Missionary, Missionary Call, Pastor, Service, Will

Meet the author

author avatar RossS
I am a student of the Bible and usually write with a focus on the Bible and how it relates to contemporary western culture. But I like to tackle a variety of subjects so I address various other topics

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author avatar Jack Vorster
18th Jun 2012 (#)

Although you felt no certainty about that West Africa trip, your heart is filled with delighting yourself in the Lord and you were given the desires of your heart. Your motives for that trip was completely Christ-focused.

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