Proverb 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (knowledge, wisdom). (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or right) thy paths (roads in life).” This week I would like to talk about how to know God’s will and live in it. Many Christians live their lives having no idea what it is they are supposed to be doing, and having no confidence in their calling. I believe this teaching is essential for living with purpose in our lives, and fulfilling our God – given destinies.
First we must make the distinction between God’s general will and His specific will. God’s general will is His Word. This is what is plainly revealed to us in the Scriptures. For instance, it’s God’s will that we always give thanks; that we abstain from fornication; that we love Him with all of our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. That we suffer for righteousness sake, rather than for wrong doing. That we not steal, lie, cheat, murder, etc. These, and many other things, are clearly stated in God’s Word. We need not “pray” about such things. They are given for every disciple to walk in obedience to.
In contrast, God’s specific will is on an individual basis. It is His calling, purpose, and destiny for the individual. For instance, God had specific callings for Jeremiah (Jer 1), David (Ps 139), Paul (Gal 1:15), and John the Baptist (Lk 1:13-17); as well as many others. God has called us, His children, to specific destinies. He has unique purposes for each of us. The question is, how do we find this out? How do we learn of His specific will for our lives? The answer is, of course, found in His Word.
The more time you spend in God’s Word, the more you learn about Who God is. As you get to know God more and more, you will become more in tune with His voice. You can’t expect to know God, if you spend no time in His Word. He and His Word are One (Jn 1:1), so the more you learn His Word, the more you learn Him. The Bible shows us many keys to walking in God’s will, and we will gain confidence that we are living in His will when we practice these things.
As we have seen in Prv 3:5-6, we must first trust in the Lord with all of our heart. This means, from the heart, we fully want and rely on His will for our life. We do not seek our own way, but His way. We only want to do those things that are in line with His will – no matter what they may be. We must always acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He will direct our paths. If we commit everything we do to Him, he promises to establish, fix, and set up our thoughts, intentions, and plans (Prv 16:3). If our hearts are for Him, He will direct our steps (Prv 16:9).
One mistake Christians make, is that they live their lives and make their decisions without consulting God. They never pray about decisions concerning family, faith, jobs, etc. They just live as though God doesn’t exist – or at least He doesn’t care what they do. The other mistake Christians make is to not do anything unless they have two dreams and three visions and hear an audible voice. This keeps you at a constant red light, waiting for a green. When in reality, when your heart is for God and you are seeking His will and His ways, He has given you a green light – and He will give you a red if you need it. Paul is a great example of this (Act 16:6-10).
To know and understand God’s will for our lives, we must offer our lives a living sacrifice to Him, and renew our mind in His Word (Rom 12:1-2). We must be soft and pliable – like clay – in His hands, and He will gives us the desires of our hearts; and bring His will to pass in our lives (Ps 37:3-5). He will teach us to profit, and lead (bend) us in the direction that we should go (Isa 48:17). He will order (prepare, establish, fix) our steps, and he will delight in our way (course of life) – Ps. 37:23.
A great confidence will come into our lives when we are fully yielded to God’s will for our lives. We can trust in every decision that we make, that he is leading us, molding us, shaping us, bending us towards the direction he wants us to go. Once we do this, we can rest assured that the still, small voice and peace that guides us – in line with His Word, of course – is indeed the voice of God. If you are not fully yielded to God; if you do not pray and seek His will alone; if you do not spend ample time in His Word – then I wouldn’t trust that voice, for it could be the voice of the world, the flesh, or the devil – and you will not discern the difference.
There is much more that could be said on this subject, but I hope that what was said will encourage you to fully yield your life, your will, and your purpose to Almighty God. Don’t let fear push you into second guessing and inaction; and don’t let pride keep you from being set on the right course by God. Fully surrender your life to Christ Jesus, and live confidently in God’s will. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!