This week, we look again at how to know God’s will for your life. There are boundless resources on the internet, in commentaries, and above all IN GOD’S WORD on this subject! I have studied several discussions, lessons, sermons, etc. and what follows is the culmination and summary of the “golden apples” from all the orchards of study helps! I hope you find something to help you on your walk with the Lord.
GOD’S WRITTEN WILL – THE BEST PLACE TO START!
A. God’s written will is already recorded in Black and White for us!
a. This is the best place for any Christian to start looking for God’s will for their life!
b. If we are unwilling to follow God’s general, recorded will- He will NOT make known His specific will to us.
c. God’s will can be in Positive AND Negative commands!
i. Negative: 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers…”; “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together…”; “Be not drunk with wine…”
ii. Positive: “Go ye into all the world…”; “Pray without ceasing…”; “Be filled with the spirit”
B. God has already outlined 6 clear traits for each and every life. We need to make sure that we are meeting all 6 of these attributes in our life in order to have a clearer picture of God’s specific unspoken will for our life!
i. 2 Peter 3:9 God “is not willing that any should perish…”
ii. If you aren’t a believer- a child of God- you are not even able to have a relationship or fellowship with Him so you could NEVER know the will of God for your life.
i. 1 Thess 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…”
ii. We are to be set apart and be Holy for God.
iii. We are to be holy in actions, word, dress, attitude, etc.
iv. If we are not trying to live and represent Christ, then it will be hard to know and discern God’s will for your life.
i. 1 Peter 2:13-15 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake…for so is the will of God…”
ii. We honor God by honoring the authority He has ordained.
iii. We should have a servant’s heart!
1. Husband/Wife relationship
2. Parent/Child relationship
3. Employer/Employee relationship
4. Pastor/Church member relationship
i. Ephesians 5:17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
ii. We need the filling of the Spirit in our lives to know God’s will.
iii. When we are filled with the Spirit, we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit and better able to be controlled to make the right decisions as related to God’s will for our lives.
e. SUFFERING IN YOUR STAND FOR CHRIST
i. 2 Timothy 3:12 All who will live godly will suffer persecution.
ii. If we aren’t ever in a position where we suffer for Christ, then we need to check our Spiritual walk! As mentioned by the Pastor- you have to give up/forfeit things here on earth to serve Christ the way He intends!
f. SAYING THANKS
i. I Thessalonians 5:18 “…in EVERYTHING give thanks…”
ii. God wants us to have a GRATEFUL spirit!
iii. Being thankful for all of God’s blessings will affect every area of our life.
iv. Thank Him in the valleys and on the mountain tops!
GOD’S UNWRITTEN WILL
*After we have committed to doing the written will of God found in His Word- then we can focus
on God’s unwritten will for our life!
A. Prerequisites for Guidance
a. We must be obedient to God’s written will found in His Word. If we won’t follow His written commandments, why should He reveal anything new to us?
b. We must be willing to DO God’s will before He ever shows it to us!
i. It’s not a “let me see and I’ll decide” kind of thing.
ii. Saul in Acts 9:6 said “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?”
iii. We need that kind of submission to God and His will for our lives.
iv. God’s will is not a menu that we pick from to add to our own personal plans.
v. John 10:10 “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”
vi. We should want all the great things God has planned for us!
B. 7 Signposts that we can follow in discovering God’s specific will
a. Signpost #1 The Word of God
i. Psalm 119:105 The Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light unto our path.
ii. God will never lead us contrary to what His Word says.
b. Signpost #2 Prayer
i. James 1:5 states that if we lack wisdom, we are to ask of God and he will give it to us.
ii. Many times you may pray and as you continue to pray you feel the Spirit moving you towards or away from a situation.
c. Signpost #3 Godly Counsel
i. Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
ii. We need good GODLY Counselors in our life! Men/Women who believe and follow the Word of God. They can help give us practical advice through leading of the Spirit.
d. Signpost #4 Circumstances
i. Recognize that God does OPEN and CLOSE doors.
ii. There are times when we will have the peace of continuing or changing directions as we seek God’s will amidst our circumstances.
e. Signpost #5 Common Sense
i. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
ii. God states that we can have a disciplined, self-controlled mind.
iii. Are we controlling our thoughts? Garbage in = Garbage out
f. Signpost #6 Personal Desires and Giftedness
i. God does not wish to make us do things that are very unattractive or very uninteresting!
ii. God has given us all certain abilities, interests, and gifts.
iii. God will most likely lead you according to the abilities He has given you!
iv. Psalms 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
v. If we are delighted in following the Lord, we will have God-placed desires in our heart.
g. Signpost #7 Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit
i. Romans 8:14-16 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…”
ii. If we are in the correct relationship and fellowship with God, we should have clear leading.
iii. Isaiah 26:3 God says He will “keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee BECAUSE he trusteth in thee.”
iv. Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
v. We should let God’s peace govern our lives!
vi. Just remember! We should consider all the sign posts and allow the peace of God to be the capstone! We should never just go on “the heart alone” because we know according to Jeremiah 17:9 it can be very deceitful.
C. PRAYER AND GUIDANCE
a. Remember- a prayerless life can never be a God-guided life.
b. Problems with habitual prayer:
i. Difficulty finding a daily period immune from invasion of our busy, hectic lives.
ii. Difficulty in stilling our minds to focus on God and away from this world’s problems.
iii. A QUIET PLACE, A QUIET TIME, AND A QUIET MIND
c. Very interesting questions for a Spiritual “Check up” on our relationship with Christ if we have a barrenness of an overcrowded life:
i. Which comes first? Religious service or knowing God?
ii. Which has more importance? What I do or what I am?
iii. Which means more to God- Quantity or Quality?
iv. Which means more to Christ – my work for Him or my prayerful love for Him?
v. In my Christian life and service, which is more vital – Ability, Activity, or inwrought holiness of character?
vi. Do we wish to meet God having known Him deeply personally or as someone who did many things for Him?
d. FACT: ALL the results of any activities we consider priority in life in relation to Christ are DEPENDENT upon and determined by the place we give prayer in our life.
e. 4 levels of Prayer can be seen in Scripture:
i. A necessity – prayerlessness is a spiritual grave!
ii. A duty – a moral duty of worship to our God.
iii. A privilege – Access to the highest of thrones!
iv. A delight – heart to heart communion with God!
f. A good order of Prayer to get into habitual prayer in our daily lives:
i. Express Worship
ii. Express Thanksgiving for all our blessings
iii. Intercede for others, use our written list
iv. Pray for ourselves- our deepest needs and longings
v. Have a time of silence just for listening! “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth” I Sam 3
WHEN GOD IS SILENT
A. Don’t forget that God answers in 3 ways:
B. Remember our greatest discoveries and blessings often come through our sorest trials.
C. Remember in divine delays there is always a gracious purpose.
D. “We can’t always see the hand of God in a situation, but we can always trust the heart of God” Spurgeon