5 Keys to Discovering God’s Will for Your Life

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5 (NLT)

Have you ever wanted to know God’s Will for a particular area of your life but didn’t know how to go about finding it?

Several years ago I was contemplating a job transition. I felt like God was calling me out of the role I was in and into another role, but I wasn’t exactly sure. Was it really God who was wanting me to move on, or was it just something I wanted to do? If this was from God, where did He want me to go and when? What role did He want me to play next? How would I know if an opportunity was from Him?

I struggled with these questions for months. It was during this process that I not only discovered what I believe was God’s Will for my life at that time, but how I could discover God’s Will for my life going forward.

Here are five keys I’ve learned to discover God’s Will for my life that will help you discover God’s Will for yours:

1. Ask in faith

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, Msg).

Before we can discover God’s Will we must first believe that He wants to relieve Himself and His Will to us. If you’re struggling with doubt, pray the prayer of the father of the demon-possessed son in Mark 9:24, “…I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (NLT).

2. Deal with any unconfessed sin in your life

Psalm 66:18 tells us, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (NLT)

If you’re seeking God’s Will but aren’t getting any answers perhaps there is some sin in your life that you need to confess and address. Ask Him to reveal it to you, knowing that, “…He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong” (1 John 1:9, CEB).

If we have wronged someone we must reach out to them, admit what we’ve done, ask for their forgiveness, and offer to make it right. Jesus said, “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God” (Matthew 5:23-24, Msg).

3. Test what you hear

The Apostle John wrote, “Dearly loved friends, don’t always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is. For there are many false teachers around.” (1 John 4:1, TLB).

I’ve met many people who believed they were following God’s Will and later found out that they were mistaken because they were relying on their feelings or bad advice from others. Here are a few questions to help you discern where God is leading you in a particular area of your life:

  • What does God’s Word say about this?
  • What do other, strong believers say about this?
  • What is God’s Spirit telling me about this?
  • What is God saying about this through my experiences?

A word of caution: If someone or something is telling you to do something that goes against what God has made clear in Scripture, don’t do it! Remember: God’s Will won’t violate God’s Word.  

4. Don’t give up

Sometimes God reveals His Will in a specific area of our life right away. Other times He doesn’t. When it takes longer than we would like, we must follow the advice of King David: “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14, NLT).

5. Do what God tells you to do

We may ask a specific outcome and God may give it to us, but other times He won’t. When that happens we must choose what He wants over what we want. Jesus models this for us in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayer, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39, NLT).

Once God has been clear about what He wants us to do we must do it right away. Jesus said, “The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him” (John 14:21, Msg).

Failing to do what God has told you to do can lead to a “…famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11, NIV).

If you’re struggling to discover God’s Will, pray this prayer today: “Heavenly Father, I want to know what your will is for __________________. Help me to want what you want, to discover it, and to do it in a way that honors you. I pray in Jesus Name, Amen!”

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