Unless we practice the Lordship of Christ in all the areas of our lives, it is difficult to find the will of God in our lives and for our lives.
Mans greatest honour and privilege is to do the will of God. This was what the Lord Jesus taught his disciples. He once said, that only those who did his Fathers will, would enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 7:21).
He also said that true brothers and sisters were those who do the will of God (Matt. 12:50).
The entire life and ministry of Jesus was to do the will of His father. His daily food was to fulfill His Fathers will (John 4:34).
1. Why Is It Important To Know Gods Will And Plan For Our Lives? Because:
i) We are Incapable Of Planning Our Lives
Jeremiah says in 10:23: I know O Lord, that mans way is not in himself Sin has deprived mankind of its steering mechanism. We read in Isaiah 53:6: All of us like sheep have gone astray each of us have turned to his own way
ii) Only God Knows The Way We Should Go
We read in Isaiah 48:17, Thus says the Lord I am the Lord your God who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go and also in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. So, we need to ask God to reveal to us step by step His plan and purpose in our lives.
iii) The Knowledge Of Gods Will Brings New Assurance Into Our Prayer
Life And Brings Life-Long Blessings
We read in 1 John 5:14,15: And this is the confidence we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us It would not be easy to find a more blessed promise nor a greater incentive to learn what it means to pray according to His will.
The boy who does not honour his father and mother has no right to look for Gods blessing in his daily work. (Eph. 6:1-3).
iv) The Will Of God Brings Blessings In The Life To Come
We read in 1 John 2:17, the apostle John taught that only the one who does the will of God abides forever.
v) God Wants Us And Commands Us To Know His Will
Paul exhorted the Ephesian Christian not to be foolish, but understand what that will of the Lord was for their lives (Eph. 5:17).
Paul prayed for the Colossians that they might be filled with the knowledge of Gods will (Col. 1:9). We must desire to receive Gods will. Show me your ways, oh Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long. (Ps. 25:4, 5).
vi) God Promises To Guide Us
The Lord promises us to be actively involved in guiding and leading His children according to His will. He said, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. (Ps. 32:8). One reason He has given us His Spirit to dwell within us is for the specific purpose of leading us. Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. (Rom. 8:14). For such is God, our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death. (Ps. 48:14).
vii) God Commands Us To Obey His Will
We must let go of our own reasonings. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5,6).
We read in Ephesians 6:5,6 Slaves be obedient not by way of eye-service as men pleasers but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.
Dr. Billy Graham says, To know the will of God is the highest of all wisdom. Living in the center of Gods will puts the stamp of true sincerity upon our service to God. You can be miserable with much if you are out of his will, but you can have peace in your heart with little if you are in the will of God. You can be happy in the midst of suffering if you are in Gods will. You can be calm and at peace in the midst of persecution as long as you are in the will of God.
Inside the will of God there is no failure. Outside the will of God there is no success. (Bernard Edinger).
There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God. (Frederick Faber).
The center of Gods will is our only safety. (Betsie Ten Boom).
2. How to Find Gods Will?
There is no streamlined recipe or short-cut way to find Gods will. There is no perfect formula for the infallible guidance of the Lord. But there are certain basic steps which we should consider in order to find Gods will.
First, we must believe that God will reveal his will to us. We must have sincere willingness to do Gods will. We must be willing to wait for Gods time. God speaks to those whose hearts are willing to hear and obey anything He may desire us to do, despite how we may feel within ourselves in a particular situation.
Self-will keeps more people from enjoying the blessings of a God-planned life than any other factor. We need to come to God in a neutral position, ready to say yes to anything God may direct us to do without being double minded and unstable in our ways (Jas. 1:5-7). Our attitude should be that of Jesus who when he faced the most critical time of his life, said, not my will but always yours, be done, (Lk. 22:42-amp).
Some people plead with God to allow them to have what they want, instead of resting in His wisdom and love.
The prophet Balaam is an example of this action. When God first said No through the directive will of God, he was not happy, he insisted and finally God allowed the prophet to have his own way through the permissive will of God and he had a tragic end. Even the Israelites in the wilderness were stubborn and insisted that God should give them meat and finally the Lord sent a wasting disease among them (Numbers 11:13, 33). George Muller said, I seek at the beginning to get my heart in to such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.
Secondly, we must know that Gods will is always in harmony with Gods word. If we feel a desire to do something that contradicts with the teaching of the Bible, then it cannot be the will of God, because God cannot contradict himself.
Every opportunity we face, every leading which we think might be from the Lord, must be tested by the written word of God or in other words by the revealed will of God.
If a Christian girl insists on marrying an unsaved boy in disregard to Gods warning about being unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14-16), she cannot expect God to answer her petitions for happiness.
Even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, to act against the Fathers will. Jesus immediately referred to the written word of God and said, It is written (Luke 4:4-8).
Thirdly, we must pray. Gods will is made known in answer to prayer. We must ask the question whether we have adequately prayed about the matter.
We read in Philippians 4:6 (TLB), Dont worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and dont forget to thank him for his answers.
Fourthly, we must seek the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Check whether He motivates us towards or away from a particular course of action.
We read in John 16:13 He will guide you into all Truth and will show you the things to come.
At this point we must be conscious of the fact that if the Holy Spirit guides us He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
Fifthly, we must seek the Godly counsel of a mature Christian who knows us and is familiar with our situation. We read in Proverbs 12:15, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes. But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. And in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Prov. 24:6).
Sixthly, we must take into account providential circumstances and check whether God has arranged events to give us positive guidance. God says in Revelation. 3:8, I know your deeds, Behold I have put before you an open door which no one can shut God does not will every circumstance; but he does have a will in every circumstance. J. Kenneth Grider.
Seventhly, we should examine ourselves whether we have continued inner peace as we consider the above factors in prayer.
To know the mouth of the harbour, the captain of the ship should keep looking at the three lights in the harbour till they line up behind each other as one. When he sees them so aligned, he knows the exact position of the harbours mouth. In the same way, there are three lights, which help us to know the will of God. According to F.B Meyer, they are: The inward impulse, the word of God, and the trend of circumstances. God in our heart impels us forward; God in Bible corroborates what He says in our heart, and God in circumstances indicates His will. Never start until these three lights agree.
We must check whether we experience restlessness, impatience or inner conflict. We read in
Isaiah 32:17, And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. There should be nothing, ordinarily to disturb our assurance that we are in Gods will.
We are promised: The peace of God which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
If this peace is absent then there is something wrong. Let us return to Gods word and prayer or re-examine the circumstances.