How can we know the Will of God?

Today as I was praying, I was faced with a great need to hear God about our future. We have 3 options before us in 3 different countries. How can we know for sure that we are hearing God and not get it wrong? Getting it wrong would be quite costly when you consider the implications of moving the family overseas.

I told God I lay down all my personal desires, wants, agendas, preferences, plans – a condition I find absolutely necessary for being able to hear God well and not be deceived. If you have not fully surrendered all your desires and agendas, your heart inclination will drive you in the direction you want and you will end up hearing what your heart wants and think this is God.

God gives  in Jeremiah 9 a very strong warning about having a heart that is not fully surrendered to God’s plans for your life – you have to surrender BEFORE you know what the plans will be – this means unconditional surrender…. Some will be scared when they hear about surrendering unconditionally before you know what is coming. Well, if you know God, that He has good plans for you, not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future, if you understand that He can do far more with your life than you can ever imagine doing in your own strength, than unconditional surrender doesn’t sound that bad, in fact, it sounds a wise thing to do. Well, here is where your trust in God and your knowledge of His character is tested. Can you trust Him with your life? After all, you gave your life to Him when you became a Christian, so why be foolish and take it back now, or parts of it, thinking you can do better on your own with it??

The warning in Jeremiah goes like this:

“And the LORD said, “Because they  … have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts … therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.” (verse 13 to 16)

Wow … who wants to come prey to such judgements – this was written to us as a teaching and as a warning. And in case you are wondering if this applies under the New Covenant, check this Scripture:

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, MUCH MORE SHALL WE NOT ESCAPE if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven (Hebrews 12:25)

Let’s take heed seriously, God doesn’t joke here with us, He means what He says. And He will guide us if we are surrendered in our heart to do ONLY His will.

But, even though I surrendered unconditionally, I did not hear anything yet from God this morning – well, the Bible says through faith AND PATIENCE we inherit the promises, I need to be patient and keep on trusting God to speak to me when and how He sees fit. He is faithful who will also do it. It also says in the Bible that those who wait on God will never be ashamed. So, I am waiting by continuing to seek Him first and the answer to my questions second.

Then, I thought, maybe turning to the Word will help.

I asked God to speak to me from the Word – maybe the Word will speak to me. I opened the Bible at Colossians 4 and read one of the titles in this passage – called Christian graces. I thought: Oh, no, this is all about greetings and things like that, what can I get from that?? I almost discarded it and did not read it. But somehow I decided it’s best to give it a go and be obedient to where I felt lead to read, just in case one small thing jumps out of this passage at me and helps me in my need for guidance – but it seemed to me there was a small chance.

I started to read attentively and not rush through to make sure I give God a chance to draw my attention on what He was trying to tell me from this portion of the Scripture. Towards the end, boom, it jumped at me! And how I nearly missed it, letting my own natural mind take over in thinking there is nothing to find in these passages! I have read this portion of Scripture many times but it never made as much sense and was never as relevant as now – revelation at the right time of need! Read further if you too need to know the will of God for yourself and you will find here a revelation that will help you in that process.

I guess if you are reading this article is because you are interested in knowing God’s will for your life and want to do His will. This is wonderful, the Lord is seeking such people He can trust with His plans for the world who are willing to do His will. Read on and you will see how you can find out the will of God.

I got to verse 12:

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, ALWAYS LABORING FERVENTLY for you IN PRAYERS, THAT YOU MAY STAND PERFECT AND COMPLETE (NU version translates this as ‘fully assured’) IN ALL THE WILL OF GOD. For I bear him witness that HE HAS A GREAT ZEAL for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.”

Some of the words jumped at me and I suddenly realized HOW I can be sure to find the will of God. There are some conditions listed here that I need to fulfil: ALWAYS LABOR FERVENTLY IN PRAYERS

1. I have to pray ALWAYS – pray without ceasing as it says in another passage, in other words live abiding in the presence of God throughout the day apart from the set time aside to seek God in a more focused way. I need to cultivate that abiding in God and use the support systems that enables me to do so: pray in tongues as I do chores, listen to praise and worship and join the singing, put on a Bible tape or a audio message as I drive or do house work, talk to God throughout the day – these things have helped me much in the past to maintain that intimacy with God and abide in His presence.

2. LABOR IN PRAYER – this does not sound like a meek and mild cute little praying for 5 to 15 minutes a day while lying relaxed on the couch and sipping a cup of coffee. That is not to say that there aren’t times when you rest in God and do that, but if you want to hear God’s voice, you need to put effort in it, because God REWARDS those who DILLIGENTLY seek Him as it says in Hebrews 6.

I remember a time when we needed to find a church. We prayed about it for some time, you know, normal kind of praying, visited a few churches, but still did not find a church we could call home. After a while, we got tired of this and it really started to get to us that we did not have a church where we felt at home.

We got desperate before God and started to pray in a more desperate, intense tone and put some effort praying like this for a few days. To our amazement, the next Sunday we were in the right church! We connected straight away to people there, got invited to lunch the first 4 Sundays in a row and became missionaries out of that church to India. We still have precious relationships from that church.

It pays to put some effort and pray with a bit of desperation. Also the idea of labor makes me think of a construction labourer who works hard. It requires effort, sometimes over a period of time, sometimes sweat and even exhaustion – it is work!

3. Labor FERVENTLY in prayer
It seems that apart from putting effort to pray and do it for some time, God shows us HOW to pray – FERVENTLY. This requires some level of desperation from your part to know the answer, some passion, some heart in your prayers. It makes me think of the South Koreans from Seoul church – if you have not seen how they pray, just type it in youtube and I am sure you will get a good clip, they are a good example of laboring fervently in prayer.

4. WHAT TO PRAY FOR?
It says to always labor fervently in prayers that we may STAND PERFECT AND COMPLETE (FULLY ASSURED) IN ALL THE WILL OF GOD. We need to pray that we will not only be guided specifically in a particular area of life, but in ALL the will of God, in every area of our lives. And we need to pray that, once we know the will of God well, we will STAND PERFECT in it and BE FULLY ASSURED of it and then actually get the enabling from God to do it.

5. TAKE HEED AND FULFIL THE MINISTRY
Once you know the will of God, the Scripture tells us in verse 17: “…Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it”. Once we are assured of what the will of God is we are just beginning. We know it, now we need to take it seriously and fulfil it!

“And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” (Luke 12:47)

Another warning for us of judgment from God if we know His will and do not do it. Let’s take heed and fulfil it and we will be happier than ever when we are in the will of God than when we do anything we want to do. There will be some suffering with it, but we will be satisfied and at peace that we are in the center of His will and we will look forward to heaven without fear of judgement and with anticipation of eternal rewards! Also, we will be fruitful and useful for heaven now to help people to know God or grow in God through our surrendered lives.

It also mentions in this Scripture that once you know the will of God you need to prepare yourself in order to be able to fulfil it. That might mean making more space in your schedule for more prayer time so you can be filled with the Holy Spirit so you are full of Him and thus have the power to do His will. It might mean getting your passports ready – we just did our daugther’s -, planning with God when and how to deal with your things, make airline bookings, deal with any broken relationships, get your resume ready, go to uni to study something, study the Word more, whatever will help you to be ready and free in every way to be able to do the will of God.

Sometimes we are wondering why isn’t God telling me what His will is, I have sought Him, but He did not answer, I am waiting for Him to speak… But what if He is waiting for you? Waiting for you to ALWAYS LABOR FERVENTLY IN PRAYERS for a while … this involves getting closer to God, repenting of any known sin with His help and seeking Him more.

After all, do you want to know His will and not have Him as a friend and help to help you and guide you and be with you while you do it? God’s highest desire is for us to be in a close relationship with Him and secondly to know and do His will. If we put the second as first, we might not hear right … God is a jealous God … He doesn’t want us more preoccupied with knowing and doing the job He gives us to do than we are with Him. And doing His work without His presence is dry and very unsatisying – I know cause I did that foolishly at times. Doing everything with Him and for Him is the essence of fulfilling the will of God.

So I encourage you to surrender unconditionally all your wants, desires, plans and agendas to God and then labor fervently in prayers in order to stand perfect and complete, fully assured in all the will of God. Once you know it, take heed to it, prepare yourself and fulfil it in the fear of God and with God’s help along the way.  

What an adventure is awaiting you and what fruitfulness is ahead! Don’t exchange it for any of your mere natural plans, why cheat yourself of the best in God now, cheat others of what God could do through you and cheat yourself of eternal positions and rewards! God truly offers you the best!

I invite you to comment on this article with any questions you might have, anything the Lord taught you that helped you to hear God’s voice and to know His will or any issues that are troubling you where you think you might have missed it and got hurt or you don’t understand what happened. Myself and others in the christian-faith.com community will try our best to reply and communicate about this subject with you. Looking forward to your comments. Just scroll down to where it says: Post Comment, past all the links under the article.

God bless you,

Marilena

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About Marilena Fackerell

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  1. God has been speaking to me using His Word, through dreams and visions. At times its through God’s still small voice, e.g.”At that time I will our out my spirit on all the inhabitants on earth, your sons and daughters will prophesy, old men will dream dreams and young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28) “Fishers of men, fishers of men” and “remember my Sundays to keep holy” at times a scripture would float in midair in my dreams. e.g. John 1:23) At other times, I would be given a scripture at the end of the vision.

    I remember one Saturday in April 2012 when I woke in the morning God said to me “…sing praises to the Most high…” I was sad because I felt God was saying my praises were not enough to please Him. I spent the whole morning sad. As I went into prayer that afternoon God said to me “Psalms” I commented silently in my heart and said “Psalms has got 150 Chapters, where do I start from, let me start from Psalms 100” God said to me “Psalms 92”. When I opened my Bible to read Psalms 92, I discovered that “… sing praises to the Most high..” is the second part of the first verse in Psalms 92. I laughed it off.

    In June 2012 I had visited another church in town and the man of God in that Church prayed for me as I had a problem of spitting mucus. The following morning around 4 I woke up with a sore throat and I started complaining to God telling Him that His people prayed for me and yet my throat was sore. God cut me short and said “You serve a living God” Little did I know that my throat was sore because it was dry as it was no longer wet from the mucus.

    At times I would wake up and look around to see who is talking to me. Below are some of the scriptures I have received from God: (1 Samuel 3:10) (Psalms 91) (Isaiah 6:8) (John 15:7) (Zechariah 4:6) (Isaiah 53:8) (Amos 3:7) (1John 3:8) (John 10:10) just to mention a few. At times when I am in prayer, its like I get interrupted and then boom I get a word from God

    Up until now I do not know God’s will for my life. I get worried because at times I feel like I could have missed it somewhere. Please help me.

  2. childofjesus says:

    I thank you all for giving your inputs.
    Since this story of eagle does not appear in Bible, I do not claim its truth. I was very honest from where i learnt it, but when i heard it for the first time, i was encouraged to WAIT UPON THE LORD!!!

  3. childofjesus says:

    Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

    This is the story of an eagle
    The Eagle has the longest life-span of it’s species
    It can live up to 70 years
    But to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision
    In it’s 40th year its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food
    Its long and sharp beak becomes bent
    It’s old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to it’s chest & make it difficult to fly
    Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE which lasts 150 days
    The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on it’s nest
    There the eagle knocks it’s beak against a rock until it plucks it out
    Then the eagle will WAIT for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out it’s talons
    When it’s new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking it’s old-aged feathers
    And after 5 months, The eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and lives for 30 more years.
    When we pray & wait upon the Lord, we will rise up like an eagle!!!

    • That is amazing. Where did you learn that? I wonder if this is a picture for some of us, that we are going to have to go through a process of painful change in order to be useful again! I am comparing myself to that 40 year old eagle at the moment!

      • childofjesus says:

        I heard this message from Pastor Paul Thangiah(FGAG chruch, Bangalore), in 2000 when he was preaching on “those who wait upon the Lord”. I searched for eagle on google and found a step by step process.

        • barbie49701 says:

          To understand this I decided to ask my friend Jesus. Who is a great teacher. I went to the site you mentioned and wow! False I should say not to say the least. This is what I got from the site. Let me share some with you Sunrise. First off it starts off telling us that the eagle has the longest life span of it’s species. Well, what does life span mean? I am sure we have some what a clue what man kind, like our neighbors and such feel but what about God? I looked up the words, sometimes I think we me miss a lot by assuming. We need to be sure. How seek knowledge. So this is what I’ve done. Here’s what I got.
          life
          noun
          the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganicobjects and dead organisms, being manifested by growththrough metabolism, reproduction, and the power ofadaptation to environment through changes originatinginternally.
          the sum of the distinguishing phenomena of organisms,especially metabolism, growth, reproduction, and adaptationto environment.
          the animate existence or period of animate existence of an individual: to risk one’s life; a short life and a merry one.
          a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existenceconceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life.
          the general or universal condition of human existence: Too bad, but life is like that.

          adjective
          26.for or lasting a lifetime; lifelong: a life membership in a club;life imprisonment.
          of or pertaining to animate existence: the life force; lifefunctions.
          working from nature or using a living  model: a life drawing; al

          Idioms
          as large as life, actually; indeed: There he stood, as largeas life. Also, as big as life.
          come to life,
          A. to recover consciousness.
          to become animated and vigorous: The evening passed,but somehow the party never came to life.
          to appear lifelike: The characters of the novel came tolife on the screen.
          for dear life, with desperate effort, energy, or speed: Weran for dear life, with the dogs at our heels. Also, for one’slife.
          for the life of one, as hard as one tries; even with theutmost effort: He can’t understand it for the life of him.
          get a life, to improve the quality of one’s social andprofessional life: often used in the imperative to expressimpatience with someone’s behavior.
          Origin: 
          before 900; Middle English lif ( e ); Old English līf;  cognate withDutch lijf, German Leib  body, Old Norse līf  life, body; akin to live1
          Dictionary.com Unabridged
          Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011

          These are the way to define life using nouns:
          So to start with we can say life is the manifested growth. The general or universal condition of human existence. (There’s a lot here so bear with me okay).
          The Adj
          or or lasting a lifetime; lifelong: a life membership in a club;life imprisonment.
          Let’s stop here for a minute please. The adjective use of life is a life membership in a club. So let’s think about it people. Who’s wants a life membership with Jesus? Just saying.

          Let’s go on to see what definition of span is.
          to measure by the hand with the thumb and little fingerextend

        • The Snopes site starts out saying in big, blue letters “Rebirth of the Eagle.” Under that it says CLAIM: Eagles extend their life span by removing their beaks, talons, and feathers into order to grow new ones. Under that by a red round dot, in capital letters, is the word FALSE. Scroll down to where the words are printed out smaller near an advertisement for State Farm, you will see where they refute this claim. As I said before I was only checking out the source of the claim and stumbled onto this site. I was not intentionally trying to discredit the story.

      • I found the story of the eagle interesting also. I went to the Internet, not to discredit the story, but to find the source of the story. However, Snopes came up as one of the Internet site options. I went there and it said the story was false. I have the web address below:

        http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/eaglerebirth.asp

      • barbie49701 says:

        Isn’t our Papa God Amazing? I am not sure what you mean by the eagle. However, as I sit here and ponder this I think the meaning is blessed. I believe what your expressing as we age we are perfected? Meaning our relationship with God is perfected. We are changed as we grow in the word. The more we know Jesus the stronger we become and the closer we become to God. So if I remain faithful in 40 years can imagine all that I will have endured and changed for the greater glory of God. I will be tried and tested. Yet to still remain faithful. All the faith that I will be blessed with. All the labor of love to introduce the lost and lonely people to our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Now I know you and Marilena have seen some things over the years. Yet you have remained faithful. You have both endured tribulation and trials and stand strong in the word I lord. I am encouraged by you both. I believe this site is a blessing to anyone who is wanting to come to know Jesus. I felt lead here as have many. Yet some are here who are seeking the word but have been blinded. I believe sometimes Satan blinds us by using theories or other beliefs to see the real meanings. Hence, sometimes we will see something, when we are not seeing at all. We all need to seek the lord first. Then ponder what the truth is. Ask Jesus please show me the truth. If you truely are seeking to know Jesus then you will the voice of the lord and be able to discern the truth threw the help of the Holy Spirit. How do we do this? Talk to Jesus. Spend time reading from the gospels. Hands down folks one way to know someone is to see how the people around veiw him. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each have there recollections of Jesus. I suggest we all take another look there. To know Jesus is to know the truth.
        I really enjoyed this reading it was an encouragement to me.

        See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, MUCH MORE SHALL WE NOT ESCAPE if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven (Hebrews 12:25)
        This part was touching to me. I thought about it. Ya know how many us here the word of the lord? How many of us really listen to the words of the Lord? Do we pick and choose what we hear and apply in our lives? Absolutely, which when it’s coming from Jesus we should take it all in, hearing and listening. Jesus is the light of the world. He left us a blue print on how to know him. How to seek him. How to love him. You can lead a horse to water on a very hot day. But you can’t make the horse drink the refreshing water till he’s ready. Are you ready? Are you ready to drink from the fountain of life? And except the word of the Lord? I believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I believe I had a debt to God I could not pay back all of it on me own. Yet here I am purchased by Jesus. Paid in full to my Papa God. And because all Jesus endured I am saved and finally acceptable in his sight. Yet to stay debt free I have abide in Jesus so he will abide in me. I want to be a branch that bears much fruit. Don’t you? Look for the truth. How? Look to Jesus? How? Talk to him. Spend time with him. How? Just like you do with any of your friends. The more things we include him in, the closer we will be to the lord.

    • warrior daughter says:

      I do not know where these legends about the eagle comes from but common sense tells one that without a beak a eagle would die. The life span of a eagle is not 70 years but about 1/2 of that.

      The eagle is a strong & mighty bird & when we are told we shall mount up with wings of eagles I think that we shall be strong & mighty in the strength of the Lord because we have waited upon Him & not rushed into the battle or decision before He told us “this is the time to act” .

    • Oh wow thanks for sharing this about this scripture! As I was meditating upon the Lord this morning, the Lord gave this scripture to me and I was sitting there pondering what this really means to me, especially at this time in my life where it seems that I have to trust the Lord for my life now more than ever. Knowing this about the Eagle helps to know this process of “change” that I must go through as to be strengthend by the Lord!

  4. I really needed to read this, very encouraging. I want more of God in my life so that I can be a blessing to my family and others. I’m looking forward to a higher level with God as I surrender and labor in prayers to Jesus. Not my will but thine be done!

    • lookingforhope2011 says:

      Just hang out for awhile there’s alot of good genuine brothers and sisters here. Welcome!

    • barbie49701 says:

      Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

      If you seek you will find. Jesus doesn’t lie, so you can rest assured if your seeking God you will find him in Jesus. The best way to know God is hear what someone who’s spent time with him has to say. Jesus knows all there is to know. Just ask him. I suggest you read the gospels. They are amazing. Jesus is the light of world. He will show you the way. Be Blessed!

  5. lookingforhope2011 says:

    This may sound crazy. But I know the definition of surrender. But what is it to really surrender to the Lord? How do you know that you are with your whole heart and not hiding anything?

    • childofjesus says:

      For me “Surrendering means to give our problems to the Lord, without giving Him the solution and trust that He will deliver you”. Even if you hide anything from the Lord, He knows your mind and what you are going through.We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Rom 8:26).I understood this Father (God)-child(me) relationship, when I became a mother. I knew what my child needed before he could even speak and now when he learnt to talk, I love to hear him. Much more is our Heavenly father-child relation.

      • lookingforhope2011 says:

        Makes a lot of sense. I listened to this holiness pastor preach about Jesus being the great physician and doing heart surgery on our hearts. Being able to see the things we don’t see as believers that are in our heart. I just want to be genuine. No secrets. My whole being entrusted to Him.

        • David in the Bible prayed that God will forgive him even of faults who could not see. Usually if you surrender what is plain and clear to you to surrender, God will shine more and more light as you walk with Him and He will show you what else needs to be submitted to God. Imagine if you were in a dark room and lots of dirt is on your hands. You can’t see it because it is dark. When a shaft of light comes in, you can see a little bit and you realize – oh, my hands are dirty, and you go and wash, but superficially because you can only see a little bit. When more light shines in, you can look again and think – oh, boy, need to clean my hands again, I thought they were clean but now I see better and I see more dirt. In the end, if the light – which is the Holy Spirit’s presence who is One who convicts us of sin – shines like a strong torchlight on your hand, you will be able to see every speck of dirt on it plainly.

          God usually shines His light on us as we walk with Him, what we do with the revelation He shows us determines if we get more light or walk further in the darkness. You can try to hide your hands and say – I did not see that. God knows and He cannot be fooled. So it is an issue of walking in the revelation that you have. To him who hear, more will be given. To him who doesn’t, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him, Jesus said.

          Jesus only expects of you to obey what you know, not what you are not aware of. Unfortunately we don’t always seek God diligently so we can know enough and God calls us to account for that too. But He is a gracious God and gives us chance after chance to put things right, He gives TIME to repent.

          I think you know when your heart is surrendered when you your personal desires, your heart doesn’t have any more effect on pulling you this way or that way, the self-will is dead and you have resigned yourself to what God wants. You no longer try to manipulate things to go your way, you don’t try to force God’s hand to do what you want, but you accept whatever He chooses. Your heart will be at rest, like David said: My soul is still within me, like a baby weaned at the mother’s breast. It says in Hebrews:
          ‘There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest HAS HIMSELF ALSO CEASED FROM HIS OWN WORKS ……Let us therefore be dilligent to enter that rest, less anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” (Ephesians 4: 8-11)

          In other words, if you are in obedience you are in the rest of God, and you have ceased from trying to do your own thing, to manipulate things through prayer or actions to make it turn out the way you want, you have ceased from your own works. If you are not in this rest, you are in disobedience.

          It all comes from knowing the character of God, study the Bible to find Him, try to study every aspect of who He is, when you know your God, you will be strong, have faith to entrust your all to Him and you will do great exploits.

          Another issue though with trust is that we tend to view God based on the image of a parent created in us by the example of our parents. Parents are supposed to represent how God is to the children and when they fail in portraying the right image, the child can grow up into an adult with a distorted view of the character of God and thus not trust God much, thinking He will abandon me – if you were abandoned by a parent – or He will not be able to care for me – if your father struggled to provide for you or He will listen to others but not me – if your father was busy with others but ignored you and did not give you time, etc. These things affect us and we need to ask God to heal our hearts and show us where we have a distorted view of His character and then repent of that view and ask God to bring His light and help us know Him. Your ability to trust is proportionate with how much you know and believe in God’s character.

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