I want Christians to understand the will of God for their lives. Whether you’re struggling with a personal decision or just interested in learning more about God, this entry is dedicated to providing guidance for living according to God’s will. Sometimes, God’s will is like an enigma that Christians need to figure out. However, God did not leave Christians without a compass to discover His will.
In Christian theology, there are distinct wills of God revealed in Scripture, and I will provide two of them: the decretive will of God and the revealed will of God. The decretive will of God simply means that God sovereignly wills His (undisclosed) decree to pass. God’s sovereign will remains hidden. For instance, God doesn’t reveal why He permits suffering to occur in the life of people. We might, however, see the reason later on in hindsight. The revealed will of God simply means that God has disclosed His will in His Word. We can discern His will by having our minds renewed by God’s Word (Romans 12:2). God’s decretive and revealed will can be summarized in this passage:
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”Deuteronomy 29:29
For more information on the wills of God, click on THIS POST by Monergism.
In this entry, we will only focus on God’s revealed will. Each Christian should know that God has a specific plan for our lives and that all we need to do is follow His direction, which can be found in these five steps.
1. Reading Your Bible
The more time spent in the Bible, the more likely you will know the will of God.
We tend to overcomplicate the idea of God’s will, and I think we overcomplicate what it is because we don’t read the Bible. However, reading Scripture will obviously tell us the will of God. Here are the samples:
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – Clearly, God’s will for us is to be sanctified because we are not completely perfect yet.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Clearly, God’s will for us is to rejoice, pray unceasingly, and be thankful.
- 1 Peter 2:15 – Clearly, God’s will for believers is to live a godly life by doing good. By doing so, false charges against Christians will be put to silence.
- 1 Peter 3:17 – Clearly, it is God’s will for believers to suffer for doing good rather than to do evil.
- Romans 12:2 – Clearly, when our minds are being renewed day by day, we may be able to discern what is the will of God.
- Ephesians 5:10, 17 – Clearly, we are called to understand what the will of the Lord is and to do what is pleasing to Him. We are not to decipher the secret things of God; rather, we are called to understand His revealed will that is laid out in the Bible (Deut 29:29).
Prayer is the most important thing we can do as Christians. It is through prayer that we come to a better understanding of the will of God for our lives, and it is through prayer that we can change our hearts so that we are living according to God’s plan for us.
How can prayer help us discern God’s will? When we pray, we should pray according to God’s will. We should pray about things that the Bible commands believers to pray about.
For instance, when was the last time you prayed for your enemies? When was the last time you prayed that you would not enter into temptation? Consider Psalm 119. When was the last time you prayed this verse:
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.Psalm 119:18
If we want to live according to God’s will, then we should pray according to God’s will as revealed in Scripture. You can learn more about praying according to God’s will by GotQuestions.
3. Finding A Biblically Sound Church
The Bible tells us that we need to be in fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25). This is a non-negotiable matter. Find a church home where you can grow spiritually and connect with other Christians in your area. How does this speak into the matter of discerning and living according to the will of God?
One of the best ways to discern God’s will and make difficult decisions in life is to speak to another spiritually mature Christian who can offer you wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 speaks on this matter rather clearly:
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.Proverbs 15:22
Unfortunately, some Christians seek advice and counsel from the world. While there’s some wisdom given by the world, they’re merely worldly wisdom for worldly gain with little redemptive value. The world will not encourage your spiritual growth and faith. The world will not point you to be satisfied in Christ and in His Word. In fact, Jesus said that the world hates Him.
The encouragement is to surround yourself with godly and mature Christians who can point you to God’s word. Not only that, you want to find a home church that is led by biblically qualified elders/pastors who are passionate about sound doctrine and expositional preaching. The more you are soaked with godly wisdom and sound teaching from a biblical church, the more you will delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4)
Perhaps you do struggle with figuring out the will of God. You ask questions that are related to marriage, a career, a house, a university and etc. Unfortunately, I can’t go into every detail in this post, but there are books out there that I could recommend to you for personal study. I trust that both of these books can edify you in your walk with Christ.
Can I know God’s Will? by R.C. Sproul (it’s free on kindle!)
Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur