How to Know The Will of God?

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

February 12, 2012

This entry is part 17 of 30 in the series Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics

This post is a part of the “Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics” series and hence has been reposted from April 20, 2011. To see all the authors and titles in the series, and to suggest a topic, please go hereSubscribe today to receive the ebook on this series. 

One of the most asked questions, from the time I’ve been blogging, is, “How do we know what the will of God for our life is?” I’m glad we are able to do this together without anymore delay.

When there are no specific direction on whom you should marry or which car you should buy and how and where you should plan your business, what do you do? How do you know what is the course of action to follow?

I’d like to start by explaining the two kinds of the Will of God. God used Johnathan Edwards, a pastor and a profound theologian in New England in the early 1700s to discover these truths. For a comparatively simpler read, try and get the book ‘Desiring God,’ a book by John Piper where he clearly explains these magnificent truths in detail. (If you are interested, you can download the PDF of the same at the bottom of this post)

The Sovereign Will of God

There are instances that occur under God’s sovereign plans like the crucifixion of Jesus. Even though crucifying Jesus was an act of sin, it was predestined by God. In Acts 4: 27-28, it says “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”  Also seen in the fact that the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8)

Another example is God allowing persecution. In 1 Peter 3:17, Peter talks about suffering for doing good, if that should be God’s will. Another verse to explain this is, “He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” Daniel 4:35.

The sovereign Will of God is in control of all things. It cannot be cancelled and it will come to pass.

The Will of God’s Commandment

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven“. This will of God is based on the obedience of the Word of God.

And throughout the Bible you will see God’s giving specific commandment to His children. Examples: Loving your neighbour as yourself – Mark 12:33, Loving God with all your heart, soul and mindMatthew 22:37, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you1 Thessalonians 5:18. In another verse, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.”

Thankful hearts, rejoicing in God, holiness, fleeing from sin, purity, etc. are God’s commanded will for us. And unlike the sovereign will of God, which cannot be broken, not many obey the will of God’s command.

God’s Sovereign Will must always come to pass whether we believe in it or not. His Will of Command can be broken and sadly, it is broken every day. The Bible says that as long as we love Him and are called according to His purpose, he turns all things for our good (Romans 8:28). This is the reason why we as His children and disciples have hope in our sufferings.

How Do We Really Know His Will?

That being said, how do we know specifically what exactly is the will of God in each situation?

One of the most powerful scriptures in the Bible and a clear direction to our questions is found in Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The first thing Apostle Paul talks about in this verse is that we need to have a renewed mind to understand the things of God. For this you have to test it in line to the Word of God. The Word of God is the supreme authority for every work. (2 Timothy 3:16) The verse also implies that when you are renewed in your mind and in line with the word of God, you will discern what the will of God is in a particular situation.

We get many emails to our ministry asking for specific prophetic word on whether to get married to a particular person or not. Whether God can reveal it? Yes, God can. However, we need not pursue prophets for knowing the future but the scripture calls us to be transformed by the renewal of our mind.

Bible Application

The word of God, the Bible, is the revealed will of God. Sadly, in today’s Christian culture, we have too many people listening to too many voices. I want to strongly make this statement that, “There are no prophets (or prophetesses), prophecies, visions or dreams that is above the Word of God.”

No matter how anointed you are, no matter how audible the voice you heard, you cannot go against the Word of God. The Lord desires that we be transformed by the Word of God and not by voices we hear around us. This happens when we as children of God devote ourselves to reading, loving and mediating on the Word of God. Hebrews 5:14

Start by understanding that you cannot do it on your own and that you need the Holy Spirit that will lead you through the Scriptures. Through that time of soaking yourself in God your actions and thoughts will be in line with the plan and will of God for your life.

[You can download Desiring God book HERE (1.3mb, PDF format)]

Have you been able to walk with God in complete trust? Share your thoughts below.


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