What is the will of God for my life and the decisions I have to make??
It is important to know what the will of God is for your life. To discern God’s will, the following guidelines may give you some pointers, though these guidelines have to point to the same direction to discern what God’s will perhaps might be. The list of guidelines are not intended to be ‘the final list,’ there may be more. This is an honest attempt to help you to discern the will of God.
1. Live in an intimate relationship with GOD. Be in constant communication with Him. Listen and respond to Him.
2. Consider the pros and cons through your “sanctified common sense”: Ask questions like…
• Who will be influenced by this?
• How long will this take me/us?
• What changes will that bring into effect?
• Why should there be changes?
• What will be accomplished by this? etc.
3. Consider the principles and values you know are from God:
• Will that honour God?
• Will that help people?
• Did I listen to wise counsel?
• Did I listen and ask good Christian friends’ counsel?
• What are my motives?
• Can I do this with integrity?
• Is it worthwhile?
• Will it enhance the unity of believers?
• Do I have the talents and spiritual gifts for this?
• Is it the right time?
• Is this decision in line with God’s purpose with my life?
• Will it undermine any other commitments I already made? etc.
4. Fleeces as Gideon used, are only for affirmation and not for new guidance. Judges 6:4 – Why didn’t Gideon accept the message of the angel? Because his whole life depended on it, therefore he wanted to know if it was really God’s will, when and where it has to be done. He only used the fleeces (sheep skins) as affirmation of what he already knew the will of God was.
5. Financial confirmation. Finances are only for confirmation and not for new guidance. God may use the provision (or not) to guide us to His will. “If you do the possible, God can do the impossible.”
6. The Word of God. Most of God’s will is already revealed in the Bible. God is talking through His Word. God wants us to listen to His Word and follow it. God can use our daily Bible study to direct us or lay a specific Bible passage on our heart. Don’t interpret the passage to fit your situation, but look into God’s original intention with this passage. Use the Word against its background.
7. Calmness in your heart. God will give us calmness in our heart if we do His will. God’s presence brings peace and calmness. Colossians 3:5
8. Dreams and visions. God may use dreams and visions to affirm His will. If a dream seems like new guidance, it is wise to to get more guidance. Dreams and visions may be subjective. Satan can disturb us in this area.
9. Guidance of Christian leaders. Leaders can’t take decisions on your behalf, but can giving valuable guidance or affirmation if possible. We are responsible before God to take our own decisions. Test the ideas of leaders with other guidance as well. Proverbs 15:22.
10. Guidance by the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Holy Spirit can lead you directly. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
11. Existing rules and laws: Rules and laws may be a guideline in certain situations. When you have to break existing laws or rules, it may be a sign that this might be wrong. 1 Peter 2:13-17
12. Prayer. Whilst praying, God can talk to you. Prayer of other people can alter the situation that it may be clear what the Lord is saying. Prayer can change things. Ask God for guidance, He will answer you in His time.
13. Circumstances. The situation around you, family, church, community, city, world etc may be as such that certain decisions can’t be taken or other decisions may be easy to take. Your immediate circumstances may be a confirmation or co-determinant to know what to do. Circumstances alone can’t determine what the will of God is. Saul in 1 Samuel 23, interpreted any sign to kill David. Not every opportunity is from God. We may want something so much that we assume any opportunity to get it is of divine origin. As we see from Saul’s case, it might not be true. An opportunity to do something against God’s will can never be from God because God does not tempt us. When opportunities come your way, double-check your motives. Make sure you follow God’s desire and not just your own (like Saul did).
14. Previous guidance of the Lord, or the already known will of God. Keep to the previous guidance of the Lord you received until you receive new guidance. Use the previous guidance of the Lord as a determinant to know where to go now.
15. Consider the following principles prayerfully (there may be more):
• Don’t plan your life around a preconceived idea what God’s plan for your life is, but rather follow Jesus as Guide for the detail of your life.
• Obey the existing truth as foundation to know the will of God for the future.
• Trust God and live in faith when circumstances are uncertain.
• Don’t put God under pressure with your time schedules.
• Don’t tell God what He should do in your life, rather follow His direction.
• In uncertain times trust the already known will of God and just follow it.
• Admit if you are wrong, don’t be proud.
• Don’t use the wrong means to reach the correct goal.
• Look for God’s time, place, and correct thing to do.
• God will sometimes show His will to other children of God. Don’t exclude or elevate yourself above other children of God. We need the Body of Christ to discern the will of God with us as far as possible.
• Work with other children of God to seek God’s will.
• Don’t be caught in spiritual jargon. Be wise and practical how you will communicate your need to do the will of God.
16. Perspective. Don’t concentrate so much on detail and be overwhelmed by it. You might lose perspective on God’s will.
17. On the way to God’s will. We are not always sure about the detail about the will of God for a given situation, but we know how God want us to behave on the way to His will.
18. Be assured about God’s love and commitment to lead you in every step of your life.
19. Passion to listen to God. If we really strife to listen to God’s voice and at the same time try to satisfy Him, we will perhaps hear God’s voice better and respond it.
20. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.