Finding God’s will seems so vague sometimes. I love movies/tv that have a character with a microphone in their ear, someone in another location is watching and feeding them lines in their ear. Wouldn’t it be great if God had a microphone in your ear to say things like “Make pasta for dinner and call your mom?” But neither does he leave us without any concrete directions. I made a list of five steps you can take when you are trying to follow God’s will, but you aren’t sure what his will is.
Follow What You Already Know
When you are seeking God’s will in a specific circumstance, you are looking for a clear word of direction from him. The Bible may not say something like “Danell, wear the red shirt today.” But it is full of God’s message to us. Knowing the Bible helps us know God.
Just like my kids know not to put their feet on the table because I’ve told them (over and over) not to. We can begin to know God’s will simply by knowing his word better. You don’t have to pray about whether to be honest at your job, because God tells us in the Bible to be honest.
In fact, when someone tells me that they think God wants them to move in a certain direction, but admit that they don’t regularly spend time in God’s word and in prayer I immediately question whether they have heard his voice in that decision.
But guys, this is such good news! We actually have a book that tells us God is more powerful than anything in the universe. It tells us that he created the world with his words. It shows again and again that he is bigger than any other force. It also confirms that he sees us in every situation, and that we don’t have to worry if our circumstances are not getting better in the timing that we expect.
Its Not About You
Joseph was in prison after being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. He tried to honor God with his actions, and instead he wound up in jail. Then in prison he saw a ray of hope. He interpreted the dreams of the king’s baker and wine taster and asked that the wine taster remember him when he went back to Pharaoh’s court.
An outsider looking at Joseph ‘s story can see that leaving Joseph in prison for those two extra years that the wine taster forgot him, saved countless lives. Not only the lives of the Egyptians, but also the lives of Joseph’s family hundreds of miles away. (Genesis chapters 39-41)
When you are praying for God’s will in your life, you are handing God control. It’s not about you. That feeling that God forgot you? You aren’t the first person to have it, but this time when you are seeking and waiting on God is a part of his will for your life.
Asking him what you should do and waiting for the answer is growing you. It’s showing your kids and those walking through the difficult time with you, that you trust God.
Search out the opinions of believers that you trust. Older believers that have walked through difficult situations and have continued to trust God. There is so much value in developing a friendship with someone who has walked where you are walking. God can use them to speak truth to you. Ask them to pray for you, ask them for council.
If you have read my series on maturity, (part 2 in case you missed it) then you know that part of wisdom is realizing that one person can’t always know what to do. Jesus didn’t walk alone on this earth. He surrounded himself with followers that he could mentor, but he expected them to encourage him as well. Remember the Garden of Gethsemane when he asked them to pray because he was feeling so overwhelmed with what he was about to do?
I like to think about Paul and Timothy’s relationship. Timothy traveled with Paul and then stayed at Ephesus as a pastor. Timothy was clearly well equipped as a believer to the point that he could pastor a church, but in Paul’s letters he gives advice to Timothy on his health, and on leading. Surround yourself with believers who you can trust to give you wise council.
Obey in Small Things
If you sense that God is leading you in something – Do It! I love the story of Naaman in 2 Kings. He has leprosy, it is an incurable disease. Leprosy would have caused him to be a social outcast for the rest of his life. He goes to Elisha and Elisha tells him to wash himself seven times in the Jordan. Naaman is angry because it seems so simple.
But I love what his servants say to him- This is an easy thing to do! Don’t discount the small things in your life. Ok, you don’t know what job God wants you to take. He hasn’t directed you (yet) in which school to choose for your kids. But he has said to saturate your life with his words and commands. Do the small thing of having a quiet time. Make your relationship a daily one instead of a Sunday one. Obey him when you want to speak angrily to put someone in their place, hold your tongue instead.
Let God have a say in all the small parts of your life, and see him take care of the big parts also.
If Naaman had refused to go and wash in the Jordan he would have had to live with a painful and isolating disease for the rest of his life. Leprosy, as it progresses causes a person to lose sensation in their nerves. They may become injured and not realize it, because they can’t feel it.
When you don’t spend time with God in prayer and Bible study, you will lose your sensitivity to his leading. Numbness to the things that grieve him will take over your life. Over time, your obedience to God in small things will awaken those nerves to be sensitive to his direction.
I’m really excited about the Mini Bible Study I am writing for Ephesians! This will be a book overview that you can download for personal study, but with discussion questions you can use to start conversations with your kids about using the armor of God in their lives. If you want to be sure that you get updates on this study and access when it is ready please subscribe to my email list! Once you subscribe, be sure to check your spam folder to make sure you aren’t missing any emails.