Discovering the Will of God for Your Life
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."1
A Daily Encounter subscriber asks, "I am always wondering if I am doing God's will. How can I know if I am going in the direction God wants me to go?"
The will of God has two aspects. First, as committed followers of Jesus Christ it involves our manner of living; that is, are all our actions in harmony with the will of God, the standards of which are clearly spelled out in the Bible, the Word of God. And as today's Scripture points out, this involves living a life of purity; not allowing our life to be shaped by the attitudes and behaviors of those who have no regard for the ways of God; and always disciplining our thinking; for what the mind dwells on the body acts on.
Second, the will of God also includes how we serve God; that is, we need to know what our gifts and talents are; get the best training we can to sharpen these gifts and talents; and use these in a practical way to help others—keeping in mind that we serve God by serving and helping others, and communicating his love and message of salvation to them.
Another subscriber asks, "As the Apostle Paul was called of God to be an apostle,2 how would I know if God wants me to serve him as a teaching or medical missionary, a pastor, a chaplain or other form of what is commonly called "fulltime" Christian ministry? As a young man I struggled with this question for several years. The advice I received from my pastor didn't help. He told me, "If God is calling you into fulltime ministry, you better get into it. If he isn't calling you, you'd better keep out of it." The most helpful piece of advice I received was from Oswald Chambers in his book, My Utmost for His Highest. Chambers wrote, "The call of God is like the call of the sea to the sailor. Only he who has the nature of the sea within can hear that call." That is, a person who is "born or called" to be a sailor will never rest until he launches out to sea. It's the same with the call of God. If God is calling you to Christian service (which doesn't have to be fulltime), you will never rest until you launch or step out to do what God has put into your heart to do. I can personally verify this statement.
Furthermore, doing God's will—overall—is doing that which we find fulfilling. As Jesus said, I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."3
Furthermore, every morning I pray and commit and trust my life and way to God and trust him to guide me in the way that he would have me go. I've been doing this from my youth and, as I look back, I can see clearly how God has led me—even through my down times. I encourage you to also commit and trust your life and way to God every morning and God will lead you too.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have a plan and purpose for my life and are calling me to do what you have gifted me to do. Help me to know what my gifts are, get the training I need to sharpen these gifts, and consistently use these to serve you by ministering in some way to others. I commit and trust my life and way to you and trust you to guide me in the way that you would have me to go. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Romans 1:1 (KJV).
3. Psalm 40:8 (NKJV).