Plotting Your Path Through Life – Knowing the Will of God Part 2


The prescribed will of God

This brings us to the difficult part of knowing the will of God in relation to a specific matter. It is not always easy to know God’s will when it comes down to our personal decisions. What we do know, however, is that God has given us the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us. He has given us His word to lead us, Ps. 119. 105. We should pray for His guidance, as the psalmist did when he cried, ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord’, Ps. 27. 11, and ask for His help to know His will.

Remember as we do so that there are a few parameters that God has given to help us. He will never guide us into anything that is contrary to the scriptures. So, for example, if it is God’s will for us to be married, then two such parameters are that we are not to marry an unbeliever, 2 Cor. 6. 14, and that we should seek to marry ‘in the Lord’, 1 Cor. 7. 39. That is to say that both the man and the woman should be spiritually compatible in their desires for the things of the Lord. Recognition of, and submission to, His lordship in our lives is vital when it comes to the choice of a life partner.

What about what job we should do? Or what career we should pursue? God does give us varying abilities and aptitudes for certain things, and we should be willing to recognize His wisdom and guiding hand in the details of our lives. Some of us are more caring than others. Some have a better ability to comprehend complex equations! If, for example, we have an interest in a particular field we should be open to the possibility that God has given us that interest, and it is His will for us to pursue it.

Once again, though there are parameters that will be helpful in these important decisions in relation to employment or career progression, we could ask ourselves a few questions and look to the Lord to guide us to make the right choice. Will my line of work allow me to make spiritual progress? Will it prevent me from getting to meetings on a regular basis? Will I be able to honour Him while in that type of employment?

Finally, Colossians chapter 3 verse 15 tells us we should ‘let the peace of God rule’ in our hearts. We should pray for His guidance, seek His mind in the scriptures, and let His peace be an umpire in the decisions that we make.

Principles relating to the will of God

In conclusion, I want to mention four general principles that relate to knowing the will of God.

  1. We cannot expect God to direct us in one area of our lives if we are ignoring clear commands in another part of our lives.
  2. Psalm 66 verse 18 tells us, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’. We must endeavour to keep ourselves pure, 1 Tim. 5. 22, if we want God’s guidance and direction. In His sovereignty, He can lead us despite our failures but confessing those failures to God and turning from them will better enable us to discern His will.
  3. ‘Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams’, 1 Sam. 15. 22. Obedience is highly valued by God. ‘Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed’, 2. 30. God is well pleased when we obey and when we seek to honour Him in our choices.
  4. Proverbs chapter 3 verse 6 says, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths’. He has promised to direct our paths, so long as we are willing to surrender to His will and put His interests first in every decision that we make.

In summary, then, God has given us a written statement of His will in the scriptures - we should seek to obey them.

He has given the Holy Spirit to dwell within the believer, so we should never hinder Him.

He delights to answer prayers for guidance, so we should speak to Him.