3 Thoughts on Knowing the Will of God

In the spring, tens of thousands of college seniors will be graduating and stepping into the arena of life after college. Many are already asking questions. What should I do? Where should I go? How will I know? For graduating seniors who are Christians, the primary question is: What is God’s will for my life when I finish college?

Perhaps you are in a situation in which you are asking the above questions. Here are 3 thoughts for you to consider as you seek to determine the will of God.

God’s will is revealed step by step.

The psalmist writes: Thy word is a lamp to my feet. He does not say that the word of God to you will be a floodlight all the way down the road. A lamp gives only enough light for the next step or two.

I have been in my present position for four years. Five years ago I had no thought or desire to do what I am now doing. But step by step the Lord moved me into this position. God’s will for you may be revealed in such a way that only the next step is clear.

Take that step!

God’s will can be confused with your will.

This can happen in at least a couple of ways.

One way is by self-deception. You may desire something so much that you persuade yourself that it is what God wants for you. This self-deceit is something that arises from your own heart (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is more deceitful than all else). Critical examination of your heart’s motives in light of the word is important (Psalm 19:14).

Another way is by spiritual intention. In other words, you may desire to do something for the glory of God and the advance of the kingdom of Christ but this specific intention is not God’s plan for you.

In II Samuel 7 David desires to build a temple for the Lord and even has the confirmation of the prophet Nathan (vs. 3). He had a spiritual intention but God’s will for him was different.

How can you decide? Often times the Lord can use others to help you discern what his will for you is. Many counselors yield profitable decisions (Proverbs 15:22). This is not an absolute (see Nathan above) but good counsel can bring to light things you may have missed or overlooked.

Seek the counsel of others!

God’s will is grounded in God’s promise to guide.

Like everything in the Christian life, knowing God’s will is a matter of God’s grace to you in Christ. By that grace he has given you promises to comfort you as you make your way through this world.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you (Psalm 30:8).

There are also prayers for the people of God to know his will.

Epaphras, who is always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12).

Trust the Lord!

Obviously this is not all that can be said about knowing the will of God. What would you add?


About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
This entry was posted in Successful Christian Living and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 3 Thoughts on Knowing the Will of God

  1. Pat says:

    Hello John,I enjoyed your good advice and I’ve learned if you’re not clear about what you think is God’s will,then be still. Oh and that is hard to do! “Whew”! We want to be right so much until like you said,if we’re not careful,we’ll talk ourselves into doing what we think is God’s will. I am so glad God is longsuffering and patient with us,He has prepared our life and so we need to wait on Him.Do have a wonderful evening Pastor,love you 😀

  2. John H. Harbison says:

    Hi Pat. Thanks for taking the time to write a comment. Always good to hear from you.
    You are spot on about how hard waiting can be. Along with you I praise the Lord who is so longsuffering with us.
    Have a blessed weekend.

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