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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."
All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."
Everything was going so well. I thought I had my life planned out. Then, in the blink of an eye, I was stuck in a wheelchair as a quadruple amputee contemplating my future. I often wondered about how to know God’s will and whether I would ever find contentment in my new disabled life.
But let me back up a bit. One minute I was in bed with what I thought was the flu, and the next I was on life support with an unexpected flesh-eating bacteria, that came out of nowhere, with a diagnosis that can only be described as negative and full of doom. I wasn’t supposed to survive. But the doctors imposed their diagnosis, without considering God’s plan for my life.
4 months later at a routine follow-up with my doctor, my husband and I were blessed to give all praise to God for the answered prayers that contradicted their original death warrant. Those doctors got a front-row seat to God’s power to heal. They learned that science isn’t always right and we can’t always know God’s plan.
As believers, we often wonder what God’s will is for our lives. We want to know what decisions to make, what direction to take, and how to live a life that pleases God. Understanding how to know God’s will can be a challenge, but it is essential to a fulfilling and purposeful life. That’s how I found God’s will for mine.
Understanding God’s Will
First, let’s define what God’s will means. His will is to carry out the commandments that He set forth for mankind in the Bible. He wants you to love Him first, with all your heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s all about love, my friend! You’re also to carry out everything He laid out for you in the handbook for living, God’s Holy Word.
Matthew 22:36-40 says, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is the Word of God in human form. He came to show us how to live a life that pleases God. Jesus lived to show us exactly how to know God’s will.
Romans 12:2 says to stay away from worldly lusts, and not conform yourself to the same pattern of this world, but renew your mind to have a mind like Christ. This advice from the Apostle Paul is the definition of the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Understanding God’s will means recognizing His plan and purpose for your life. It is the path that He wants you to take, the decisions He wants you to make, and the way He wants you to live so that you are living holy and acceptable to Him.
Whether or not it’s God’s will is not always easy to discern, but it is always good, acceptable, and perfect. You can trust that God has your best interests at heart and that His plan for you is perfect, even when life crumbles around you.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
How to Know God’s Will
When you look to answer the question, “How to know what God wants me to do,” the only place to look is the Bible. The Bible is our instruction manual for a life that pleases God. Understanding who God is, the promises that He makes, and His expectations, all lead to the information that you need to understand His character. It’s important to note that any promise God has made, has either been fulfilled or is yet to come. He is constant, doesn’t change, and is reliable.
It’s important to believe that God inspired 40 men over 1500 years to write the Bible. Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, these men were divinely led to write in such a way that what they wrote was the perfect Word of God. In the context of the Holy Scriptures, inspiration means God-breathed. This means absolutely no errors or contradictions.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
God speaks to you through His Holy Word. He will never guide us with anything that contradicts what He’s written in His Word.
Understanding God’s will is crucial to living a purposeful life. But how do you discern His plan for you? Let’s take a look at a few ways to seek God’s will.
How to Seek God’s Presence
There are many ways to learn how to do the will of God. Spend time in prayer and meditation to seek God’s direction for your life. Read and study the Bible, and listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Seek the presence of God. The way to do that is to seek Him with all your heart. So, in other words, look for Him.
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Here are some steps to begin seeking the Lord:
Pray and Meditate – Prayer is a conversation with God through Jesus Christ. God cannot look on sin and since we’re all sinful creatures, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus paid our debt with His blood. When you pray to God through Jesus, God sees the blood, Jesus testifies that you are His, and God hears you.
Meditation is focused concentration on God and His Word. It’s not new age “Om Om.” Think about a specific Scripture. Your goal is to understand it so that you can apply it in your life. The Biblical definition of meditation means to ponder or imagine so that you can understand it. Meditate on God’s Word by focusing on it day and night.If you want to answer the question, “How do I know what God wants me to do?” the only place to look is the Bible. #UnderstandingGod’sWill #JoyfulLiving #MindfulLiving Click To Tweet
Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Read and Study the Bible – Since God’s Word is our handbook for daily living, we need to know what it says. There’s a big difference between reading it like a book and studying it. You can do both. But to reason out the Scriptures begins with the understanding of who’s talking, who the message is for, when it took place, and the circumstances under which the situation is taking place.
In my Praying Through the Storms Bible Study, I use the SOAP Bible study method. SOAP is an acronym for scripture, observation, application, and prayer. It’s a great method to dig into the meat of the verse.
You can find many other methods of study. When you find one that you enjoy and that works for you is a matter of trial and error to see what you like. This course is a great lesson on different Bible study methods.
How to know God’s voice from your own
How do you know God is talking to you? While it would be great to hear God’s voice when you have a tough decision to make, you can’t audibly hear God’s Word in the way He talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day or He spoke to Moses at the burning bush. The main way that God talks to you is through His Word, but God does talk if you pay attention. Here are a couple of ways that’s done:
Pay Attention to His Promptings – Sometimes His prompts are referred to as your conscience, or that inner voice that acts as your moral filter. You’ll receive prompts through the Holy Spirit in a variety of ways. As you pray, seek wisdom or guidance from the Lord, He may prompt you to a specific Bible verse to guide you. When you know what God’s Word says, you’ll have more clarity in the Scripture promptings. Add Bible study to your daily agenda to expose you to more Scriptures, and give God more to work with.
Watch Your Circumstances – God speaks to you through the circumstances of your life. Whether it’s the places He puts you, the situations you find yourself in, and the people He places in your life. These are all ways to help you discover His will.
I met my husband across the country from where I was raised. This wonderful man led me to the Lord and was instrumental in my healing after my illness and amputations. There’s no doubt that God put us both where we needed to be to meet and start our lives together.
Discern God’s Voice From Others – God speaks to our pastors to bring messages that He has laid on the pastor’s heart. Have you ever wondered how your pastor knows exactly what you struggle with by the message he preaches? No, he’s not in your head. He can’t read your mind, but God can. God knows what’s going on in your life, and He knows what you need to hear from the pulpit.
You may also hear God through the words and actions of others, besides your pastor. I’m sure that you’ve received a phone call or a visit when you needed some encouragement. God lays these messages on the hearts of His children when they need to receive help. Your Christian friends will offer wisdom as well. These words of encouragement come directly from the Lord.
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Where to Seek Godly Counsel
Seek advice from spiritual leaders and fellow believers who have experience in understanding God’s will. Their wisdom and guidance can be invaluable. In those times when you struggle to know if it’s God’s will and you can’t hear Him in your prayers, or find the answer in your Bible, Godly counsel from other spiritual leaders is a great resource for biblical wisdom.
Ask for Advice from Spiritual Leaders – Throughout your life, you’re at different levels of spiritual maturity. As a new babe in Christ, you know very little about what God’s Word says, let alone what you believe His will is for your life. Seek advice from your pastors, deacons, elders, and Titus 2 women in the church. This gives you the perspective from their experience, not only in the Word of God but in their lives. It’s important to always check advice against God’s Word because the Word of God is the final Authority in every situation.
Seek Help from Fellow Believers – Throughout our spiritual journey, there are times when we will need to seek spiritual advice from others. You’ll find many other times when you can give spiritual advice to those less mature than you. This is why it’s so important for us to have friendships with people of all ages and at different levels of spiritual maturity.
Our free Facebook Group offers a great community of women to encourage you along your journey. Come and join us!
Now that you have determined the steps for understanding God’s will for your life, It’s important to be obedient to that will. You could seek God’s presence, listen to His voice, or seek other methods of Godly counsel, but if you don’t obey God, you won’t find the fulfillment that you seek. God wants you to know what His will is so that you can live it. When you align your life to God’s will, that’s when you’ll find fulfillment.
When I found myself as a new quadruple amputee, the first thing I remember is praying this Scripture to God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
God allowed this circumstance, in my life. So it had to be His will. At the time, I didn’t understand how or why it had happened. But I knew that to heal and follow Him in the next steps of my life, I had to be obedient. This Scripture in Proverbs tells you how.
Trust God with all your heart. Don’t try and analyze your situation to death, because you won’t figure it out. God had a plan for my life. My job was to seek Him, acknowledge Him, and follow Him. Then He would guide me in my healing, to recreate a life entirely new from what I had planned. He has done all that. It’s pretty fascinating, isn’t it?
Today, I give all honor and glory to my Heavenly Father for my beautiful life. Even though it’s not what I would have anticipated for my future, I am grateful and happy.
What you might consider to be the worst experience, was for my good and God’s glory. I found and followed His will. By God’s wonderful grace, I live “One Exceptional Life” where, in true form with 2 Corinthians 1:4, God comforted me in my tribulations so that I can comfort, and encourage others in theirs. God revealed what His plan was for my life – To help women rediscover God’s joy and peace amid the trials of life by becoming more intentional with God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
When getting to know the Lord, seeking His presence, and hearing His voice, use this handy checklist for 15 simple ideas of “things to do” that will strengthen your relationship with the Lord.
- Get the free checklist. You’ll get the free PDF, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click below to get it and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick. But card stock will be more durable.
- Hang your checklist somewhere handy like the fridge.
Here’s a sneak peek of your printable checklist:
What has been your best advice for how to know God’s will for a fulfilled life? Share in a comment below!
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