Q: “I am in the middle of having to make a very important decision and don’t know what to do. How do I know what God’s will is?” - Multiple Readers
A: There are 3 ways God does this. I’ll get to that in a bit. Stick with me here, it’s worth it I promise!
In a previous post, I talked about how God loves it when we take “leaps of faith”. But, how do we know what God’s will for us is? After all, you don’t want to take a big leap of faith without being sure that it’s really what God wants you to do! This is a question that Christians ask many, many times over the course of their lives. Learning the answer early on in your Christian walk will save you from sooo much agony and frustration!
Unfortunately, God doesn’t usually give us detailed, written instructions of His specific will for each of us, nor does He often speak audibly in a voice that is unmistakable. He does occasionally. l know people He has audibly spoken to, my mother for instance. But, that is extremely rare.
So, how can we possibly know His will? Well, He communicates with us in various ways. And, like most things in Christianity, it all comes down to our RELATIONSHIP with God. God usually communicates very softly and subtly. Why? Think about it.
Pretend you are at your friend’s house and he is trying to fix his toaster, but he doesn’t know how, so he’s wanting you to give him instructions. Now, pretend you’re a broadway singer so you are having to save your voice and are whispering so softly that he can’t understand you. What is your friend going to do? That’s right, he’s going to get closer to you.
Well, actually he’d probably get mad at you and try to get you to talk louder, which is what we do with God. But, if he’s an understanding friend and realizes that you won’t speak any louder no matter how upset he gets, he’ll eventually move closer to you. And the softer you speak, the closer to you he will get. He’ll want to work as close to you as possible so that he can understand your instructions. And that’s what God wants us to do. He wants us to get as close to Him as possible.
That’s what God wants more than anything, to be in a close relationship with us – to have us seek Him desperately and rely completely on Him. Any time you question anything about God or the bible, remember that. Behind everything is the desire to be in as close a relationship with us as possible. He wants us to get so close to Him that we recognize all of His subtle interventions in our life and feel all of His subtle nudges.
Our relationship with God never stays the same. We’re always either getting closer to God, or moving further away. The sin and pride in our life get in the way of our relationship with God and muffle God’s voice. The more control we keep and consequently the less control we allow God to have, the harder it is to recognize and sense God’s leading.
The closer to God we become, the more direct communication and leading from God we will recognize. So do everything you can to get as close to Him as possible! That’s step #1!
In case you weren’t previously aware, the purpose of this universe is for God to prepare us for heaven where we will be in an intimate relationship with God for all eternity. God is constantly trying to work in our lives to shape us into the creation He wants us to be. When we give God complete control over our lives, He starts molding us like a potter molds clay. We are nothing but garbage, but God doesn’t see us as we are, He sees what He can make us into. He sees our potential. The potter doesn’t see dirt and mud, he sees the beautiful pottery he can make.
Just like an artist can take worthless trash and salvage it by making it into a work of art, so God takes us and salvages us by making us into a beautiful creation. In fact, think about that word. “Salvage”. The noun version of that word is “salvation”. To salvage means to take something worthless and make it into something meaningful.
We like to say that Jesus SAVED us, but I think SALVAGE is a more accurate word. He didn’t just save us from the punishment we deserve, He salvaged our worthless lives to make something beautiful out of us.
#1 – He Makes His Desires Our Desires
As God molds us to be more like Him, our desires will start to change. We will start to desire more the things that God desires. We will start to hate the things God hates. Our priorities will start to shift closer to God’s. The closer we get to God and the more dedicated we are to giving Him full control over our lives, the more these things will change and align closer to God’s.
And this is the main way God leads us toward His will…by making His will our will! By making His desires our desires. We naturally follow our own desires. We do it every day! And by aligning our desires with Him, we start to naturally follow God’s will.
I think it would be very wise to continually pray and ask God to change your desires and mold you to be more like Him.
Now, it would be nice if we could eventually be perfectly aligned with God, but here on earth that’s impossible. We are still human, and fall short of the perfection of God. And even if our desires were perfectly aligned with His, we still don’t have perfect knowledge, we can’t know the future. So, there are still many times when God must use other methods to guide us.
In your lifetime, there will be many, many times when you are faced with making a choice that you know is really important and you want to make the choice that God wants you to make, but how do you know which choice that is?
#2 – He Will Reveal His Will to You
If you are truly seeking God’s will first and foremost and are completely open to whatever God’s will is, He will always make sure you make the right choice, usually using one of two methods. Either He will reveal His will to you and lead you to make the right choice, or He will stay silent and force you to trust that God won’t allow you to make the wrong choice.
So, when He does reveal His will to us, how does He do it? Most of the time, He reveals His will for us through the bible. Many questions are answered in God’s word. That’s why it’s so important to know as much about the bible and about God as possible! Sometimes, the answer is directly answered in scripture, and other times God uses scripture to give you a sign.
Most of the time, the signs He gives us are subtle. It could be a feeling in your gut that one option just isn’t right, or a subtle pulling in one direction. Sometimes He’ll give you a “peace” about a certain decision. Whatever it is, you just kind of “know”.
Sometimes, He gives really clear signs!
For example, there was a girl I was dating who had a lot of cysts in her ovaries. The doctor told her she would have to have her ovaries taken out. But, I really wanted to have children. Because of some other signs, I felt like this was the woman I was supposed to be with. But, since I felt like God wanted me to have children of my own, I was stuck with a really tough and confusing decision.
One day, I felt in my gut that if God would heal my girlfriend’s cysts that it would be the sign that I was supposed to be with her. I didn’t say anything to her about it, nor did she even think about the possibility of God healing her. But, that night she had a vivid dream that God reached his hand inside her and took out all of her cysts.
Believe it or not, she had no idea what a cyst looked like, but the next day she looked up real pictures of cysts and saw that they looked exactly like the ones in her dream! And, the pain was completely gone! Now, she had had prophetic dreams before, it’s a spiritual gift that God gave her. So we were pretty sure God had healed her. But, just to make sure, she went to the doctor and sure enough all of the cysts had completely disappeared! That was a pretty clear sign!
Sounds pretty simple and great, right? Well, there’s a problem…