How Can I Know God’s Will?

August 23, 2022
George T. Ferrier

Believers look to the Lord for wisdom and guidance because we know that His will is best, leading to a fruitful, joyful, and abundant life (John 10:10). Psalms 25:14 says “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him.” Therefore, we must spend daily time in His Word and prayer. When He becomes the focus of our life, our will shifts to align with His will, His desires becoming our desires (Ps. 37:4). We begin to recognize the Lord’s working in our life as He manifests Himself through both His Word and our circumstances (John 14:21-23). 

It is also vital that we confess and forsake any known sin when He brings it to our attention (Heb. 4:15-16; 1 John 1:9). We will not be able to discern God’s leading if we have distanced ourselves from Him (Ps. 66:18).

When we ask the Lord for His guidance, we must do so believing He will answer our prayer. James 1:5-7 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Believing in God’s power and desire to lead us, the Holy Spirit will show us how to apply God’s Word with wisdom to our lives. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” And Colossians 2:6 reads: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” 

Just as we admitted our need of Christ for salvation, similarly we are to walk by grace through faith looking in dependence to Him for direction in all areas of our lives. Paul prayed that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of His will (Col. 1:9). The Lord delights to fully lead us as we look to him for each step in life. 

Moreover, we must be willing to accept His answers to our petitions. God knows our hearts and will not reveal His will to those who have already made up their minds (John 7:17). We must pair our desire to follow God’s will with a determination to obey it. Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Lord often does not give us the whole picture at once. He gives us only enough light to take the next step (Prov. 16:9). It is after we take that obedient step that He gives us light for the next one. We demonstrate an obedient heart by obeying God’s already revealed will, His general will for all believers from the many clear commands in Scripture. The epistles are filled with exhortations that we are to apply to our lives (2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:16-22; 1 John 4:21; 5:21). 

The whole process of seeking the Lord’s will can bring the added benefit of drawing us into closer fellowship with Him as we wait upon Him. He may bring in hindrances and close doors to delay immediate answers. God has His own timing for our lives and He is always on time. When confronted with many options we can ask the Lord what would bring the most glory to Him and He will delight to answer our prayer. One of the many blessings of the Christian life is walking through life with the Lord Jesus and the ensuing peace that comes from being in His will. His will and desire for us springs from a God who loves us intimately, perfectly, and with complete knowledge of our design, for He has both created us and redeemed us. 

The safest place to be is in God’s will, near Him, communing with Him, seeking His guidance and wisdom for life. Even should difficult times come, we can enjoy God’s peace if we know we are where He wants us to be. Psalms 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”