How to Know the Will of God

By Pastor Alex Kurtz

One of the more commonly asked questions asked among Christians is, "What is God's will for my life?" Every sincere child of God desires to live for and please the Father. Yet, all too often many become frustrated, anxious and at times even fearful because they cannot say with absolute confidence that they are "in the will of God."

How does an infinite God guide finite human beings? Does He even bother? The issues are immediate and clear cut. What should I be doing? Who shall I marry? What job should I take? Which church shall I attend? Why am I sick? Why do children die? These and many other questions torment many sincere people. The expression "the will of God" is sorely misused and misunderstood by most in Christendom. It has taken on a "life" all its own! It would seem reasonable to expect God to be involved in such major decisions affecting our lives. But what seems reasonable in "our" mind is contrary to the main theme of the Bible. One verse sums it all up" "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 4:12). So then, what is the "magic formula?" What is it that God wants from ME and how do I know whether or not I am in His will? Simply put, "the will of God" refers to THE PURPOSE AND DESIRE OF GOD. Period! Nothing more and nothing less.

The real issue in knowing the "will of God" is determining how God reveals it. Is God's will KNOWABLE? If not, any search for it would be irrelevant since He would not want us to know! If it is knowable, how is it made known? Notice what our Lord Jesus Christ has to say in this respect in John 7:16,17:

"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the DOCTRINE, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

We will demonstrate the God's bedrock principle in knowing and doing His will is built on DOCTRINE, not on inner impressions, hunches, "still small voices", inner leading, inner burdens or burnings, to any other tricks and gimmicks that Christendom passes of as ways of finding the will of God. All of theses approaches require the believer to assess and analyze outward circumstances in their lives and them determine SUBJECTIVELY, based on their own FEELINGS, what to do. This is dangerous ground! Read Isa. 55:8,9 and note Jeremiah 17:9:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

As Christians, we are to walk by faith. "For we walk by faith, not by sight" - 2 Corinthians 5:7. Where does faith come from? Romans 10:17 give us the answer, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by THE WORD OF GOD." This is what it means to live a life well pleasing to God. It is when we believe God's written word to us (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13) and apply its precepts to the details of life. There is no "mystery" about knowing God's will. There is no such thing as a unique, detailed, pre-determined "life-plan" for every believer! What is it? Grow to spiritual maturity as the adult sons God has made us (see Galatians 4:1-7) and conform to the doctrine of God's word. This is the way of wisdom. "To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding" (Prov. 1:2).

Since God is silent from heaven today, His will for believers is revealed exclusively through His word. THE BIBLE ALONE IS FULLY SUFFICIENT to provide ALL the guidance needed for the believer to know and do God's will.

"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 Timothy 3:16,17).

Our responsibility is to grow up in our adult sonship. Note the following verses:

"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" (Romans 12:2).
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" - Colossians 3:10 (see also Ephesians 4:23 and following).
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in KNOWLEDGE and in all JUDGEMENT; That ye may APPROVE things that are excellent..." (Philippians 1:9).

Note an interesting parallel with the nation of Israel as found in Romans 2:18, "And KNOWEST his will, and APPROVEST the things that are more excellent, BEING INSTRUCTED out of the law."

God leads by "illumination" - that is, through the intelligent understanding of His word. Study the following passages of scripture in this regard. Psalms 119:105, 130; Job 29:3; Psalms 18:28; 43:3; Proverbs 6:23; Ephesians 5:13; 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Timothy 2:15.

In conclusion, I wish to call your attention to Epaphras. In Colossians 4:12 we read:

"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

Have you ever considered this prayer of Epaphras to the saints? Have you ever considered the context in which it is found? We learn this in Colossians 1:9,10:

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL in ALL WISDOM and SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the KNOWLEDGE of God."

Where do we find "all wisdom and spiritual understanding?" Continue reading in Colossians 1:25-28!

"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints; To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in ALL WISDOM" that we may present every man PERFECT in Christ Jesus."

The above is from: "My Journey"
by Johny Varghese
Published by: Grace School of the Bible 1998