How to find God's will


Finding and doing God's will is something very important indeed. Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). We should therefore make it a priority to find out what things please God. He might even want us to do something particular for Him.

We cannot see God or speak with Him face-to-face, so how can we find out what He wants us to do?

Learning to do good

Our first approach should be to learn about God and His ways, and to do those things we know please Him.[1] He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). We should also avoid doing anything evil.[2] But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do (1 Peter 1:15). Making the right decision can be costly so we need to be fully determined to do the right thing and sufficiently sure of our convictions, otherwise we may default to the wrong choice.

We can learn what is right by reading the Bible. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:105). If we go to church, we will benefit from the teachings and experiences of others, especially if they have a good relationship with God themselves.[3]

Hearing God's voice

In order to find God's will in a particular matter, we need to ask Him and then trust Him to guide us.[4] Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). As we spend time in prayer and possibly fasting,[5] we will begin to recognise His leading.[6] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).

God guides us in many different ways. He can, for instance, use an inner knowing,[7] a gentle whisper,[8] the Bible,[9] other people and circumstances,[10] signs,[11] dreams and visions[12] and prophecy.[13]

How to find God's will

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As our relationship with God grows, we will learn when to wait on God[14] and when we should exercise our initiative. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him... (Psalm 37:4). God gave us a will of our own and it is important we use it as we will be judged according to what we do or don't do.[15]

We will not understand things fully

Although God guides us, He will not always do so clearly. If He did, we would not be able to develop our trust in Him. At times, we will misunderstand Him, especially if we have strong selfish opinions on what we should do.[16] Also, Satan sometimes impersonates God[17] and other people will mislead us through things they say.[18] We therefore need to trust God continually so He can correct us, if necessary. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).