This is the first of a three part miniseries within the Back to Basics series on How to Know the Will of GOD. We believe that this topic is too encompassing to limit to one blog post within the Back to Basics series.
“How do I know the will of GOD for my life?” I feel like we all ask this question at sometime or another. Oftentimes, we ask this question when we are in transitions in our life—graduating college, loss of a job, moving from one city to another—transition creates questions and this question is life changing. I remember asking myself this same question when I was younger. Am I following where GOD wants me to go? Did I go to the right college? Did I pick the right major? Am I dating the right girl? The list goes on and on and on. Today, I have the same questions, but in a different context: Am I in the right career? Am I being the best husband and father that I can be? What more does GOD have for me? Is Anchor Movement making an impact? How do we grow our ministry in integrity and purpose? All great question, but all needing specific answers. I’m sure that your list doesn’t look very different from mine. What’s amazing about GOD’s desire for your life is that it never ends. No matter your age, occupation, or situation, GOD is passionate about seeing you become everything He created you to be. What I have found for me is that GOD uses three simple ways of revealing what His will is for my life and that is what I want to share with you today starting with the first.
You find GOD’s will through His word
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 NLT
The word of GOD is the first place we should all begin when we are searching for the will of GOD in our life. The Psalmist said in the scripture above that GOD’s word is a lamp that guides our feet and a light to show us the way. GOD has given us His word so that we can “find” our way through the stories and scriptures woven throughout from Genesis to Revelation. When I was injured playing football in junior high, I looked for every scripture and story on healing that I could find in the Bible. What was I doing? I was finding the lamp that would guide my feet and light my path. When you question what GOD’s will for your life is, start by looking for scriptures that speak promises into your future. One of my favorites is Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
Another great promise for your future is found in Psalm 23:
“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” Psalms 23:2-3 NLT
Jesus speaks directly to your future in John 10:10:
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT
What do all three of these scriptures have in common? They are promises directly spoken over your life and your future. What GOD has done in the past, He will do again. GOD did not forget about your life among the millions of others who are longing to know what His will is for them as well. GOD has a specific purpose, destiny, and assignment for your life and the scriptures illuminate this in Psalms 139:16:
'You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.' Psalms 139:16
GOD has already laid out for you days that fulfill His exact purpose for your life. The Bible speaks of things you can do to shorten your life (Psalm 55:23) and things you can do to lengthen your life (Proverbs 10:27), but before you were born, GOD had the exact perfect purpose laid out for you. The problem is, we as humans mess up the plan. We try to do things our way or we veer away from GOD for a certain season of our life or we run away from GOD until our life is complete mess. But GOD is merciful and He is always calling us back into that original purpose that He laid out before we were ever born.
If you want to know what the will of GOD is for your life, you have to know what the Bible says about your future. More than just going to Heaven when you die, there are scriptures throughout the Bible that speak directly to your past, present, and future. In prayer one time, I questioned GOD about his pick of Matthew as a disciple. Don’t get me wrong, I like Matthew, but in ancient days tax collectors were seen as some of the scummiest people in Judea and Matthew was a tax collector. When Jesus called him to be a disciple, Matthew didn’t hesitate for one second; he immediately followed Jesus and left behind his business of collecting taxes. When I asked GOD about this He said, “I’m not into looking at past, but I’m into looking at potential.” GOD is the GOD of potential. Your life is not defined by where you are today or where you’ve been, but it’s defined in the potential that awaits you in the future. GOD’s will for your life looks different from everybody else because you are uniquely different. Don’t give up just because you see somebody else on top of the mountain and you feel like you’re in the valley. Hebrews 13:5 from The Passion Translation puts it like this:
For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip on your life!” Hebrews 13:5 TPT
GOD hasn’t given up on your life nor has He forgotten about your life. As we will discover in parts 2 and 3 of this miniseries, GOD wants to see you develop into your calling; first through His word and then through prayer and practice. The first step begins with searching out scriptures that define what GOD says about your future and then believing what GOD says. Our prayer for you today is that GOD will illuminate in His word the many promises that define your future. Allow those scripture to penetrate deep into your heart and be the firm foundation in your search and engagement in GOD’s will for your life.