There are many times in life when we find ourselves at a crossroads, trying to decide how best to proceed or wanting to know what direction to take. It’s at these times that we wonder, “What is God’s will in this situation?” Discovering God’s will isn’t really all that mystical. He has made His will apparent to us in His Word, and that’s where we must always start – the Bible. Then we must be honest enough with ourselves to evaluate our own motives, desires, and feelings, in order to get those things out of the way so that we can truly honor the Lord with our lives and decisions. Here are 4 principles to help you know God’s will.

#1 – Do a Personal Reality Check

Read: Romans 12:2, 1 Peter 4:1-2

 Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • How might I be conforming to worldly thinking?
  • What things might I be clinging to that would be a barrier to submitting to God’s will?
  • What fears do I have in setting aside my own personal will?

As you begin the process of seeking God’s will, you need to do a personal inventory to ensure you are truly submitted to God’s will. We learn from Romans 12:2 that God’s will is always good, pleasing and perfect. It brings glory to His name. In 1 Peter 4:2 we see the difference between our own evil human desires and the will of God. We have to be honest enough with ourselves to self-assess our own hearts and then move toward a willingness to obey God.  A personal reality check is principle #1 in knowing God’s will.

#2 – Seek The Help That’s Available to You 

 Read: Colossians 1:9, James 1:5, Hebrews 13:20-21

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Have I asked for the wisdom of God in my situation?
  • What does God’s Word have to say about my situation?
  • What scriptural precepts have I overlooked?

You are not alone when you seek God’s will. These verses show us that God’s wisdom and understanding are readily available to us. We also have a helper in the pursuit of God’s will, the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that God will equip us with everything we need to do His will. God does not try to hide His will; rather, he wants us to know and do His will, which He has graciously outlined for us in Scripture. We must be familiar with what God says in His Word and be determined to obey it. Need some immediate direction? Try reading 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6, 1 Peter 2:15, Galatians 5:13-26 and Ephesians 5:15-20. Before you look anywhere else, seek God’s help!  This is principle #2 in knowing God’s will.

#3 – Pray for God’s Will To Be Done

 Read: Matthew 6:9-10, 1 John 5:14

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Am I willing to ask for God’s will to be done in my situation?
  • How might that be different from what I want?
  • Do I believe His will is perfect?

We need to look no further than the Lord’s Prayer for a model of how to pray for God’s will. It’s right in there! When we think about this prayer, we realize that God’s will is perfectly accomplished in heaven. Are we submissive enough to ask for God’s will to be accomplished in our own lives as it is in heaven? When we pray for God’s will, Scripture says He hears us. What a comfort to know that God hears us when we pray for His will to be done in our lives. That’s a brave and powerful prayer!  Our 3rd principle in knowing God’s will is submitting to his will.

#4 – Be Patient and Thankful 

 Read: Psalm 37:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

  • Commit to patiently wait for God to work.
  • Commit to be thankful as you wait expectantly.

When we are seeking God’s will, we must be patient and wait for Him to work things out in His perfect timing. Waiting can be comforting when we know that we have submitted our own desires to God’s perfect will. After all, there are promises associated with following God’s will. You may want to visit 1 John 2:17, Matthew 12:50, and Proverbs 3:5-6 as reminders. We are also commanded to be thankful. So today, as you submit your situation to the Lord, make sure to have an attitude of gratitude.  That’s our final tip in knowing God’s will.

Now that you have had a chance to honestly seek God’s will through His Word and self-assessment, do you have any more clarity on your next steps? Most of what we learn in the process more to do with  godly character formation that equips us to make the best decisions to glorify God with our lives. Remember the fruit of the Spirit (who lives in you) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities will help you make the best choices. Put into practice Galatians 5:25, “If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.”  I hope these 4 principles to help you know God’s will have helped!