A series of articles
Knowing The Lord’s Will For Your Life
When we are young we often are continually wrestling with knowing The Lord’s will for our lives. I wanted more than anything to follow His plan. Interestingly, as adults we still find we must submit our will. We must learn to finally KILL that willful mind and give our lives completely to God. It’s not easy. It’s a lifelong pursuit but it’s the only real path to complete union with Him.
How can we know The Lord’s plan for our lives? There are key points to remember:
1) Walk with The Lord.
For starters, if you are interested in knowing The Lord’s plan for your life, then you must learn to walk with The Lord. You need to develop a relationship with Him. Christianity is all about relationship rather than just religious doctrine. We’re not here to go through ceremonies. The purpose of our lives is to become One with The Lord. Ceremony won’t make you one with God. It may make you feel like you’re comfortable in a formal setting, as for example a Catholic Mass. But does it bring you closer to The Lord? Some will say, “Yes, of course it does.” And others will disagree.
You must seek to know Him and not just seek to know about Him. You must reach out with your mind to Him. A priest or minister cannot do that for you. You must go to God.
You will cultivate that relationship best by spending time reading the Bible and if you don’t understand it, reading booklets that teach and point to references. You’ll find many such booklets free of charge Here for Bible Study Free Booklets.
Take time for prayer, which really can be a constant checking in and conversation.
Take every opportunity you can to be involved with small group Bible studies. Try it. It might be right for you, and might not. I don’t push people into churches or groups. It’s your choice. When you seek these disciplines in your life, The Lord will begin the first steps to revealing His plan to you.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
2) Surrender your will to The Lord’s hands. Allow him to take over the direction and focus of your life. At first this seems frightening. Later it will be a big relief!
Many times when we say we are seeking The Lord’s will, what we really are doing is TELLING The Lord, The King of all the Universe, what we want and asking for His approval. Does your 2-year-old child dictate to you? No? Then why are you attempting to dictate to The Lord?
Before The Lord will begin to reveal His will to you, you must be committed to doing whatever it is that He desires for you to do. The Lord will likely be slow to show you His plan if He knows you will likely not do that plan anyway. The Lord wants us to be submissive because his thoughts are not our thoughts, his ways are not our ways, and there is so much about our future we do not know. We must learn to trust Him completely
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of The Lord, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to The Lord, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of The Lord.
Jesus was willing to die for us, so shouldn’t we be willing to live for Him? When we surrender to Him, that is when He really begins to direct our steps.
3) Obey what you already know to be The Lord’s Will.
Many people seem to want to know what The Lord’s plan is for their lives, but they overlook the fact that 98% of His will is already delineated carefully through His Word. The Lord is very clear about many, many aspects of His will. For instance, it is clearly His plan that we abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
If we do not obey the things that The Lord has shown us clearly to be His will, why would we think He would reveal any further information regarding His plan for our lives? Obedience is an important first step. Prove you can be responsible in small things and he’ll give you bigger responsibilities. If you can’t give up running your life and let The Lord do it, why trouble him with more requests? This is like arguing with someone after you request her opinion. If you don’t want to hear her opinion, don’t request to hear it. If you don’t want to let The Lord lead your life, don’t claim to be a Christian, because you’re not really – not until you are willing to see him as your monarch and follow his commandments!
4) Seek The Lordly input.
One key component to finding The Lord’s will is to seek the input of The Lordly advisors in your life. If you don’t currently have 3-4 The Lordly mentors, then I would highly recommend that you seek them out right away.
Think of it this way: you should understand that you are basically a composite of the five people you spend the most time with. So, then, it is vital that you choose those five people well. If you choose to surround yourself with The Lordly advisors, they will be instrumental in helping you discern The Lord’s plan for your life. But if you surround yourself with people who are far from The Lord, your hope of finding His best for your life will be greatly diminished.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
The church is designed to help you greatly with this. I would encourage you to be in church every single time the doors are opened. The more you involve yourself with a community of believers, the greater your chances will be of finding The Lordly men and women who can help you discern The Lord’s will.
5) Pay attention to how The Lord has wired you.
The Lord has created you to fulfill a specific role in this world. There is no one else who can achieve completely what The Lord has purposely created you to do.
The Apostle Peter gives us this admonition:
1 Peter 4:10
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of The Lord.
The Lord has gifted every one of us to perform a special mission for which we alone were created. How amazing is that? Wow!
So, when you seek to discover The Lord’s will for your life, pay attention to how He has gifted you. His plan for you will always be directly related to the gifts that He has bestowed upon you. The great news is that you will automatically be good at whatever it is that He has called you to do!
6) Listen to The Lord’s Spirit.
I experienced a major turning point in my own prayer life when I learned simply to shut up while I was praying. That may sound odd to you, and it seemed odd to me at first.
You see, I used to do all the talking when I prayed to The Lord. But then, several years ago, I read Bill Hybel’s book, Too Busy Not to Pray. That book completely changed the way I approached The Lord through prayer. Since reading that book, I have added a significant component to my prayer life: listening. I take time to listen to what The Lord might have to say to me.
Practically, the way I go about this is to bring a notepad with me when I sit down to pray. Then I write at the top of several pages things like the following:
- “What is the next step in my career?”
- “What is the next step in my ministry?”
- “What is the next step for my family?”
- “What is the next step for my marriage?”
- “What is the next step in my education?”
- “What is the next step in my finances?”
During my prayer time, I meditate on questions such as the above. Often, The Lord will start flooding my heart with ideas and information regarding one or more of those questions. I write as fast as I can as He speaks to my heart. What a glorious experience that is to sense His Spirit on me, guiding my thoughts and words.
Through experiences like this, He has shown me many times with great clarity what His will is for my life. I long for those experiences when He speaks to me like that. Those times are truly life changing.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
7) Listen to your heart.
In addition to listening to the Spirit, I also recommend listening to your heart. To understand my point here, consider the following passage:
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. (NKJV)
I love this passage, because it shows me that, when I am walking with the Lord, He will actually let me do many really cool things that I actually love to do! When you are close to Him, He actually begins to shape your desires so that you desire the things that He has already called you to do.
So then, His plan actually becomes a super-exciting adventure. I always have the most fun in life when I am doing The Lord’s will. And that is because He shapes my “wanter” to want to do the things for which He has actually created me.