How To Know Gods Will

Many Christians have great ideas and even dreams of what they could do for the Lord... but, they are afraid that their dreams may not be from God. So, they sit back and do nothing. Being fearful of being outside of God's will can paralyze them and stop them from doing anything for God.

In these last days we need to be in the will of God. We don't have time to waste. We don't have time to sit and wonder what to do. The body of Christ needs to know exactly where the Lord's will is for us to be. We need to know exactly what the Lord's will is for us to do. And we need to know it, and do it, NOW!

The Bible tells us many things about knowing God's will. We don't have to "shoot in the dark" because the Bible reveals some very specific ways for us to know God's will.

Paul Describes God's Will

(Rom 12:1-2 NKJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, 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 God. (NIV="SO THEN")

The Old Testament has "so that" "so then" passages too, one is Joshua 1:8, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, THAT you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. FOR THEN you will make your way prosperous, AND THEN you will have good success.

First of all we need to get it into our minds that there are not three wills of God! One will. It is good acceptable and perfect. The word perfect here means "mature." The J. B. Philips Translation says, " you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all of His demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity."

God doesn't have anything less than a "perfect" plan for you! God's will is always good for you. It always meets His approval. And it always causes growth and maturity in the Truth.

In verse two, Paul tells us that we can prove what is the will of God, but we must notice in this verse the word, "that." The word "that" links this phrase with the context of the first verse suggesting that we are not able to prove what God's will is unless we first meet the conditions listed in these verses. So, we can see that there are conditions for knowing the will of God.

Before we explore this scripture let's look at another place where Paul lists conditions to knowing God's will.

(Eph 5:14-21 NKJV) Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." [15] See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, [16] redeeming the time, because the days are evil. [17] Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. [18] And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, [19] speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, [20] giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, [21] submitting to one another in the fear of God.

In these two passages, we can quickly pick out some key words that are going to help us understand the conditions of knowing God's will. We have to meet these conditions before we can even be candidates for knowing the will of God. Before we can even ask what God's will is we must meet certain requirements.

Prerequisites To Knowing God's Will

There are preliminary conditions to the privilege of receiving God's Will for your life. (Sort of like getting a driver's license.)

We must present our bodies as living sacrifices to God.

Because of the mercies of God we can do this. Let's put Rom. 12:1-2 into context.

Rom. 9:15-23-- We are the clay on the potter's wheel. His mercy determines the quality of the vessel we become. Rom. 11:30-32-- Paul is still talking about the mercy of God. He says that even those who were not originally predestined by the mercy of God through a good pattern on the potter's wheel have now obtained the mercy of God and are eligible for good things from God.

Because of the mercies of God which have made us all targets for good things from God, it is easy for us to place our lives on God's altar. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11).

Knowing that God will do only good with the clay that submits itself to the wheel, we can confidently climb onto the potter's work bench and give ourselves to His will.

We cannot be conformed to this world. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We cannot live our lives with the same mental attitudes of the world. Worldly thinking puts others down to make a place for you. Believers promote others and, in that, we get our promotion. We must do unto others as we would have others do unto us. Our way of thinking does not fit into the world's mold. We allow God's Word to shape our thoughts. The attitude of the world will not allow us to find the will of God because God's will supersedes that way of thinking.

(Isa 55:8-9 NKJV) For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. v.9, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. We cannot see God's plan for our lives while looking through human reasoning, therefore, we are challenged to wake up! Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." (Eph 5:14). We need to wake up and pay attention to God's Word. We don't want to be so spiritually dull that we cannot hear the answer when it comes! Some even need to be raised from the dead. The carnal man does not comprehend the spiritual.

(Rom 8:7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

(1 Cor 3:1) And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see [comprehend] the kingdom of God." (John 3:3).

We Must Walk Circumspectly.

Circumspect is from two Latin words; circum means "round." Spect means "to look." We have to be looking around. To see where we are. To know the situation at hand. We must be aware of the Kingdom of God, the Body, the local church, and the needs of people. We need to know where we are in relationship to what is going on around us. You will not be able to see the needs of people (your ministry) if you don't look around. If we do not see hungry people, we will never be able to hear God tell us to go feed them. If we do not see the hurting people, then we will not be open for the will of the Lord to come into us concerning healing ministries. If we do not see a people starving for the Word of God, then we will not be open to hear the Lord say, "I want you to go preach." If you do not look for a need to be filled--you are selfish and ungodly. A circumspect person does not step in mud puddles. Avoid pitfalls by staying out of things that are definitely not God's will. Then it is easy to see what is God's will. We cannot sit down and expect God to do all the work, we must be walking, and we must be looking around.

A friend gave me a good example of walking circumspectly. It is when you are in a department store and you know what you want and you are looking for it specifically. You cannot even be distracted by the store clerk. You are looking around determined to find the item in the store. You really don't need the help of the clerk. You just need to locate what you already have in mind to purchase.

If we are going to be candidates for God's will we must be REDEEMING THE TIME, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:16).

Paul goes one step further than what he said in Romans twelve. There he said not to be affected by the world; here, he says that we are to have an effect on the world Because the world is evil, we must be active agents to change it. Jesus said that we are in the world but not of the world. (John 17:14-15) I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [15] I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

You can't just sit back and say, "Well, in the Lord's time, whatever is going to happen is going to happen." No, the Lord says,"...make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days." (Eph. 5:16 Phillips) As we are going along trying to do what we think is God's will, then He is going to open our understanding to truly know His will.

The Next Thing Is To Be Wise.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, (Eph. 5:15).

(James 1:5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James goes on to say,"...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (3:17). We must ask God for wisdom. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of wisdom; He gives wisdom and revelation.

(Eph 1:17-19) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, [18] the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.

Paul prayed for the church that they would be open to that spirit of wisdom. We can receive that spirit of wisdom even if we don't feel like we have a lot of intellect of our own. Paul is not talking about human intellect. Paul was talking about the spiritual wisdom and insight that gives us a greater knowledge of God.

It is a true saying that it's not so much what you know that counts, but who you know that counts. We can know many things in life, but if we do not know Him we are lost and ignorant of the truth. The Holy Spirit can take average people and turn them into powerful men and women of God. Peter was a man of limited knowledge. A fisherman with a limited education. (Acts 4:13) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

A Positive Attitude

The next thing Paul tells us to have is a positive attitude. Eph. 5:19, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

If we are afraid to do a thing or if we have a low self-image, then we are not in the attitude of a renewed mind. God's will for us is to be positive. We must speak faith-filled words and not words of doubt and unbelief. Paul never mentioned singing the blues!

These are some basic keys that we have to have before we are even candidates to be able to see the will of God. But, there is one last thing. We have to be submitting members of the Body of Christ. The requirement is listed in both the Romans passage and the Ephesians letter. The Lord will not bless a "Lone Ranger Christian." All of us need the Body. When we begin to know the will of God, we need to confirm it through the Body of Christ and then execute it in harmony with the full Body.

(1 Cor 12:12-27) For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. [13] For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. [14] For in fact the body is not one member but many. [15] If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? [16] And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? [18] But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. [19] And if they were all one member, where would the body be? [20] But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. [21] And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you;" nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." [22] No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. [23] And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, [24] but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, [25] that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. [26] And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. [27] Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

There are so many questions by so many Christians who are frustrated, They are earnestly seeking to know God's will for their lives in general, or they are desperate to know His will concerning an important decision at hand.

How can a person who feels that God is leading him into ministry be sure it is God's will? It is certainly an important and crucial decision to make. It is useless and even dangerous for that person to go into the wrong field of ministry. If God wants you in India, then you don't want to be in Indiana. If you are where God wants you to be and you leave that place merely because you must undergo certain trials in order to stay you will certainly fail.

Success will evade the person who, is driven by an enthusiasm to serve the Lord, sells his business in order to preach the gospel. When God's will for him is to be a Christian businessman where he is. He will be as out of place as the person who has failed to answer the call to preach, and has gone into business instead. Or, when one is not sure he has made the right decision about a thing being in line with God's will, it will be difficult to determine, if he finds himself going through trying circumstances, weather these experiences are "trials of his faith," or chastisement for his impulsiveness.

How can we be sure just what God's will is in decisions which confront us? How can we avoid costly blunders and pitfalls? You can be sure of one thing--that you don't have to beg God to guide you into His will. Time and time again in Scripture He tells us of His willingness and desire to give understanding of His will for our lives. God has promised to direct our paths if we will be determined to meet His prerequisites and become a candidate for receiving His will for our lives.