Isn’t this an age old question? As we begin our journey in faith, and as we begin to truly desire to follow God, we must answer this question..what is God calling me to? What is His plan for my life?
And honestly, it is very easy for our own will to determine our path and guide our decisions rather than God. We can often hear our own thoughts so much louder than what God is trying to speak to us.
Look at this example from today’s reading in 2 Samuel 4..two guys who think they are obeying God and doing a good thing are actually going against what God desires and David punishes them.
5 One day Recab and Baanah.. went to Ishbosheth’s house around noon.. 7 They went into the house and found Ishbosheth sleeping on his bed. They struck and killed him and cut off his head. Then, taking his head with them, they fled across the Jordan Valley through the night.
8 When they arrived at Hebron, they presented Ishbosheth’s head to David. “Look!” they exclaimed to the king. “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you. Today the LORD has given my lord the king revenge on Saul and his entire family!”
9 But David said to Recab and Baanah, “The LORD, who saves me from all my enemies, is my witness.10 Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ thinking he was bringing me good news. But I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his news!
11 How much more should I reward evil men who have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed? Shouldn’t I hold you responsible for his blood and rid the earth of you?”
12 So David ordered his young men to kill them, and they did.
The conversation on this topic doesn’t end here. And it is too vast to cover in one blog post. So, I thought I would include a teaching I read a while back from Dr. Charles Stanley about how to discern God’s will. I hope this helps:
How can you discover God’s plan for you?
A. The Bible: Apply scriptural truth so you won’t drift away from God’s will (Ps. 119:105).
B. Prayer: The Lord promises to guide us when we pray according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).
C. Circumstances: For a child of God, there is no such thing as coincidence. .
D. Godly counsel: Before taking advice, make sure the person counseling you leads a righteous life. Ask, “What do you think the Word of God says I should do?”
E. Your conscience: It is the moral filter of your life. Develop a godly conscience by saturating your mind with the Word of God, and your decisions will become more Christlike over time.
F. Restless spirit: Dr. Stanley has always felt restless before major life changes. When this happens, it’s wise to ask God, “What are You saying to me?”
G. Unusual manifestations: The Lord sometimes reveals His will in unusual ways (Ex. 3:2; Acts 16:9).
What are some hindrances to discovering God’s will?
A. Self-will: If you have already made up your mind, it will be difficult to hear what the Lord wants you to do.
B. The influence of others: They may comment that God wouldn’t expect you to make such a large sacrifice—and thereby discourage you from obeying.
C. Ignorance of God’s Word: We know so little about Scripture because we read so little. Deeper study can lead to deeper insights.
D. Doubt: Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find.” Don’t second-guess God’s promises will (James 1:6-8).
E. Unworthiness: Don’t believe the lie that you are undeserving of the Lord’s guidance or grace.
F. Busyness: If your life is too full to pray, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.
G. Fear: When revealed, God’s will can seem impossible or foolish. But remember, the Lord can bring good out of every situation (Rom. 8:28).
H. Known sin: If you are determined to live a rebellious life, the Father will not fully reveal His will to you.
How can you know for sure that you’ve heard Him correctly? Ask yourself these questions:
A. Is it consistent with the Word of God?
B. Is it a wise decision?
C. Can I honestly ask the Lord to help me achieve this?
D. Do I have genuine peace about it?
E. Does this decision fit who I am as a follower of Jesus? Does it fit the Lord’s overall plan for my life?
F. Will this decision honor God?