The Question, “How can I know the will of God for my life?”

  • Oftentimes when people express a desire to know God’s will for their life, what they mean is they want God to reveal his specific plans and purposes for them through some miraculous intervention (i.e. a burning bush, a talking donkey, an angelic visitation, etc.).
  • While God does sometimes speak to humanity through such engagement, more often we discern his will for our lives through more basic (though still miraculous) means: Scripture, prayer, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Bible is God’s inspired word, his special revelation of truth to men and women (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As such, we can confidently go to Scripture to discern God’s will and to find guidance for our lives (Psalm 119:105).
  • Prayer is another powerful tool for discerning God’s will. God invites his people to approach him through prayer in every situation (Philippians 4:6). Furthermore, God’s word assures us that he hears and answers our prayers (Psalm 17:6; Proverbs 15:29; 1 John 5:14-15).
  • God also reveals his will through the guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives within all who’ve placed their trust in Jesus Christ (John 14:15-18, 26-27; Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:12).
  • When seeking God’s will for your life it is important to remember that God is immutable, he does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). Therefore, we can be assured that God will never lead us on a path that is contrary to his previously revealed truth in Scripture.
  • If you ever think to yourself, “I believe God wants me to (fill in the blank)”; and if that idea is contrary to what God has already revealed in Scripture, you can be sure it’s not God who is leading you.

For more information on the nature of God and discerning his will, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, What is God Like? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.