35. How can you know for sure if you are following God's will?
The Bible teaches that "we walk by faith, not by sight." That means perceiving God's will is not always easy. Our own desires get in the way often and it is nearly as difficult to differentiate what we want from what God wants. Over the years, I have absorbed a series of suggestions from others that have provided tremendous assistance. Perhaps you, too, will find them helpful.
- Is it explicitly taught or prohibited in Scripture? If Scripture has something to say about the issue in question, that settles it.
- Does Scripture, correctly reasoned, provide implied insight? One must remember that the believer does not live under law, but often Scriptural teaching has many applications; one of those applications might speak to God's will on a given issue.
- What do others say? Solomon said, "In many counselors, there is wisdom." If you are seeking God's will, seek out counselors who can guide you. Seek out friends, elders in the church, ministers, or other spiritual leaders who can help.
- What are the circumstances? Are you facing an "open door" or has God effectively "shut the door?" Recognizing the circumstances may reveal to you God's will.
- Can you discern what you "really" want? It is possible that God may prompt you to do something you would really like to do.
- Have you prayed about it?
- In the last resort, when you can't decide God's will flip a coin. After doing so, if you say, "Maybe I should go 2 out of 3. If so, you know what you really want and can make your decision."
There are two things to remember in all of this: (1) God's will for your life is that you love him and serve him in some way that makes use of the spiritual gifts and talents he has given you. (2) "...all things work together for good to them that love God..." (from Romans 8:28 KJV). Even if you were to make a bad decision, God can take that and bring good out of it. I could provide you with a hundred examples in my own life, but it would take far more space than you'll find on this server.
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