So the real question is – How do you know what God’s will is for your life? What does God want us to do? Which career does God want me to choose? What job does God want me to do? Who does God want me to marry? What ministry does God want me to do? What type of pizza does God really want me to eat?
Wrong Views of God’s Will
You hear all the time people saying, “Well, I’m just searching for God’s will.” Like God is the cosmic Easter bunny and He took His will and He hid it, and now He is saying, “You’re getting warmer.”
Or some people think God’s will is something that God will enlighten you to find. Like getting some word from the Lord and looking for the signs on the road. Having some esoteric knowledge that God is laying hints for. Like, “Oh, I never saw that stop sign at the end of my road, but I did just the other day for the first time, so that must mean that God wants me to not go to that job interview.”
Or some people just think that people like pastors and missionaries and people who preach know God’s will but not everyone else. Like they have a different path or connection to God that reveals His will.
Some popular Christian authors and pastors say they hear from God through books and movies, and low whispers or juts follow their passions and follow their heart or emotions. The problem with this is that these are subjective and you end up being the one who has to interpret what those little nudges and whispers mean.
The Biblical View of God’s Will
I’m going to say something that may sound crazy but it is the key to this question – If you have these 5 prerequisites down, you can do anything you want and you will be in the will of God. I’ll say that again – if you have these next five things down, you can do absolutely anything you want and you will be in God’s will.
Pre-Req #1 – Be saved. Being in God’s will starts with repenting and putting your trust in Christ alone for your salvation. Apart from being born-again and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you have no power to be able to be living within God’s will (1 Timothy 2:4)
Pre-Req #2 – Be Spirit filled, or to be totally controlled by the Spirit. The Spirit-filled life yields every decision to the control of the Spirit. Living every moment as though you are standing in the presence of Christ. Being saturated with the things of Christ – His Word and His person. (Ephesians 5:17)
Pre-Req #3 – Be sanctified – be set apart from sin. Be pure for the purposes of sanctification and honor. (1 Thess. 4:3)
Pre-Req #4 – Submit. Be submissive to parents and other believers. Talk to people who are saved and Spirit-filled and sanctified and get their Godly wisdom. And submit to the Word of God – if it goes against God’s Word or the laws of the land, then don’t do it. (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Pre-Req #5 – Suffering through serving. You must be serving the Lord and experiencing some degree of suffering for the sake of the gospel and others to be within God’s will. (Philippians 1:29)
If your life has these five pre-requisites down, then do whatever you want. If those five elements of God’s will are operating in your life, who is running your wants? God is. And He will give you the right desires and you will fulfill His will.
Note: The five prerequisites come from John MacArthur’s book Found: God’s Will.