I have been asked many questions since I became a pastor. Some are theological (though a bit trivial): “Where did Cain get his wife?” Some are inquisitive (if somewhat insensitive): “What do you do all day every day? “
But some are very practical, and one of these probably has been asked more than any other: “How can I know God’s will for my life?” In every church I have ever served, and in every community in which I have ever lived, someone has asked me that question. And the reason is simple: We long to know what God has in mind for our lives. We do not want to miss out on his best for our lives, so we continue to ask and think, “What is God’s will for my life?”
I actually am reading another book this week entitled “God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions.” It is one of more than a dozen books I have on my shelf that seeks to know God’s will for how we live. With all of the books and articles I have read on the subject, there is no way I can summarize it all for you in one brief column.
But there are some things about God’s will that I believe I can know and tell you today. In the first place, I know that it is God’s will for you to know him and to have a personal relationship with him. The Bible says that God is patient with us, “not wanting anyone to perish” (2 Peter 3:9). He sent his son Jesus to show us that great and marvelous love. God wants you to come to him in faith and to trust him for salvation. But most of us believe that God has a more specific will for our lives. I am convinced that God called me to become a pastor. Without that divine call, I would have given up long ago. Others he calls to be teachers, lawyers, doctors, business people and service workers. I believe that almost any job can be your “vocation” or calling.
When people ask me how they can determine God’s will, my answer is always the same: “You need to read the Bible and pray. You need to worship God regularly and grow closer in your relationship to him.” That is not a fancy answer. It seems rather simplistic. But it is a good one, for it is in knowing God personally that we can know his will.
Do you know God’s will for your life? Would you like to know it? Jesus came to give us what he called “abundant life” — that is life to its fullest. You can have that. It begins one step at a time through prayer, Bible study, worship and faithful service to the Lord. To know his will, you must choose to obey what you already know. I pray that you will seek and find God’s will for your life. It is the only way to experience abundant life.