It's one of the most asked questions - How can I know God's will for my life? I would say that it's second only to "How should you pray?"
We began tackling these and other quetsions last week @ The Park. This week will be about prayer questions. Here's some of what I shared - and some of what I didn't have time for - concerning knowing God's will for our lives.
God wants us to know His will for each of us. He doesn't play hide and seek with it. He doesn't throw a package out in the world and challenge us to go find it. He wants us to know. So why do so many people have a hard time figuring it out?
It all starts with a surrendered heart, a willingness to go where He says go, to stay where He says stay and to move when He says move. When we put limits on what we'll do or where we'll go - "I'll go anywhere but there, Lord!" - God's will will become unclear.
Second for me is the most important of the next steps. It's what I call my deep theological systematic method for discovering God's will: PAY ATTENTION! That's really the key. So often people believe God's will is going to be something they don't like, something that will make them miserable and in some place that they don't like. I have not found that to be the case.
Pay attention to what makes your heart sing. Pay attention to the people you run across and the experiences you have. A question I've learned to ask: "When is my life at its fullest and most fulfilled?" There's a good chance God's will is going to be found in that mix.
I have a gift for teaching and I know God's will for me is to teach in the church and to teach pastors around the world. So that's what I pursue. I love it. It's energizing to my soul. There are some places God has led us that we weren't sure about going, but it wasn't about the place. It was about meeting God there, in the place He was waiting for us.
That leads to the next thing: knowing God's will is more about knowing God than what, where and when. What I mean is, when we pay attention to our relationship with God first, all the other pieces tend to fall into place. Pursue God and we won't limit the who, what, where and when of His will for our lives. When we want God more than anything else, then we're well on our way to living out His will for our lives.
The final point I shared was this: Faithfulness in the small things. I heard of a Pastor who taught a great message on his first Sunday. The second Sunday he gave the same message. The third Sunday it was again the same. Someone boldly asked: "Are you ever going to give a different message?" The Pastor replied: "Sure. When we start doing this piece we'll go onto the next one."
There is already so much of God's will revealed in His Word, we should start concentrating on making sure we're doing those things. They need no special word from God. Things like don't lie, no cheating, live generously, keep sex in marriage, serve others…..All of these and more are clearly spelled out in God's Word.
As we build a life of faithfulness to God's revealed will, His personal will becomes more clear. Faithfulness in small things leads to the revealing of bigger things.
Knowing and following God's will will take each of us to places we never dreamed of, to do things we couldn't have imagined and into relationships that we could have never expected.
Where can you start down the path to knowing and following God's will for your life?