Seeking His Will
For many of us, finding God’s will for our lives may seem illusive. In fact, people frequently ask me, How can I find God's will for my life? My response may shock you. Finding God's will is much easier than we make it. Here are four steps to help identify God’s will and purpose for your life.
1. Understand Your Calling as a Christian
The reality is, God has revealed most of His will to us in His Word already.
All Christians are “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). In fact, the word “church” in the original Greek refers to those "called out"-in a spiritual sense, called out of the world to God. So every Christian has a divine purpose: "to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" (Ephesians 4:1). We have a purpose as servants of Christ to carry out the instructions He left with His apostles-to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples in all the nations of the world (Matthew 28:19-20).
Are we living according to God’s revealed will? If we expect God to reveal to us His will that we don’t know, we need to adhere to His will that we do know. That's the important first step.
2. Identify Your Spiritual Gift(s)
Discovering God's will and calling at a personal level can be a little more challenging.
A good place to start is by identifying your spiritual gift(s). God has created each of us with special talents and abilities, but He's also given us unique gifts powered by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11). Our spiritual gifts are a serious indicator of what God expects us to do for Him (Romans 12:4-8).
The best way to identify your spiritual gift is to start serving in various capacities. What brings you joy? Where are you bearing fruit? Seek out ways to minister within your church and community. Be sure to get counsel from others about the effectiveness of your ministry-if you are sure you know your spiritual gift(s), there should be other, wise believers that agree.
3. Live Actively, Not Passively
Don't wait for God to show you His personal will. Assume that you are in His will today and that He will guide you and reveal more as you walk with Him. That means it's time to take action.
Many of us wish God would send us a letter in the mail detailing the next five years. And even though we know He won't, we can waste our energy sitting around waiting for that clear “sign.” Or worse, allow other people to control and direct the course of our life. But we were each designed to actively fulfill a unique purpose during our time on earth-one that both glorifies our Father and brings us great joy!
This year, let's live, pray, and minister every day with conviction that He has a calling for our lives. Be proactive-”stir up the gift of God which is in you” (2 Timothy 1:6). Ask God for wisdom and direction (James 1:5). Tell Him you want to do what He has created and called you to do. Don't be guilty of having not because you asked not (James 4:2).
4. Nurture Your Calling
When we actively and obediently serve the Lord, He will reveal His will for us. As He does, we are held accountable and responsible for nurturing that will-being faithful to what God has called us to do.
Think of it as the difference between being a child and a steward. A child is a seekerwhile a steward is a server. A child wants to know “What?” while a steward asks “Where and When?” A child is curious-”What is your will for me?”-while a steward is committed: “I’m here to do Your will, O Lord.”
When God gives us the direction we seek, we need to be faithful stewards of that will and act on it. It is God's responsibility to show us His will for our life and our responsibility to nurture His calling and perfect it for His glory.
I know of no more energizing factor in the Christian life than a personal conviction of knowing and fulfilling God’s call for your life. I challenge you to pursue His will and perfect it for His glory as you embark on this new year.
For more from Dr. Jeremiah on finding God's will, check out his latest book, RESET-Ten Steps to Spiritual Renewal.
Here are 12 Bible verses of renewal to help keep God first!