6 Ways to Know God’s Will in Your Life

How do we discover the specific will of God in our lives? Here are some practical suggestion adapted and extracted from an article by Emery Nester in his Book C: Beginning Your Ministry.

It is important that all these factors work together and that none be used in isolation.

  • Consider what you think you would like to do. This could involve teaching, witnessing, or perhaps doing some physical activity on behalf of the church. We might refer to this as an inward impulse. Caution: This is not valid in every case, however. Jonah is an example listening to a  wrong inner impulse. His inward impulse was to flee. (Jonah 1:3)
  • There will be Scriptural confirmation. By this is meant that there will be instruction from the Word of God. We must be sure that we follow the teaching of the Holy Spirit and never move contrary to the Word of God.
  • The third thing is the trend of circumstances. This is simply an open door or an opportunity to do what you would like to do. God leads by opening and shutting doors.
  • Overall peace is an important consideration. This means simply that you have a settled and good feeling about the whole situation. Even with the previous three variables present, it would be foolish to consider the activity or direction inwardly unless you felt an overall peace about the matter.
  • The confirmation of the local church, is likewise important. Wise council is an important source of God’s leading. Listen to the advice of your trusted advisors. Think and pray about their comments.
  • In each of these things, it is obviously assumed that prayer is involved…that you have sought His face and direction in each matter. (James 1:5-8)

One should be very careful about asking God for a fleece, or a sign. (Judges 6:37-40) Doing so may be testing God and indicate a lack of faith. Don’t forget, God gives us ‘common sense’ – use it.

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4 responses to “6 Ways to Know God’s Will in Your Life

  1. I’ve had moments where all but one of these has occurred. Unfortunately, I am very leery of my current church, as I am seeing some very bad influences rapidly creeping in. I’m afraid I can’t trust their judgement very much nowadays, and there is no church I have seen yet in our location that I would trust implicitly. So I rely on the brothers and sisters I have come to know who have shown themselves to be truly a part of the greater Church; this earthly body of Christ. I am blessed to have such a group at my side, even if they’re scattered across the globe! 🙂

    When everything clicks together and you feel it down to your very marrow, isn’t it the most incredible feeling? I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  2. Denita, I too have been disappointed by churches. But I am not surprised by this, because my reading of the early church leads me to conclude that churches and problems go hand-in-hand. In fact, we might not have Paul’s letters had it not been for ‘church troubles’.

    And why would I be surprised when I discover this is still the case? I dare say none of us have attended a perfect church – and if we have, then it isn’t perfect anymore because we are not perfect. I know that my fallen nature, even though a redeemed child of God, will corrupt anything I put my hand to.

    Never-the-less, I have not lost confidence in the ability of God’s people to minister to me in a church environment. I’m certainly not willing to give up on church because I know that God hasn’t.

    I’ll pray for you that God will lead you to a gathering of His people where you can feel safe and whom you can trust.

    • Thank you for your prayers, Don…the church we have been going to is suffering from some very serious poison that has been creeping in for some time, but has now festered to the point of exploding last December. Shortly before Christmas our pastor left the church in disgust. It was very sudden, and unfortunately he is partly to blame because he was theologically weak and unable to steer the church with a firm hand. The deacon body was split and half the deacons walked out, plus their families and friends. In the void that was left, unhealthy elements have crept in: halfhearted quasi-Christians who are more interested in “churching” than in the Gospel, insidiously secretive members who think they know what’s best for the church and seek to sway the majority to their side with honeyed words and loaded statements, and self-righteous and proud men uninterested in healing the rift but on exploiting it to elevate their pet outreach project.

      I know that there is no such thing as a perfect church, and I never expected the establishment I have gone to since my rebirth into new life to be unblemished. In fact, shortly after we went there I was told just how stained the reputation of that church is–it’s had problems and scandals on every level almost since the day the doors first opened 40 years ago. But in the short time that I’ve been there I could see one thing, and that is that the Word still lit the place up, even if many of its members failed to notice that. But now the lampstand is flickering, Don, and threatening to be extinguished completely. None of the fill-in pastors has preached a strong sermon. Many of them concentrate on a single passage of Scripture and then spend the rest of the hour rambling. One of the substitute pastors literally spent the entire hour tickling the ears of the crowd, lifting up several members of the audience as if it was they who deserved praise and worship instead of Almighty God Himself! His “sermon” was so disgusting we walked out of it. Unfortunately, his false gospel has inspired a notoriously charismatic but spiritually weak deacon (who just happened to be the one whose outreach program received the most emphatic praise,) to push to have this wolf installed as the church’s next resident pastor.

      We have remained there because, as I described it to a friend, “under that roof is the largest local concentration of unreached people desperately needing the true Gospel of Christ.” Of course I do not set myself or my husband up as some pristine marble pillars of Truth rising from the rubble, but I do pray that at least a little of the light of Christ may shine through in me and my husband, and perhaps set the people there afire with desire for the true real and undiminished Gospel. Perhaps the fire of the Truth will chase these wolves away. Or if we have to leave, illuminate our path to a church that still clings to God’s Word.

  3. Denita, you and your husband know what is best here. Indeed, you have described a difficult situation. Your decision to stay to influence the direction of the church to one that is Gospel centred is the right first choice. I’ve done the same.

    However, you should give yourselves a deadline. Determine a future time at which you will re-evaluate whether God has enabled you both to progress towards this objective.

    The one caution I add is what I call the ‘frog in the pot’ syndrome. You know – if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out to save itself. However, take the same frog and place it in a pot of cold water on the stove, slowly raise the water temperature until it reaches boiling. The frog will become accustomed to the water temperature as it increases to the point of death. The application is obvious – be vigilant and in prayer that God will give you and your husband discernment in this situation.

    Let us know how you go.

    You are in my prayers, Sister Denita.

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