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Discovering God's Will for You

by Stephen Davey

In the 2018 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a chance to win Game 1 and take an early lead in the series. The game was tied and JR Smith got the ball with four seconds left in the game. Smith’s teammates screamed for him to pass the ball, so one of them could take a shot to potentially win the game.

But Smith inexplicably dribbled the ball around the court, wasting time until the clock ran out, and the game went to overtime.

Afterwards, a video camera caught Smith telling one of his teammates that he thought the Cavaliers were winning the game when he recovered the ball with a few seconds left. He was wasting time because he thought his team was winning, not tied.

Maybe you can relate to feeling like you were doing the right thing in the moment regarding a decision, a career, or a family matter—only to tragically discover that you were missing some crucial detail, and what you thought was the right thing was actually completely wrong.

Maybe you thought God was calling you to quit your job because a hostile coworker was relentlessly persecuting you and only after quitting did you realize that God wanted to use you to display his unconditional grace and forgiveness to that coworker.

Maybe you prayerfully sought God’s direction on a difficult life decision but felt like God wasn’t responding to your plea for wisdom. You made a decision and later came to regret it, because you realized that God’s silence was His direction to remain still and patient and not rush into action.

Frankly, understanding the will of God can be difficult at times. A lack of strong biblical knowledge can lead us to misinterpret God’s spoken will through His Word. And what about the decisions in life we have to make where the Bible doesn’t give a clear command? How can we find God’s will for us in those matters?

Beyond following the revealed will of God—the clearly spelled out commands, prohibitions and principles for living—I encourage Christians to pray, stay in the Word, talk to mature Christians and wait until the Lord makes things clear.

In the meantime, be encouraged:

The believer has been given every tool needed to find the will of God.

When Jesus first warned His disciples that He would leave them to go to Heaven, Jesus promised not to leave them empty-handed. He told his disciples, “[The Holy Spirit] will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

The apostle Paul expanded on this truth when he wrote, “Do not get drunk with wine, … but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). When someone is pulled over for driving drunk, they are charged with “driving under the influence” of alcohol. Paul is urging us to not be under the influence of wine but rather to be under the influence of the Spirit.

A drunk person is effectively surrendering their body and their mind to the influence and will of their drunken impulses. A Spirit-filled person is quite literally surrendering their body and their mind to the influence and will of God. So, let’s tune out the distractions and tune into God’s Spirit, letting Him guide and lead us from the inside.

The believer recognizes the results of following the will of God.

God has clearly declared to us what the will of God looks like when properly lived out in our lives. In two different passages of Scripture, the apostle Paul writes out a list of attributes of the person walking in God’s will. In Romans 12, he writes, “… by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Later in Galatians 5:22-23, Paul writes out the “fruits of the Spirit.”

The truth is, you won’t find one verse in Scripture telling you to go discover the will of God. What God lays out for us in these two passages is the blueprint for the will of God, a blueprint that allows us to daily hold ourselves accountable to His standard.

Do you want to know if you are living in the will of God?

Examine your life. Is it good? Is it acceptable? Is it perfect?

The answer you provide is the only discovery you need.

Add a Comment


Dorothy Anne Barfield says:
Thank you Stephen for this very timely lesson. I've been trying to get a visa back to India and apparently God does not want me to return at this time. I was deported for not having a new visa even though I had 34 months left on my old visa. I've been turned down 18 times for a new visa over silly things. I feel like I'm in limbo. Im not sure where the Lord wants me. I feel like I'm missing something or I need to learn something or change something. Maybe God just wants me to depend on Him and to be still. I guess being 70 years old I feel like my time is running out. Father give me patience.
Betsy says:
Helpful commentary here.
Paul Tilley sr. says:
I am a little over the age of having piers, at near 83 years old, but still being able to study and learn ( tho slowly). One thing I have noticed in these days is that the preaching is in error about salvation. Saying the resurrection is past and turning people from the faith, (2 Tim. 2/18 ), ( 1 Peter 1/9 ), Rom. 13/11 ) , Phil.2/12,13 . We are shooting for wrong team. sign ACTS 14/22
Brian says:
Thank you for this article. Discerning God's will is a subject I believe most Christians struggle with no matter how mature they are in Christ. One observation I would like to make is I believe many Christians use "finding God's will for my life" as an excuse to avoid doing anything that may upset their comfortable life. I have a question. When seeking God's will for a decision should we expect a specific yes or no answer from God for every decision? A few years ago my family was contemplating a cross country move. We prayed and read the Word but we never received a definite yes or no from God. A well meaning Christian brother was insistent that we should not make a decision until we had a specific yes or no from God and He had provided specific details as to when and how we were to make the move if He said yes. We went ahead and made the move. The way events transpired that allowed us to make the move successfully we are convinced that God was waiting for us to make a decision before opening the doors of blessing. Does God sometimes operate in this manner in regards to revealing His will to us or should we wait for for specifics from Him. Thank you for reading my lengthy message.
alice gutierrez says:
This commentary brought me to tears. I love listening to you on BBN every week. At 78 years old, finding myself stretching thin to help friends and family members who are hurting and in need of help is so rewarding. The beautiful thing is that God gives us a situation and then he puts it all together before our eyes. It's amazing to see God's hand in it. He is faithful. I see myself blessed and humbled by God's grace.
Barbara Glisson says:
I don't know how I came to receive this weekly blog, but I'm so glad to be receiving it. I have a great admiration for Stephen's thoughts and timely presentations, and I learn so much from his comments. I am blessed sharing to to attend a church with a Bible preaching pastor, and Stephen just enhances my spiritual life. From time to time I am able to make a small contribution to Wisdom International and I will continue to support this ministry. Thank you for gearing your sharing to real life. May Gd continue to bless your ministry.
Timothy Amoroso says:
I will confess my iniquity. I will be sorry for my sin. When I sit back and examined my life and ask, is it perfect? The answer is no. What is the standard of perfection? The law? Perhaps. But I would say Jesus is the standard of perfection. And when I examine my life to His, I fall short big time. So the only thing I can do at this point is kneel down before Him and ask Him to forgive me? He is present even here with me because He sent His Holy Spirit. And as I do that, I realize His will is for me to recieve His forgiveness as a free gift because He loves me. And as I recieve a right standing with Him for free because He loves me, I am inspired to worship Him, praise Him and thank Him. I am overjoyed to do this because I know how far short I have missed the mark, and I truly don't deserve His grace, yet God has poured out His favor upon me. And a hymn that comes to mind for me is, there's a new name written down in glory. Praise the Lord! We belong to Jesus! Glory to God!
Timothy Amoroso says:
I would also like to say, the only freedom is in truth. When the Holy Sprit convicts me of my sin of unbelief, and I repent and turn to Jesus for help, this brings joy to me. That joy which comes from truth helps me not to yield to sin and it brings fruit in my life. But this all comes first from the Holy Spirit who convicts me of my sin of unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ. The reason why the Holy Sprit is convicting me is not to destroy me. He us convicting me because He is leading me to blessing. I will feel sorry for the world when God removes His Holy Spirit. I will feel sorry for the people who are living in the world at that time. We must not take for granted God's Holy Spirit whi is present here with us now!
Charlotte says:
My husband and I look forward to hearing you on WGTF 89.5 Dothan Al every weekday at 7:30cst! Thank you for making the Bible so clear and interesting. I have struggled with knowing God’s will for my life - this explanation was very insightful!
David French says:
This article is a great encouragement & help for assessing where I stand in my walk with the Lord & how to be in the Will of God. The Spirit is our helper in this journey & I definitely need to allow Him to have more of me. Thanks for sending it to me.