Can We Know God’s Will For Our Life?
I have beaten this issue to death. I have written an entire chapter on this subject and many posts. It may not even concern this generation as it did my generation or at least me when younger. I wanted so badly to know God’s specific will for my life – what school to intend, what career to pursue, who to marry. The truth is I could never know for sure God’s guidance as He doesn’t speak audible to me. If the following is not satisfactory, please read my others writings. Your Creator’s desire for you is no mystery. He isn’t like that!
The Bible never states that God’s will is something we must discover because it is unknown. God’s moral will is clear to us. God’s sovereign will is not something we have to worry about. Whatever is going to happen happens and the Bible doesn’t encourage an expedition to know our role. The Bible isn’t full of prayers to discover God’s specific will regarding what job to take, etc.
The Bible simply encourages making wise decisions. How? God gave us the Bible. Understand its guidelines. God gives us gifts. Use them. We develop desires as we grow closer to God. Follow them. God gives us friends. Seek their counsel. God gives us brains. Use your judgment. God gives us circumstances. Take advantage of them. The question isn’t what is God’s will for me? The question to ask is what is currently the best choice I can make using my gifts and passions to love others as God loves me, based on past experiences, current circumstances, and future possibilities.
We may assume that there is only one path to take to fulfill God’s will which is ultimately to love others as God does in whatever we do. There are many godly paths we can take to make this world a better place for others. Paul for example says we are free to marry or remain single based on our circumstances. ( I Cor 7) God’s will is accomplished whatever decision you make. You can be a business person or athlete. Consider your gifts, passions, experiences, and circumstances and go for it. God loves you. He is not hiding anything from you. God’s will is accomplished in whatever path we might choose as long as it isn’t immoral. God has given us such freedom.
Some prefer to think history is predetermined rather than unfolding. But, when you believe the future is known, you might assume “well, I better ask God for such knowledge to do the right thing.” In the Bible God seemed to have contingencies depending on the choices people made such as with Jonah and if the Ninevites repented. History may be much more open than we may think. If you think God knows the future, can you at least accept that God knows what decisions you will make based on your gifts and passions. Don’t worry about missing God’s will. When you fail morally, you have missed opportunities but not God’s will for you in the future.
In the NT there are no examples of seeking special revelation for guidance. In the OT seeking signs was hardly considered the norm. It is rare if ever but when God needs to guide you specifically, He will show up. You don’t have to ask. Ask Moses about the burning bush. Ask Paul about the blinding light. God shows up miraculous when people weren’t asking. Oddly, the Bible left out millions of people stories about praying to God for His will in their daily lives. God doesn’t intend we seek a sign but rely on judgment, counsel, gifts, desires, etc. Don’t worry about making a wrong decision. Make the best decision you can is God’s desire for you. In I Cor 16:5-9 Paul made a decision based on circumstances. We don’t need to worry about what God’s doing to know what we must do.
God does not hide His will from us as if it is some mystery. People seem to always be looking for some “hidden knowledge” through the stars, etc. Why would God follow such common pagan practices? The truth is if we insist on a specific, individual will from God regarding amoral decisions, God hides things from us because we can never be sure the decision we make is God’s. God doesn’t demand a specific will for your life. He knows decisions depend on lots of factors allowed by freedom. God is not a Controller. Only ridiculous parents, unlike God, demand or attempt to control their child’s daily decisions or future by telling them who they must marry or what career they must pursue. God does specifically guide us morally for our own good.