How to Decipher the Will of God: Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever craved an email from God? I know I have. I just want Him to tell me flat-out what it is He wants me to do. Unfortunately, God’s will for our lives rarely comes across with precise instructions. We don’t get blueprints. I suppose that’s why faith is so important … and why faith can be so difficult.

How can we know what we should do? Here’s a quick list what to do and what not to do.

 © Dgilder | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images


© Dgilder | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

DO remember that God is far more concerned with our character than our addresses or job titles. His purposes for you are likely to focus more on who you are to be rather than what you are to do.

DO investigate what the Bible says about the topic. If God’s Word offers clear direction, follow it!

DON’T test God with a “fleecing” when He has already made His Will known in Scripture. If He has already made it clear, asking for a miraculous confirmation is not only delayed obedience, it is doubt and disobedience. His will for you will never contradict Scripture.

DO seek wise counsel from trusted, mature believers. Talking to your closest friends is great, but if they’re still “baby” Christians, they may lack the wisdom to help you see God’s plans for you.

DON’T seek advice only from people you know will agree with you. This isn’t guidance, but flattery.

DO pray about it. Lots. And LISTEN to what God may say to you.

DON’T believe that the mere act of praying about something justifies whatever action you want to take. “Oh, I prayed about it, so it must be what God wants.” This type of thinking is very, very dangerous. If praying about something instantly guarantees the right decision, then, in theory, we can easily pray about everything and never make wrong decisions. That belief alleviates us of personal responsibility and gives a get-out-of-jail-free card to every bad choice. It’s immature. It’s bad doctrine.

DO think. We should pray AND think! Sometimes God expects us to do crazy things that defy human logic (as in Gideon’s case). Often, though, the wisdom He gives is compatible with logic. Look around you. Do you have other believers confirming your direction? Or are they all wondering what in the world you’re doing? Does the course of action you are considering align with other common threads in your life or does it take a u-turn from where God has already led you? Pros and cons lists can be very helpful. God does give us wisdom; wisdom frequently involves logic. Use the wisdom He gives by thinking through your situation and your options carefully.

DO SOMETHING. A lack of specific, audible instruction from God does not warrant a lack of action. Yes, we should wait upon the Lord, but you can still do something while you wait.

Scripture to Discover:

The entire book of Ephesians is a great place to start learning about the will of God. As I tried to pinpoint specific passages that would speak on this topic, I found that I couldn’t prune down the list to a few simple verses. So I strongly encourage you to read the whole book. Specifically, take note of Ephesians 4:22–24 and 5:6–17.

Also, take a moment to look up 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and  Romans 12:2.

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