Knowing God’s Will for your Life

I’ve gotten a couple of requests for this in the last couple of weeks.  This was the “final exam” for Sanctuary’s Sanctuary International’s Intense Studies Course I took, in 1992.


Knowing God’s Will for your Life


Wayno Guerrini


“What would you say if someone asked you, “How do you know that your living in God’s will, and how do you recognize God’s will for your life?” What scriptures and Biblical principles would you use?

That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it! Three areas come to mind, and I will further discuss and develop them in this treatise. First of course is prayer and reading (searching) God’s word. Second, is the “peace of God”, and finally, doing things through faith.

I will focus my answer’s to the question, not so much based upon, knowing God’s will (long term) for your life. I think that is beyond the limits of human comprehension. However, I will focus the discussion, on a narrower band of thinking. Knowing God’s will in a specific circumstance.

The first criterion we should utilize of course, is the Bible itself. In the absence of clear cut evidence, (like NOT murdering someone), a thorough examination of scripture to reveal what God’s intent is on the particular subject, is a good place to start.

2 Timothy 3:16 -17 tells us: “ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)”

A necessary pre-requisite for knowing God’s will for our lives, is first to become familiar with His Word.

Psalm 119:105 further tells us: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (NIV)”

The Bible tells us that ALL scripture is given by God. Therefore, as Psalms says, it will give guidance to our paths, and direction to our ways.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us confidently: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge (or know) him, and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)”

We must be diligent in our search for God’s will. Proverbs again tells us, “and if you call for insight and cry aloud for understanding and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear (reverence) of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:3-6 NIV)”

Our quest for knowing God’s will for our life, will lead us to really having to seek and search God’s word. But I like what Proverbs says, that if we seek after wisdom, we will understand the fear (or better translated — reverence) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. Our seeking must be from an honest desire. God want’s to be found!

“You will seek me, and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” (Jer 29:13 NIV)

Prayer is of course requisite with searching God’s will. At times, we really don’t know the direction or the path God is leading us. It is important to be steadfast in prayer. James tells us:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NIV)

Therefore, it is important that we let God know that we need wisdom to help us in a particular circumstance. We do that through prayer and communion with God on a daily basis. Romans 12:2 forms the basis for this:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

“Therefore, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day.” (2 Cor 4:16 NIV)

Our walk with God is a daily walk. As such, we should be in communion with God, everyday, telling Him what is troubling us, and honestly seeking to perform his will. The one way to do that, as Romans tells us, is to renew our minds in Christ, that we will be able to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Secondly, one of the “indicators” of God’s will for our lives, is the peace of God we have in our hearts. Philippians 4:7 tells us: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7 NIV)

I am NOT advocating that we rely fully on our feelings to guide us at all. They are notoriously unreliable. However, the lack of peace in our lives, could be used as a “negative” indicator of God’s will. Again, one should NOT rely on feelings, but often, God’s peace will accompany or be absent in a major decision regarding our lives.

Finally, let’s examine the issue of faith.

“But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23 NIV)”

This passage deals primarily with food being offered to idols. But upon closer scrutiny, we see that everything that is not of faith, is sin.

You see, we also know that our walk is by faith, and not by sight alone. (2 Cor 5:7)

Yet what is faith?

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)”

Or to quote Archie Bunker — “Faith is believing what no one in their right mind would believe!”

You see, Archie’s faith, as well as that of many of us, is centred on what I can touch, feel, taste, smell or see. To often we forget the principle contained in Zechariah 4:6 “So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (NIV)”

You see, God’s will is not always meted out in the physical, visible, tangible things of this world. It is by his Spirit, that God accomplishes all the things in our life. We forget that sometimes.

For me, “Faith is the quiet confidence that God is working in our life, behind the scenes, to accomplish His own good will, even though our feelings may often betray us.” (W. Guerrini, circa 1992)

Also coupled with faith, is circumstances. It’s been described as looking for “open doors.” If you have to FORCE a “door” open, unless you have other strong indications that it IS God’s will, then the idea may either be against God’s will entirely, or at least be premature and ahead of His perfect timing.

Finally, one of the areas I struggle with is this: “Be joyful always; pray continually. give thanks in all circumstances. for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thes 5:16-18 NIV)”

We aren’t always very joyful going through the trials and tribulations of life. James 1:2 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers when you face trials of many kinds. (NIV)” {NOT!}

Often we will say, “Yeah, but you don’t understand what I am going through.” God’s will for us is that we would be joyful always. The key to joy, I believe is beginning to focus our attention not so much on the temporal things of this earth, but by having our attention, and our will’s focused on those things of an eternal value: Our Salvation, God’s living Word (Jesus Christ), and lastly the friendships (relationships) we have made. This I am convinced, is the key to the joy Paul experienced in the Philippian jail.

We have but scratched the surface of knowing God’s will for our lives. But through prayer, searching God’s word, occasionally relying on our feelings, and finally reaching out in faith, we can begin to determine what God’s good and perfect will is for our lives. (Romans 12:2)