One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is, "How do I know God's will for my life?" Many people struggle to know God's will and, as a result, find it difficult to make life decisions. The truth is that God does have a will - a sense of purpose. He has intentions and desires, thoughts and plans. He is not aimless or wondering what to do next.
The good news is that God wants us to know and do his will (see Eph.5:15-17. Col.1:9). He does not want to hide it from us. Finding God’s will is not meant to be hard. God wants to lead us and guide us in our lives (see Ps.25:4-5; 48:14; 73:24. Prov.6:20-22. Is.42:16; 48:17; 49:10; 57:18; 58:11. Jn.10:27. Rom.8:14).
However, finding and living in God’s will can seem confusing, hard and frustrating at times. It can be a struggle. Often this is because of wrong attitudes or misconceptions that we have about God’s will. Let’s look at some of them.
This view over-emphasises the sovereignty of God and downplays human responsibility. It denies or minimises the fact that we have a choice and are therefore responsible for our lives.
Yes, there are things beyond our control either caused by God or other people. But we don’t have to be victims of the circumstances or other people’s choices. We are responsible beings. We are responsible for the choices we make and the consequences of those choices.
Don't just resign yourself to God’s will, assuming that it will happen anyway. This is unfair to God, as he often gets the blame for a lot of things he didn’t will or choose. Isn't it interesting how some people refer to catastrophes as "acts of God." Of course, when good things happen, those same people call it "good luck."
Fatalism is also unhealthy for you. You become simply a puppet on a string with no responsibility or life of your own. The truth is that God’s will involves your choice. God’s gift to you is your freedom to choose. He wants us to become mature. A parent who makes all the decisions for their child dooms the child to immaturity. Maturity is when we make our own wise decisions. We can't just sit around, inactive and apathetic. We must rise up and be who God wants us to be.
Some people believe that God’s will is meant to make us miserable and depressed. He might make you marry someone you don’t like or send you somewhere you don’t want to go - maybe some deep dark cannibal-infested jungle. No, God’s plans are good and for our benefit (see Jer.29:11).
Don’t think that God has favourites who always get the good jobs and that you’ve been given an uninteresting insignificant leftover role. God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect (Rom.12:1-2). God’s will is an expression of his love. He knows more about what will fulfil us and make us happy than we do. Yes, there will be both problems and challenges. That's part of everyone's journey, even when we are living in God' s will.