In my 20s, 30s and 40s, I so struggled with knowing God’s will. I know that his will is revealed in scripture, but there are some decisions that I face and you face that are not clearly laid out in scripture.
I desired and prayed that God would make his will more plain to me. For without his leading, I would always make the wrong choice, choose the wrong one, go the wrong way. I would often confess to God – “I am one of your dumb sheep.” – with the hope that he would tell me which way to go, which one to choose, or what to do.
God knew that I wanted to please him. His Word, however, did not speak to every specific circumstance in which I found myself, be it marrying this person who appeared to be the right one, or whether to apply for a certain job, and so many more situations.
It has only been through my journey in the Lord, and through the various trials and victories of life, that I have come to understand and appreciate the Sovereignty and Providence of God.
God’s Sovereignty convinces me through the Scriptures that he is absolutely in control of all things. Everything that happens in my life, in your life, is because God either allowed it or ordained it to be. Everything that happens has a purpose, and is accomplishing something in me, for me, and for his glory.
So when I am confronted with decisions that are not clearly laid out in scripture, what should I do? Here are some scriptures that have helped me navigate through my Christian journey.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to your own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6 KJV
This scripture tells me to bring everything to the Lord, every plan, every decision to him. Let him know that I seek his guidance in what I have before me. I confess the desires of my heart to him, and submit even my desires to him. I then move forward, go to the job interview after careful preparation, or I accept the position I’ve been offered.
The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:23 KJV
God is directing my steps through his Spirit because I am his child. Yes, he will allow me to stumble but even my stumbling is always for my good, for my sanctification, because he will keep holding on to me.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV
Again, this lets me know that because I am a Christian, that everything that happens to me will work out for good.
So I have learned and am still learning that it boils down to trust. Yes. TRUST. We must trust God our Creator. We must believe that he means what is stated in the scriptures. If we look at the journeys of those in the Bible, their path was never fully disclosed to them. It was a step by step, a little light at a time.
We have to trust that God is in fact directing our paths through his providence. No, he doesn’t tell me: Barbara, go down two blocks and turn right. (Although, sometimes I wish he would make it that plain.) He tells me to obey his commandments, to love him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. So the decisions that I make must always be aligned with my obedience to him, and will be honoring to him because I love him.
Who to marry? What does the Bible say? If I am a Christian, I will obey and marry only someone who is also a Christian, whose God is the Lord.
What job to take? I will accept any job that I will be able to honor him with my work.
Where to move? I will move where I believe God is directing me.
How will I know? How do I know that it’s not just what I want to do? Is my desire a demonstration of my obedience to him? Will it be honoring to him?
This is when it really boils down to trust. Trust that God is leading you. He promised to direct our paths when we acknowledge him in all our ways. He says that a good man’s steps are ordered by him. He promised that though we stumble, we will not utterly fall, because he will work even that fall out for our good.
So knowing God’s will is to read his Word, do what it says and trust.