WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 19, 2022
TOPIC: HOW TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (James 1:5 The Living Bible).
Perhaps the greatest concern to people whenever one talks about doing the will of God is how to know the will of God. This is not wrong. Some people who sincerely desire to do the will of God seem to be confused. Some people don’t even know what is meant by the will of God as they have the wrong notion that God deliberately hides His will and makes it difficult for us to know.
But if God wants you to do His will, why will it hide it from you? We must believe that God is willing to show us His will and we shall know it if we ask Him. Because some people see knowing the will of God as rocket science, their lives have been stagnated as they’re afraid to make decisions. They’re afraid of making mistakes, even after they’ve prayed very well.
Matthew 7:7-11 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (New King James Version).
Don’t be paralyzed by the desire to know the will of God for tomorrow that you fail to do what is clear that God wants you to do today. God doesn’t show you all the details of your life at once. It’s one step after another. One step of obedience will lead you to the next will of God for you. Your destiny is like a scroll; it unfolds. It’s not like an open book.
However, anyone who desires to know the will of God must first seek to know Him. Knowing God precedes knowing His will. Knowing God’s will is based on your relationship with Him. When you seek to know Him, you will know His character and what pleases Him.
The will of God could be viewed in two ways: the sovereign will of God (what God has decreed to happen and permits to happen) and what He wants human beings to do or not do, which also includes His purpose for their lives.
You can only submit to the sovereign will of God; you cannot change it. “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35 New King James Version). Psalm 115:3 says our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
For instance, Romans 9:15-16 says, “For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (New King James Version).
Verses 11-13 say while Esau and Jacob were still in the womb and they had not yet done any good or evil, God said to their mother, Rebecca, that the older would serve the younger. He loved Jacob and hated Esau. That was His sovereign will and nobody could do anything about it. The purpose of God according to election must stand. It’s not of works but of Him who calls.
But there is also the will of God as regards what He wants all human beings and each person to do or not to do. The revealed will of God for humanity is in the Bible as regards what God forbids and what He commands to be done. To discover this, you must study your Bible personally and listen to teachers or preachers of the Word of God. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 New King James Version). The Word of God is the will of God. When people are ignorant of what the Bible says, they lack the knowledge of the will of God and they live a life of errors with its consequences on earth and in eternity.
If you will study the Word of God very well, you will be aware of the instructions on what God wants you to do (God’s will) and the principles to apply to know what God wants you to do. You will see the examples of Bible characters that will help you to know what God wants you to do and you will be able to do the right things and enjoy the benefits.
In addition to this, the Holy Spirit is given to, among other things, teach the children of God all things, lead him, and guide him into all the truth (John 14:26, Romans 8:14; John 16:13). There are things not clearly written in the Bible such as the career to pursue in life, the city to live in, the person to marry, etc.
Regarding these, the children of God must seek the help of the Holy Spirit to find out what God wants them to do. The leading of the Holy Spirit never violates the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will help God’s children to choose sometimes among multiple options that are good and at other times choose between good and bad options. The latter is less challenging.
James 1:5 says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (The Living Bible). A combination of the following questions will help you to find out the will of God in every situation or for your life.
1. Have you cultivated a lifestyle of fellowshipping with God to know His character and what pleases Him?
2. Do you love God? The Bible says you should love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and your mind Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Jesus says if you love Him, obey His commandments (John 14:15). Also, Paul says all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Because you love God and you’re called according to His purpose, when you do what you believe is God’s will, all things will work together for your good, even if you unintentionally make a mistake.
3. What does the Word of God say about the situation? Does the decision you want to make line up with the Word of God or it is against it? Any decision that’s against the Word of God is not the will of God. The psalmist says the Word of God is a lamp to his feet and a light to his path (Psalm 119:105).
4. From what you have read in the Bible, what will Jesus do in your situation? Do what Jesus will do. This is the will of God.
5. Have you prayed to know God’s will? Don’t assume you know. It’s not all that glitters that’s not gold. Don’t be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7a). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version). Pray and ask God for His will. Philippians 4:6a says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (New Living Translation).
But first, ensure you surrender your desires to God. Don’t go to God in prayer with an idol in your heart and ask God to approve it as His will. “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols’” (Ezekiel 14:4 New King James Version).
6. Have you asked the Holy Spirit and what is He telling you? God’s will is not the same as your feelings. God gave you your emotions but don’t be led by your emotions. Emotions are not reliable. Your feelings can change at any time. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Romans 8:14). The leading of the Holy Spirit does not contradict the Bible.
7. Will God be glorified by what you want to do or is it for self-glorification? If your motive is to show off like the Pharisees, it’s not the will of God.
8. Does it pass the love test? Will your decision help or harm another person? Romans 13:10 says love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. Similarly, Galatians 5:14 says all the law is fulfilled in this command: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; James 2:8). This does not mean you should make decisions to please people (Galatians 1:10).
9. Will your decision violate the law? Is it legal? A Christian must not be a lawbreaker or do what is illegal. You must respect constituted authorities except they make laws contrary to what God says (Romans 13:1-7).
10. If you’re not sure of the will of God, have you sought the prayers and counsel of trusted and mature believers, including your pastor or mentor? This is necessary concerning some matters. Despite what they say, the final decision rests with you. Exercise more patience if the position of most of the mature believers you’ve sought their prayers and counsel is different from your preferred option.
11. Is your decision based on putting out a fleece or circumstantial evidence? This is dangerous. The devil may fleece you! Sometimes circumstances could be helpful but they should not be your main deciding factor. Every open door is not God’s door; the devil could open doors too. Neither is every closed door an indication to move on.
12. Have you written down what you believe is God’s will for you after answering these questions?
With faith in God, act on what you have prayerfully considered as God’s will and trust God to guide you to a positive outcome. No matter what, He will work all things together for your good. Don’t be careless; nevertheless, understand that God is bigger than your mistakes. Don’t let the fear of failure stagnate your destiny.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to know the will of God for my life and in every situation. I bind the spirit of confusion and fear and receive a clear understanding of what God wants me to do. I will not disobey the will of God for my life and those who have disobeyed shall repent and obey in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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