Maybe you just finished reading “Does God want me to be in charge?” or “‘Help Wanted'” and you are starting to think that some of the main ways you spend your time are actually outside of God’s will as shown by the Bible. What do you do now? I mean, how in the world can you figure out God’s will for your life?
Fortunately, I have some ideas to pass on that the Lord has given me through His personal leadership of me and through spiritual leadership God has provided among believers.
If you want to know whether or not to do a certain thing or whether or not certain work is God’s will for your life, try these steps!
# 1 First and foremost, worship God! That’s right. Worship. Began worshiping God with fervor and passion in accordance with how God says He wants to be worshiped in scripture. Genuine worship of the LORD is a wonderful way to ask for God’s wisdom to flow through your mind and your life. It opens the lines of communication between God and human. In a sense, true worship of God can be an antithesis of sin. Sin separate us from God whereas worship of God draws us closer to Him. Notice how David approaches God after He realizes that his heart has been drawn away from God due to his sin.
Psalm 51 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived in me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
In this psalm, the writer praises God by calling out God’s AMAZING attributes like His unfailing love, His compassion, and His just and right ways. The posture of the writer before God is acknowledgement that God is right and he is wrong. He is humble, unassuming, and overwhelmingly grateful to serve such an amazing God. This kind of genuine worship opens the lines of communication between your fallen self and God in His amazing splendor.
# 2 Secondly, begin walking in relationship with God. Can you really be said to be in relationship with someone who you hardly ever talk to and when you do it’s for like 5 minutes? Let’s pause here to address the idea of growing in relationship with God, something we may think we are definitely doing and do not need to think about, but humor me anyways. If this is not already obvious to you I am sure it will be after you finish reading this section, but males and females do relationship differently. Shocker, right? (if any of you single ladies are not sure about that ask your closest and most reliable married female friend who I am sure can attest that men and women are in fact very different in how they do relationships). Female relationships thrive on quality “face time” where you can stare into each other’s expressions and feel a deep sense of similarity and unity of heart. Females relationships also require endless “checking in” with each other to make sure you and your dear friend are on the same page and that your friendship bond around being similar is still in tact. How women do relationship with other people has implications for how women do relationship with the Lord. If you do not have the time, energy, or focus as a result of some other so-called “work” in your life to go deep with God (as in hours a day for quality face-time with Him, constantly checking in with His scripture to make sure you and He are on the same page, praying continually for your closeness and that He would move your heart to more intimate relationship with Him, and pouring out to Him all your thoughts and feelings on your day or some major thing that just happened in your life or the life of someone close to you) then you are not doing relationship with God. Why should the essence of your relationships with others look different than your relationship with God? If you would not call someone else a close friend who you spend as little time and effort on as you do getting to know the Lord, then you cannot call God your close friend either. God is calling you be really careful in measuring whether or not your schedule or level of commitments permits you to go deep with the Lord, and not get caught up in how the Lord has called men-who have inherently different relational needs-to allocate their time.
That said, start reading the Bible and ask God to grow you in your love of His Word. The Lord has revealed to me that it is especially important for women to be in one of the gospel narratives daily and to be steeped in the New Testament. This is necessary to combat the lies about themselves and godly authority that women are bombarded with and even tormented by, sometimes on an hour by hour basis. I did the math and if one listens to 25 minutes of the New Testament a day (not including the gospel accounts) one can get through the New Testament each month. I personal choose a gospel narrative to listen to for the month and listen as many days as possible to the whole thing that month. Listening to the entire gospel story at once often brings me to my knees at the end, craving the love and peace of Jesus in my heart and my life and making so sorry for sin I normally treat as trivial. This has been LIFE-CHANGING for me. I have so much more emotional stability now and peace regardless of what mess is happening in my life. I try to listen while I work or as I get ready for the day or ready for bed or as I am falling asleep. Honestly, I end up zoning out a lot but when you listen to the same gospel account every day of one month it doesn’t really matter. The BIG picture can be powerful. I still sit down and read a chapter or two of the Bible with focus and my undivided attention. I have been BLESSED by taking God’s word for it and getting way more of His Word in my throughout the day.
Walking with God authentically in relationship helps you learn God’s voice. Just like with your close human relationships when you know someone well you recognize their voice. The same goes with God. As you are more easily able to recognize God’s voice it becomes easier to analyze what things in your life are His will for you or not.
# 3 Thirdly, check scripture to see if there are specific scriptures on whatever the decision is that you are trying to make.
Proverbs 16 3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. 9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
The LORD is alive and He speaks His mind through His Word.
Hebrew 4 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Do not forget that God is a living being who can speak to you through His Word. Be sure to look at a range of scriptures on a given topic so as not to reduce a complex subject matter to a simple, one sentence fix. For a feeble and fallible human mind trying to comprehend a great God, cross referencing is your friend. Find scriptures that explain in more detail the key scriptures you originally look up.
# 4 Fourthly, check scripture to see if scripture prohibits any of the things you are examining to see if they are in God’s will for you or if scripture prohibits any of the options you are trying to choose between. If something you are doing or want to do is prohibited by scripture, then that is an ample red flag that it is not God’s will for you.
# 5 Lastly, check to see if anything you are doing would prevent you from doing something else that scripture does say clearly to do. So much of scripture does not say for women (or men for that matter) not to do certain occupations unless the point of those occupations is to break commandments. Short of something obvious like that this is a critical way to filter your decisions through God’s will. Instead of just looking to see if what you are doing is in God’s Word or if it is prohibited by God’s Word examine whether or not it prevents you from doing something you can be sure God’s wants you to be doing. For instance, if being an executive, as a woman, keeps you from being ‘busy at home’ as Titus 2:5 calls women to, then yes it would be a sin, according to the Word of God, for you to do a job like that. If you are earnestly desiring to do a command like being busy at home but are kept from doing it because of a husband or lack there of for instance, your situation may be more appropriately considered oppression or suffering, like the Hebrew slaves in Exodus, as opposed to you walking in sin. There are many situations and I am not the person to address them all. I only mean to encourage you to walk through these questions along side the Lord in prayer and with godly, appointed spiritual leadership. Sometimes conditions are imposed on us, but other times we bring them on ourselves. I want to encourage you to not immediately immunize something in your life from being held to the standard of scripture just because it is not directly addressed in scripture.
May you have the mind of Christ and the heart to recognize His will for your life!