Knowing God's Will
I have always struggled with the question of “How do I know what God’s will for me is?” and in the many discussions with other Christians, we have not found a clear answer. Yet this is a question that we constantly find ourselves asking, be it about choosing a course and university, starting a relationship, taking on a new responsibility, and even more subtle situations like whether to persist in asking a friend to church. How do we know what God wants us to do? Amidst my constant struggle with this question, I have found three things to keep in mind when trying to answer it.
Firstly, God has given us the most explicit answers in His written Word. As much as I often try to seek answers in the world, I often forget that many of them are already given to us in the Bible. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 says that: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." and many answers are just waiting to be found like hidden treasure. As we read his word, we understand God better and are better able to discern what is His voice. The question is will we go and search for it and study his word?
Secondly, to listen for God’s answer. This might sound like really “duh” point, I mean, we are asking for an answer, why would we not be listening? Yet, it is so easy for God’s voice to get drowned out in the noise of the world or missed because of our assumptions of how God will answer us, and we end up missing his still small voice. When God spoke to Elijah in the wilderness, it says: "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19:11b-12)
God can choose to answer any way he deems best. It could be with a sudden turn of circumstances, or rational argument in our thought process, advice from a fellow brother or sister, or even a devotion we read that day. He might answer us with an earthquake, but it could also be with a whisper, so we have to listen carefully!
Lastly, it is to be willing to obey, whatever God’s will may be. Sometimes I think that God is being silent, but only later when I search my heart do I realise that I was the one rejecting His voice and trying to force my will on God. I was not really asking for God’s will, but rather asking for God to affirm mine. If we seek God’s will, we must be prepared to obey.
We may struggle with this question till the day we go to be with God and can see and hear Him clearly, but till then, may every asked and answered question help us to understand and know Him and His voice better.