What Do People Want to Know More Than Anything Else?January 1, 2021 Save Article
Do you know the question pastors get asked more than anything else? It’s not “Where did Cain get his wife?” but “How can I know God’s will for my life?” We really want to know the answer to this. Nobody wants to waste time going down the wrong path to a dead end. Steven Olford said, “It is our duty and our joy to find, to follow, and to finish the will of God for our lives.” We want to be in His will because we know that’s where we’ll be happiest, most fulfilled, and above all, most pleasing to God. So how can you find the will of God for your life?
God won’t string you along.
It may comfort you to know that God isn’t playing hide-and-seek with His will for you. He wants you to know it.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let them ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5).
The revelation of God’s will isn’t for just a special few, and He doesn’t think any less of us for asking. God is on our side, wanting us to know His will.
How often have you heard, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” It’s almost a cliché, yet it’s the truth. But few people know, much less do, the will of God for their lives. God has programmed you for success, not engineered you for failure! The Bible admits the possibility of defeat in the life of a Christian, but never the necessity of it. We’re to be living in victory, God’s gift to every child. Many people don’t believe that. But if you’re not living in victory, you’re living beneath your privileges.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
How often does God want us to triumph? Always. And we will too, if we are in His will. That’s when we’ll flourish most.
Faithful Direction Along the Way
God’s promise of direction is often repeated in the Bible. For example:
"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail" (Isaiah 58:11).
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye" (Psalm 32:8).
One of the best passages about finding God’s will for your life is Proverbs 3:5-8. I call it “the recipe” for finding His will.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
The Father is above us, watching over and controlling all things.
The Savior walks beside us, guiding our footsteps.
The Spirit dwells inside us, helping to control our inner thoughts and life.
God has an individual plan for you. He doesn't deal with people en masse. He deals with us as individuals. The very hairs of your head are numbered. That’s just as true for the plumber as it is for the preacher. It's as true for the secretary as it is for the missionary. God has a plan for every life.
- To find it, you must confess your full dependence on Him. Trust in the Lord (verse 5).
- You must fully grasp who you are depending on: the Lord. You’re not following a formula, but the Lord Himself.
Let’s be honest. Do you trust people you don’t know? You can’t until you know them. If you’re having trouble trusting the Lord, I’ll tell you why: you haven’t really gotten to know Him as you should. Once you really know Him, you learn to love Him. It’s a progression: first, you get to know Him; then you come to love Him.
To know Him is to love Him.
To love Him is to trust Him.
To trust Him is to obey Him.
To obey Him is to be blessed.
Trusting begins with knowing, and if you're having trouble trusting the Lord, may I suggest you spend time getting to know the Lord.
- “Lean not on your own understanding." Don’t trust your own perception of your situation. So many times, we want to say, “Well, this is the way I think.” Frankly, we make a terrible mistake when we trust our own understanding.
- Verse 7 cautions, “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” That's the problem with us: we think we know. We just can't let go. We want to do it ourselves. That becomes a stumbling block.
Time after time, God tells us in His Word that we cannot trust our own perception. It’s a humbling thought, but we don't have what it takes to guide our lives by ourselves. Why? Because we don't know all the factors. The end result won’t turn out well: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). The prophet Jeremiah learned this:
O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. O Lord, correct me, but with justice. (Jeremiah 10:23-24)
This doesn’t mean you won't understand. You’ll have plenty of understanding, but it will be God helping you understand.
In one chapter earlier in Proverbs, God tells us how to receive the godly wisdom we need so badly:
My son, if you receive My words and treasure My commands within you so that you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
Search for wisdom like you would hidden treasure. Where do we search? In His Word and in prayer. When we get serious about knowing the will of God, we will know His will. Frankly, most of us are not serious about searching for understanding to know the will of God.
- "In all your ways, acknowledge Him” (verse 6). In how many ways? All. God doesn’t settle for second place in your life. You can't say, “Lord I want Your will in my social life, but not in my business life,” or “in my church life, but not in this other part of my life.” You can't do that. Turn it all over to Him. If He deserves acknowledgment in part of it, He deserves acknowledgment in all.
The reason many of us don’t know the will of God for our lives is that we haven’t come to the Proverbs 3:5-8 recipe. Until you've done that, don't complain about not knowing God’s will.
Here you may hit a bump in the road: “But what if God’s will is something I don’t want?”
You may be thinking, “If I were to acknowledge God in all my ways, there’s no telling what He might make me do. He might send me as a missionary to Africa. He might make me marry some ugly person! No telling what He’d do if I said, “Lord, I want your will!”
Don't be afraid of the will of God. "Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
This verse doesn’t mean, “If you can just love God perfectly, you’ll be able to stop fearing.” No, that’s not what it means. If we had to work toward loving God perfectly, we’d never get there.
It's not my perfect love for Him that casts out fear. A better translation is: “We have no need to fear Someone who loves us perfectly.” When we come to understand His perfect love for us, that realization casts out our fear.
You see, God's will is best; it’s what you would choose if you had all the facts. The Bible asks in Romans 8:32, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" That’s a logical question: If God gave His priceless Son for you, won’t He give you what will turn out to be the very best for you?
You don't have to worry that He will hide His will from you or lead you into some dreadful future. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
When you're praying,
When you're walking in the Spirit,
When you’re trusting in the Lord with all your heart,
When you’re not leaning on your own understanding,
When you’re acknowledging Him in all your ways,
He will direct your paths.
How will He do it?
- through His word
- through prayer as the Spirit of God speaks to your heart
- through sanctified wisdom
- through the renewing of your mind
- through the doors He will open and shut.
When you trust in the Lord, He will go before you to make straight your paths. He’ll not just show you the way, He’ll clear the way. God revs up His bulldozers and makes a way through the wilderness. God has done that for me so many times. He’ll do that for you. He doesn't leave you wandering around like a ship without a rudder on a dark night. God will guide you. But first, you must know Him.
God loves you. He wants to save you, and He will save you if you’ll trust Him. Come to Jesus. Do it today.
Pray this prayer: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name, I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, let us help you with the next steps. Please click here for free downloadable resources or allow us to send you material in the mail to help you get started.