Your deep desire to be in God’s will reflects your heart to please him and to be sensitive to his purpose for your life.
In order to know God’s will, Ravi has encouraged Christians to learn to walk closely with God and to learn to listen to his voice through his Word.
To know God’s will for our individual personal lives, we must first live by the precepts and the guidelines that He gives to us regarding how to be a follower of Jesus Christ. God has revealed his will for our character. We are told again and again to be holy as he is holy (Leviticus 11:45; 1 Peter 1:13-16). We are told to read his Word (Deuteronomy 32:47; Psalms 1; Matthew 4:4). We are told to knock, seek, and ask (Matthew 7:7-8). To be that person is an indispensable prerequisite to hearing what his specific will is about. As we walk with the Lord, listening to his voice through his Word and engaging the scripture in our day-to-day lives, we are more sensitive to his leading.
Then, when we come to specific matters or decisions, whether it’s a job or a calling or a relationship, we can pray, and that peace that passes all understanding will come into our hearts. If we’re restless on matters that we’re seeking his wisdom for, we can talk to people or friends we trust and who know us well who will give us counsel because of their love for us. Many times a verse of scripture or thought they may share can come to be fruitful in our lives.
Some questions we can ask ourselves include:
- Will this action/thought/decision make me more like Jesus? Or will it make me more like the world? God is calling us to sanctification, which means being free from the influences of the world’s system and becoming conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. See 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Romans 8:29.
- Am I wanting this answer for the glory of God? Or am I only wanting it for my own good pleasure? When you want the answer that will be for the glory of God, he will make the answer plain to you one way or the other.
God may only give us the next one step to take, and then later fill in more details. Of course, all of this should be undertaken in an attitude of prayer.
God intimately knows our hearts, and when we truly desire his will and plan, He will lead us in his way as long as we stay close to him. The subsequent outcome just may or may not be what we were expecting or wanting, but we can always rest assured of his great love and mercy in the midst of any resultant circumstances.
In regards to calling and direction, I highly recommend Ravi’s book, The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives. Our backgrounds, disappointments, triumphs, and beliefs are all part of the intentional and perfect work of the Grand Weaver.
Another potential resource is God’s Will by J.I. Packer.
May God “fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9).