1. Some general principles in determining God’s Will.
a. God’s first priority for everyone is to accept Christ as Savior (2 Pet. 3:9).
b. For believers, God’s first objective that they be controlled, or filled, by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:17-18; 1 John 1:9). There is no power for knowing or doing the will of God apart from the Spirit of God (Phil. 2:13; Rom. 8:32).
c. The Word of God reveals the will of God. One reason for the 176 verses in Psalm 119 is to teach us to discover God’s will from God’s Word (Isa. 55:8-9). Satan is the great counterfeiter who tries to deceive believers (1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9).
d. Prayer reveals God’s will, “If anyone lacks wisdom . . .ask” (Jam. 1:5).
e. Faith is essential to pleasing God and discovering His will (Heb. 11:6). The examples of people in Hebrews 11 detail a variety of ways people trusted God. Thus, a key element to determining the will of God is the degree you are willing to trust God for His will (Pro. 3:5-6).
f. Submission to God is essential, “Not my will but Thine . . .” (Luke 22:42).
g. The providential leading of God can indicate the will of God (Acts 10). But remember circumstances and even peace can be rationalized.
h. A decision to marry must be the mutual leading of the Lord (Gen. 24:8)
i. Counsel of godly people is important (Pro. 19:20).
2. Questions to test decisions and actions.
a. Does it glorify God (Matt. 6:1-6; Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 10:31)?
b. Does it help believers grow in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1-3; 8:7-13; Rom. 14)?
c. Does it win a hearing for the gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-23; 5:9-11)?
d. Does it help me grow spiritually (Phil. 3:5-6, 13; 1 Cor. 9:24-29?
3. Some reminders.
a. Maintain a transformed mind regarding your decision (Rom. 12:2), rather than being persuaded by others to conform to the world.
b. Don’t trust your own understanding (Pro. 3:5-6).
c. Love God. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). The greatest commandment is to love God (Matt 22:34-40)? Isn’t Jesus speaking of the primary motive for doing the will of God. Love for God is the greatest test in knowing His will. Glorifying God is the greatest motive, “Whatever you do . . . do for the glory of God” (Col. 3:17)
To know God is our greatest blessing.
To do God’s will is our highest privilege.
“A man’s heart is right when he wills what God wills.”
Thomas Aquinas (Psalm 37:4)