I want to know God’s will for me in every situation. How about you? So here is the general procedure God has taught me to use. Keep in mind that not all decisions require this much time, effort, or all the steps listed below. But the process should be bathed in prayer and submission that whatever God reveals, you will carry out.
1. Heart preparation
This is the most important step! Ask God to reveal any hidden sin, impure motives, un-submitted emotions or desires, and to help you be open to His leading.
Reaffirm your desire to truly know His will and that you trust Him to answer.
2. Think things through carefully
Do you have all the info necessary to make an intelligent decision? If not, do what you can to get them. Wait until you have the facts.
3. Ask questions
- What would I like to do if I had my way?
- Does this line up with God’s will?
- Does it line up with my calling?
- What would bring God the most glory?
- What’s the source of my motivation to do, or not to do ____?
- Is what I’m sensing of God, me, the world, or my conniving enemy?
4. Use pen and paper
Write down the pros and cons, your feelings, what you believe God wants, and any other insights. This is a very effective and much under-used tool.
5. Put in the effort
Seeking the Lord’s will should never be a half-hearted pursuit (See Pr 2:1-13, Mat 7:8). You may even want to fast if:
- the decision is critical.
- you are still unclear after a diligent search.
- the deadline is fast approaching.
6. Put in the time
Don’t wait until the last minute to start your search. Procrastinating puts you in “demand mode” when seeking God for guidance.
If an immediate decision is required, do your best and trust God for the outcome. That’s why it’s important to remain in fellowship with your Lord. You won’t have the time to carefully evaluate your heart if it’s an urgent matter.
Also, determine if a decision really has to be made now. Ask questions like:
- Can I get an extension?
- Is this a sales pitch?
- Is this pressure from others because they want it now?
- Is this in line with God’s will as far as I know?
- Are my emotions interfering?
7. Read the Bible while seeking answers
This is where a lot of us go wrong. God does communicate to us in other ways, but His Word is the primary way in which He makes His will known to us. Seek God’s direction during your quiet time with Him, and then…
8. Keep your antennas up
Stay in tune with your Lord throughout the day, looking for answers in a calm, confident manner.
9. Enlist others
Ask for counsel, or at least prayer from trusted godly people.
10. Get confirmation
Not all “signs” or “open doors” are from God. Don’t automatically assume it’s from the Lord. I’ve made way too many mistakes thinking God was leading me when it was Satan, my strong emotions or impatience getting in the way. Don’t run ahead of God; make sure you have a green light. Others can greatly help you here.
This process works! I hope you will try it.
Until next time, my friends, as you seek the Lord for direction, praise Him before you know, praise Him as soon as you do know, and then praise God by telling others how He came through for you again!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good…. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jer 29:11-13)
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.