“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” —Proverbs 3:6 NKVJ
To discern God’s personal will for us there is no rule book or any kind of step-by-step program to follow. The guidance of God is not a static act, but a living process of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. If we acknowledge God in all our ways, which is to be living in the will of God, He has automatically undertaken to guide us.
David writes, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NASB). This is not a blank cheque for anything we want, but rather it is God placing His desires in our hearts, so that what God wants for us becomes what we want. Paul tells us, “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). There is the will, the desire and then the act. This is a progressive work of the Holy Spirit, bringing us into conformity with God’s purpose for us.
We may begin to feel a pull in a certain direction, something like a compass God places in our hearts. If it is persistent and the pieces are beginning to fall in place, it is likely this is God’s direction for us. But how do we know for sure? There are four basic questions we can ask ourselves in discerning God’s personal will for us.
Firstly, is what we want consistent with Scripture, not just a verse or two, but all of Scripture? Secondly, what do our inner convictions say? Our inner convictions are subjective; therefore unreliable and fallible, but Scripture is objective, true and reliable. Thirdly, what are our circumstances? Will they allow us to venture out for God without neglecting responsibilities toward others? Fourthly, what do close family and friends say? Solomon writes, “…the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). ?It is, however, advice we are looking for, not instruction. We must own the decision.
The one thing we cannot do is rush God’s personal will for us. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you…” In all God calls us to do, He is the orchestrator, the one who goes ahead of us, opening the right doors at the right time. His personal will for us will always be that which benefits others. The moment it becomes for self-gain, it becomes corrupt and God backs out. But when God is at the helm of our lives, we can rest assured we are being divinely guided into His perfect will for us. And His perfect will for us far surpasses anything we could have orchestrated for ourselves.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I ask that You be at the helm of my life. Place your desires in my heart, and lead me into your perfect will for me. Thank You, Lord.