How to Know God's Will For Your Life

What is the Will of God?
One of the most frequently asked questions by Christians is, “God, what is your will for my life?” All Christians will become aware of God’s plan for their lives by understanding some simple principles of God.

What do we mean by the will of God? It is that holy and stated purpose of the Father to make His dear children as much like Christ as possible.

God’s will differs from believer to believer.

  • It is God’s will that you learn more about Him. (Colossians 1:9)
  • It is God’s will that you grow in grace. (I Thessalonians 4:3)
  • It is God’s will that you study His word. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • It is God’s will that you share your faith. (Acts 1:8)

God wants to reveal His will to us.

  • God has promised He will reveal His will to us. (Psalm 32:8)
  • God has commanded you to know His will. (Ephesians 5:17)
  • God has promised that He is available to you. (Deuteronomy 30:14)
  • God will not force His will upon you. We must carefully listen or we will miss it. (Psalm 32:9)
  • To not do what God has equipped you to do is to be disobedient. (1 Peter 4:10)

God Has a Plan For All
The Bible plainly reveals that God has a plan for all. You will know the plan when you put forth an effort to discern His plan for your life. You should take an objective analysis of your own personality, attitudes, and talents, along with an analysis of the demands and opportunities in various vocations.

God’s plan for your life is in harmony with your capabilities or talents. You will, in return, receive tremendous joy and a deep sense of fulfillment in doing work that is in harmony with God’s will more so than in doing anything else.

God Has A Unique Plan For Some
God has a plan for everyone, but He has a definite unique plan for some. God is interested in the lifework of every one of His children. What He has called you to do, you should do it with all your heart.

Aspects of God’s Will
Every child of God is commanded to be a full-time Christian worker. God expects everyone to put His kingdom first. (Matthew 6:33) Everyone is to be a witness for Christ. (Acts 1:8) That should be foremost in the life of every Christian. God has called us to glorify Him.

God’s will usually proceeds from the general to the specific.
No one knows at one time the full measure of God’s purpose for his life. There are always steps in knowing God’s will and plan. Let God follow His own sequence in making His plans clear to you.

God’s plan is always progressive.
God leads step by step. God may call you to new types of service. He may call you to further training. He may call you to new steps of faith and obedience that you have never thought of before. You do not know today all that God’s call will involve a month or a year from today. God is always ready to make each step clear before you.

God’s will is continuous.
It does not begin when you are fifty years old. God has a will for children, young people, adults, and senior seniors. (Isaiah 58:11)

God’s will is specific.
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) But the way of the upright is a highway.” (Proverbs 15:19)

God’s will is profitable. God wants you to prosper and have great success. (Joshua 1:8)

To know God’s will is as easy as asking Him with a sincere heart. Then pay attention when the inner voice of the Spirit of God speaks to you. Sometimes God will speak to you through dreams and visions or through ways that you can understand what His will is for your life.

How God Guides You To Know His Will
Through the Scriptures
The most important factor in finding God’s will is through the Scriptures. God speaks to you not in some loud voice but through the Bible itself when you read it.

The Scriptures declare God does have a definite will for your life. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” (Psalm 37:23) The Scriptures are the best way to know God’s will.

Through Praying and Fasting
God desires for you to know His will for your life. “Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17) Commune with God through prayer. You might ask, “What if I just can’t discern God’s will for my life?” Pray a simple prayer that God will not let you miss out on His plan and purpose for you. Then “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on you own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You can know God’s will through praying. (James 1:5) Fasting is linked with prayer. When you consecrate yourself to God, the flesh is crucified and you can hear God speak.

Through Submission
The moment a repenting sinner receives Christ by faith into his heart the Holy Spirit immediately—
• regenerates by giving a new nature (John 3:5-6)
• baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13)
• indwells the believer (Romans 8:9)
• seals the believer (Ephesians 1:13)
• fills the believer (Acts 2:4)

The believer must look to the Holy Spirit for divine power in serving Christ. (Acts 1:8)

Through Circumstances
God often works through circumstances in revealing His perfect will for us. (Romans 8:28) Pay attention to circumstances. God is with you every moment of your life; not just during the times of emergency, but at all times. He is actively involved in your day-to-day circumstances and will often use what you call accidents, coincidences and random acts as open doors to direct you. As you know, for the believer there is no such thing as luck. Everything happens to point you to God’s will for your life.

Through Counselors
In a multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 24:6) Make sure your counselors are of God. (Psalm 1:1) It is good to seek counselors, but make sure they are godly counselors. If someone doesn’t trust God enough for his own salvation, how then can you trust him to guide you with things involving your life?

Through Your Own Conscience
God has given everyone a conscience to act as a filter for making decisions. That conscience can give you peace or that same conscience can make you feel the guilty pains of violating it. When you continue in the same sin, the conscience will become damaged and dull and you will begin to see bad things as being good things. Make sure you are grounded in the Word of God so that your conscience can be pure enough to listen to it.

Benefits to Knowing God’s Will
Knowing God’s will for your life is a blessing! Nothing is more blessed than to know that you are in the will of God. And you can know. As you live in the will of God, you will know God better and better. Lloyd John Ogilvie says, “God is in search of us! He wants to communicate His ultimate will and His daily guidance.” We receive the following blessings when we are in God’s will:

  1. Strength. We are strengthened as we do God’s will.
  2. Peace. God’s will brings deep inner peace. It gives that blessed assurance that God is with you. God’s promises become alive.
  3. Joy. The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) God’s will brings so much joy.
  4. Fellowship with Jesus. You get closer to Jesus through His will. The more you seek to please the Lord, the more joy Jesus finds in you.
  5. Presence of the Lord. It is the presence of the Lord that enables you to discern and do the will of God.
  6. Peace of God. When you are in God’s will, you will be at peace. Peace can be thought of as God’s umpire. If you don’t have peace about a thing, then don’t do it. God may be sending you a signal that either the action is indeed wrong or the time is not right. Those who follow the plan and purpose of God are those who are at peace even in the midst of trouble.

How to Know God’s Will For Your Life
God wants you to know His will. He is far more anxious to show you His will than you are to know it. As long as you desire to know His will, you are sure to find it. The only one who misses God’s will is the one who doesn’t seek to know His will or those who are disobedient to His will. The followings are some of the steps you can take to discover God’s call:

  1. Total Surrender. Make sure you have said, “Yes” to God. Give your entire life to God. You are His anyway. Be open and available to His assignment.
  2. Lve in the fullness of the Spirit. Be sure you have been filled with the Spirit; then keep open to His continual refilling, controlling, equipping, guiding, anointing, and using you. Keep being hungry for His presence.
  3. Be active for the Lord. Seek to be useful now in every way possible. Love your neighbors as yourself. Study God’s Word daily. Pray without ceasing. Be a witness for God.
  4. Take actions to discover God’s will. Take the initiative in praying about opportunities and needs. Attend Bible Study and Church School where you can participate in the study of God’s Word.
  5. Keep listening for the Spirit’s voice. Keep thanking God for all He is planning for your life. Keep renewing your commitment, reminding Him of your availability. Keep filling your soul with God’s Word and investing time daily in intercession.

Degrees of God’s Will
At least three degrees of God’s will can be seen in the Scriptures. An individual can be in God’s perfect will, in His permissive will, or totally out of His will.

Needless to say, the unbeliever is out of God’s will. Even the believer can be out of God’s will in certain areas of his life.

One can live in God’s permissive will. This is a state where one has allowed certain thoughts or activities that fail to meet His perfect or ideal will for one’s life. For example, God has allowed divorce though it was not His original intent.

God’s perfect will is what we should always be striving for; to stay within the boundaries where God will reach and bless us.

What If You Miss God’s Will?
Every Christian should have a wholesome desire to please God in everything and not miss His will. However, it is possible to be outside of God’s will or to miss His will and guidance because of —

  1. Personal Rebellion. You can purposely disobey God and reject His will
    for your life. Ask for forgiveness, forsake the sin and trust God for grace
    and mercy.
  2. Spiritual Neglect. You might have missed God’s will for your life
    because of spiritual neglect, lack of prayerfulness, failure to accept the
    mature, spiritual counsel of others, failure to enter a door God opened before
    you, or failure to heed the restraint of the Spirit.
  3. Not Hearing God Speak. You may miss the will of God because of busyness
    and distractions. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
    Listen to God speak and then follow where He leads.

How Not to Miss God’s Will
It is unlikely that you will miss God’s will in a serious way when the
following conditions are met:

  1. When your life is totally surrendered to God.
  2. When you are filled and controlled by the Spirit.
  3. When you walk in God’s light as you understand it.
  4. When you read God’s Word daily.
  5. When you seek first the kingdom of God.
  6. When you are open to hear the voice of God.
  7. When you wait upon the Lord for His guidance.
  8. When you maintain a teachable spirit.
  9. When you keep an open mind.
  10. When you recognize and follow God’s leading.

Signs That You are Out of God’s Will

  1. Inner Restlessness. An inner restlessness may indicate that God is
    trying to get your attention.
  2. Perplexity. When you are confused, pause and ask God for clarification.
  3. Disappointment. An unexplained sense of disappointment may indicate
    that God is trying to speak to you or restrain you.
  4. Confusion. A continuing sense of confusion is a strong indication that
    you may not yet have discerned God’s will or are missing His guidance in
    some way.
  5. Spiritual Neglect. When spiritual commitments are neglected, it is time
    to take inventory of your life.
  6. Worldly Actions. When worldly actions begin to characterize a person,
    that person is out of God’s will.

Steps to Follow God’s Plan

  1. Be committed to God’s guidance.
  2. Live in the fullness of the Spirit.
  3. Seek God’s guidance first.
  4. Live thankfully for God’s guidance.
  5. Keep listening to God’s word to you.
  6. Keep your motives and priorities straight.
  7. Be active in serving God and living for others.
  8. Be sensitive to the restraints of the Spirit.
  9. Keep humble before God and man.
  10. Be willing to take the time to wait on God.
  11. Hold steady in times of trials, darkness or God’s silence.
  12. Trust God to overrule any mistake.
  13. Commit emergencies to God in special prayer.
  14. Trust God and act.


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 Living in the Will of God
The Bible says you should do these things if you are to continuous live in the will of God.

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Comments 13 comments

Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

My Morning prayer daily is God show me your will that I might serve you as you desire me to.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Dave, we are praying the same prayer!

cceerpp profile image

cceerpp 5 years ago from Ghana

Thy WILL be done on Earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Amen.

Your Will and Yours alone Lord, not mine. Beautiful hub.


Dian'swords4u profile image

Dian'swords4u 5 years ago from North Carolina

My pastor preached on this yesterday. God must be first and only then will you begin to know God's will for your life and only then will you become fully equiped to do His will for your life. Good hub.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

cceerpp: That is my prayer also - "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

very thorough and practical advice about discerning God's will for our lives.

"Nothing is more blessed than to know that you are in the will of God"

I think of what Jesus said when his disciples came to Him while He spoke with the woman at the well and they thought He might be hungry and He told them that His food was to do the will God. He was satisfied by doing what He knew He was supposed to be doing.

Blessed by your teaching.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Tamarajo: I am a teacher at heart and I am so glad to have this platform to connect with people of like minds around the world. I know this is God's will for my life, and I have never been happier. Thanks for reading and responding. It motives me to continue doing what I am doing.

nybride710 profile image

nybride710 5 years ago from Minnesota

I have experienced all of the signs that you are out of God's will, at times, for years at a time. Thank you for this article. It is food for thought and I do think that by following your very detailed article I will not feel those things as often.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

nybride710: I am glad this article was helpful to you. Thanks for reading and responding.

Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

What a glorious, comprehensive discussion of this crucial topic! The fact that we are ALL called to full-time ministry and evangelism is, sadly, often neglected. But if we ignore this aspect of God's will, we're missing out on knowing the fullness of His call on our lives. Also, just reading that God wants me to know His will MORE than I want to know it gave me a lot of comfort and joy.

A beautiful, exciting hub! It's going into my "reference" section. Thank you!!!

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

As usual, Betty, thanks for reading and responding.

FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

So I guess I missed this one. After mentioning your 99 hubs, I knew there were some I missed. And whoa, I went back & I missed this?

This is the one I needed to read on Day One. I bookmarked this for future reference.

Great article with a lot of good biblical teaching. Well done.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

FaithDream, I am glad you found it. Hopefully, the information will help you discern God's will for your life.

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