Text: — James 4:13-16 — 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. [*NIV84]
The Big Idea: Seeking the general will passages is a good place to start.
Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions while I was in college ministry was, “How do I know what God’s will is for my life?” I tried to avoid giving a trite answer, but I believe we must move from the known and revealed to the unknown and yet to be revealed. So much of my counsel was, “Let’s look at what the Scriptures reveal is obviously God’s will — in general, and then trust Him to make His more particular (i.e., specific) will for us know as we live the general.”
I don’t know which verses you would find primary in answering this question, Lifestyle Worshipers, but the one I frequently use is Matthew 6:33: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.*” When we are seeking the Kingdom and the King of the Kingdom (that’s what “His Righteousness” means—see Jer. 23:6), then His will will be revealed with each step as we follow in Jesus’ steps.
Still too general? Along with Heartwork’s homework for today (i.e., talking to a mentor or a seasoned Believer, asking them how they depend on the Spirit’s guidance), you can also search the Scriptures for references to: “this is God’s will for your life” kind of statements.
Now, I know when this question, “What’s God’s will for my life,” is asked, a more specific answer is expected, like whom God wants me to marry, or what career He wants me to pursue, but don’t you think seeking the general will passages is a good place to start? As we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts (Ps. 37:4). (Oh, and as you seek the King and the Kingdom, don’t you think your desires will ‘super’ naturally match up with His?) Your thoughts?
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own. — John 7:17 (NIV84)
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, —1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 (NIV84)
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. —1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV84)
Lord Jesus Christ, as You always obey Your Father, obey the Father in and through me. Reveal to me Your specific will for my life as I faithfully follow in Your footsteps. In Your Name, Amen.