How do I know God’s Will.

Did you ever wish that God would guide you with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillow of fire by night, as He guided the ancient Israelites (Exodus 13 : 21)?

Have you ever wondered why God hasn’t sent an angel to tell you what to do as He did for Joseph, the husband of Mary (Matt. 2 :13)?

Or maybe you long for God to give you directions in a dream as He did for the apostle Paul in Acts  16 :9.

Yes, it would make things so much easier if God would guide us as clearly as He guided these Bible characters.  However, there are a few things that we need to keep in mind in relation to their guidance.  These people didn’t have the complete Scriptures to guide them.  Their circumstances were somewhat exceptional and required a direct, divine intervention.

But what about you and me in this humdrum 21st century?  Can we ever expect such exceptional, divine guidance as these Bible characters had?  I have read reports of those who have had exceptional guidance in modern times, for example, through dreams.  However, these have been the exception rather than the rule.  So, you are asking; “How can an ordinary Christian like myself receive guidance and know God’s will?”  Well, let me refer you to the world’s best guide book – the Bible.

The Bible is full of ordinary people who had confidence in an extraordinary God.  Yes, as we have just noted, there were times when He did lead some of them in very clear, exceptional ways.  But, for the most part, He used more normal ways to guide them and make His will known to them.

In Psalm 27 : 11 we find David praying; “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path…”  David knew that one of the secrets of finding God’s direction was to pray about it.    The Bible, Church history and the history of missions are full of stories of those who have earnestly prayed that they might know God’s will and their prayers have been answered.  God does hear the prayers of all of His children, even yours.  C. H. Spurgeon, commenting on this verse, makes a telling statement: “Help is here sought as well as direction…”

The person who wrote Psalm119 directs our attention in verse 105 to a wonderful tool that will help us know God’s will – the Bible .  He writes, referring to God: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”.   John McArthur, commenting on this verse, writes: “God’s Word provides illumination to walk without stumbling”  As you daily read and study God’s Word, you will discover, not only God’s general will for His children, but God’s particular will for your life.  Referring to C.H. Spurgeon again, he writes in relation to this verse; “…..we should not know the way, or how to walk in it, if the Scripture, like a blazing flambeau (a flaming torch) did not reveal it”

King Solomon was reckoned to be the wisest man in the East.  The book of Proverbs makes that abundantly clear.  In Proverbs 11 : 14 he writes: “…….in the multitude of counsellors there is safety”  I guess Solomon needed many counsellors to help him rule his vast kingdom.  However, you and I are not monarchs ruling large and sophisticated countries.  Nevertheless, we do need some wise and experienced friends to help us in our decision making.  Christian friends who will be open and honest with us as we seek their advice concerning the Lord’s will for our lives.  They may encourage you to read more in relation to the matter that concerns you.  They may advise you to consider the circumstances surrounding your decision.  They may also suggest you give heed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, because He will give you peace if you are moving in the right direction.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 14 : 33)   –  “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…..”  That is absolutely true.  Make the guidance you require a matter of prayer.  Carefully read God’s word asking His direction, discuss the matter with experienced, trusted Christian friends.  You will then find the Holy Spirit putting the pieces of the jig-saw together, and you will be able to say like Abraham’s servant ;“…. as for me, being on the way, the Lord led me….” (Genesis 24 : 27)

**All quotations taken from the New King James version of the Bible.