Navigating Through the Will of God

One of the most common conversations I have is with people who want to know the will of God for some specific decision that must be made in their lives. It encourages me that these people are earnestly seeking the will of God. Many move through daily decisions big and small without thought of God’s will for them. Should we wait to hear from God concerning His will for our daily decisions? Yes and No.

Psalm 2 describes earthly leaders who set themselves against God in their planning. These are those who know the will of God in a particular instance, but think themselves able to overcome God’s will. They don’t want to be in bondage to God’s will.

Psalm 2:3–4 (ESV) — 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

Each of us live within the Sovereign will of God. These are the things that God has determined in eternity past will happen. For those who oppose the will of God, this is a warning. For those who trust in God, this is a blessing. This is how we can know that God will preserve and deliver His people.

Psalm 2:12 (ESV) — 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

By contrast, those who live outside the refuge of God’s will, have no such confidence. Despite the best plans to seek either pleasure (Eccl 2:1-3), great achievements (Eccl 2:4-6), or great wealth (Eccl 2:7-10), such will lead only to insecurity.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 (ESV) — 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

So, once we have committed ourselves to live under the will of God, how do we do it? Do we pray before each choice? Wait for an audible voice from heaven? Look for a road sign with a personal message? Try to discern meaning in the patterns in the clouds?

Proverbs 2 gives us directions. First, we are to treasure up God’s Word in our minds and hearts (v.1). We do this when we read the Bible, listen to sermons, have our daily quiet time with God, or talk with a wise brother or sister in Christ. Second, we incline our ears and our hearts to hear and understand wisdom (v.2). This means that we are open to correction or to learning. We are not so certain that we have all the knowledge we need, that we are closed off to what God is saying to us. Third, we are to actively seek out wisdom in the regular course of life (v.3-4). In other words, we don’t wait until the matter needing wisdom is on top of us. We are always casting out our net seeking wisdom and storing it away for when we need it. Most of our indecision is caused by a failure to do this.

When we do these things, we can be sure that God is storing up wisdom for when we need it, even if we do not discern it at the time (v.6-7a). Often, Christians cease studying the Bible on a regular basis because they do not perceive the value of it in their present situation. It is in these times of relative peace that God is storing up wisdom. Finally, when we are seeking God’s wisdom, we will find ourselves in pressing need of it far less frequently, because the influence of that wisdom has guarded our path and been a shield to our integrity (v.7-8).

So, Christian, if you want to walk in the will of God, don’t wait for the day that you need it most to seek it out. Store it up now. This does not mean that days of great need of wisdom will not come (though they will come far less frequently), but that when they do come, God will have prepared you for it without your conscious awareness of it.