How To Know God's Will For Your Life
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” [Ephesians 2:10]
God, I have a purpose?… Really, Me?
The idea that I had a specific purpose and destiny was hard for me to fathom early in my walk with God. Up until my early 20s, I was passively pursuing life separate from God. It wasn’t until the age of 23 that I was able to accept the fact that God has prepared good works for me to fulfill in advance. Then the difficult question became: so, what is God’s will for my life?
At this point, I was a few semesters away from completing my graduate program; however, I was still quite clueless on what to do after graduation. I began sensing this deep desire to work in ministry and to help others discover the beauty of salvation, but the how was still so unclear. Over time God revealed more and more of His will for my life as I sought answers.
One sure thing is that there’s a longing placed in every individual, by God, for a sense of purpose and destiny. We all want to make our life count. No one plans to fail in life, but the reality is failure happens all the time. The struggle for most people has become discovering God’s will for their lives.
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” [Ephesians 5:17]
If you have been asking God what His will is for your life, rest assured that God wants you to know and He wants to help you discover and walk in it. I compiled the following guidelines to aid you in this part of your journey:
Destiny is Not Fate
First thing first, in order to discover God’s will for your destiny, you must understand destiny. Commonly people confuse destiny with the idea of fate. The idea of fate is that our destiny is predetermined and you cannot change it no matter what. This is not true. We play a major role in reaching our destiny. God has given each of us free will and it is quite possible to miss our destiny and the plans God has for us if we choose to live life on our own accord. We can’t mix destiny and fate, God invites us into a relationship with Him to discover what He has uniquely called us to do. Then it require action on our part.
Your Destiny is Connected to Your Desires
The desires of your heart are a good indicator of the purpose and destiny God has for you. Some may expect God to speak to them with a loud booming voice from heaven to reveal their destiny. However, the easiest way to determine your destiny is to look at your heart’s desires. God typically speaks to us through our hearts.
What do you love to do?
What are you passionate about?
What makes you angry?
What stirs compassion in your heart?
These are the things to start identifying to begin unfolding your destiny. God placed them there.
Caution: Our desires, separate from God, may lead to failure. A prerequisite to following our desires is to delight ourselves in the Lord (see Psalm 37:4), this means we are yielded to Him. Apart from God our desires tend to be self-centered. God inspired desires are for good and the benefits of others – this is His will.
God Works His Will in You
“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” [Philippians 2:13]
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” [Proverbs 16:9]
God doesn’t force His will and desires upon us; however, if we choose to partner with Him, it’s His spirit, grace and direction that allows us to reach our destiny. God gives us His Holy Spirit as an internal compass to fulfill His will and our destinies. Without the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible to discover and reach our destiny. We must surrender to God and yield to the Holy Spirit, so we can hear instruction from the Spirit of God. Being in relationship with God and the Holy Spirit is how we learn the specific details and step for our destiny. To grow in our relationship, we must study the word of God and spend time in prayer with Him.
Tip: Once you clarify your desires, you’ll need to begin stewarding your time, energy, and resources to make a plan of action. For example, if you have a desire to see an end to social injustice. God may want to raise you up to be a community leader to create change. You may need to plan to go to college and study social justice. In that process, God will continue to direct your steps and give you the grace to complete your degree. He will establish your steps.
Seek Godly Counsel
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but He that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” [Proverbs 12:15]
God first revealed His purpose for my life during my quiet time alone with Him. At the time things still weren’t clear and I wasn’t confident if what I had heard was Him or just me. However, months later and throughout the following years, God sent people into my life to confirm the vision he shared with me in private. In prophetic atmospheres strangers would begin to speak into my life exactly what God previously shared with me. Each time this happened it brought more clarity. Initially, God’s purpose for me was hard to accept because I struggled with low self-esteem, but similar confirmations kept coming. One of the individuals that spoke into my life actually became my wise counsel and I now consider him my spiritual father.
What my experience has taught me is that God will confirm His word for your life and provide counsel to help direct your decisions along the way. While pursuing destiny there are many areas of life you’ll need to make decisions in - some which do not have specific biblical reference, including: Where to work? Where to live? Who to marry? These are all questions that affect destiny. Before making any major decisions, I encourage you to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and consider wise counsel.
We all have a God ordained destiny and we all have access to the tools to discover it. If you haven’t done so yet, partner with God to begin manifesting the desires and dreams He has placed in you. It’s not going to just happen without diligent effort on your part.
What has God revealed to you about your purpose? Let us know in the comments, so we can lift that vision up with you in prayer!