One of the most common questions of the Christian life is this: how do I know God’s will for my life?
It’s a very important question. As Christ-followers we want to be obedient. We know that God has a plan for each of us and we know that His plan is for our good. So why doesn’t God just write out His plan so we can dive in? And what are we supposed to do until He reveals His plan?
It can be easy to slip into a never-ending holding pattern thinking, “I’ll just stay right here until I get a very clear direction from God. Preferably in writing. In triplicate if possible.” When we stand still, at least when I stand still, it’s often out of fear more than piety. (Or if I’m being really honest, I stand still because I’ve heard something I don’t like the sound of so what I’m really doing is waiting to hear God say something else.) But time and again in the Bible we see God telling people to start moving and His plan is revealed along the way. When God calls Abram in Genesis 12 He says, “go to the land that I will show you.” He doesn’t tell him his destination until later.
So how do we start walking?
The other night at small group we were talking about this very topic and our leader told us that the when they launch the space shuttle the navigation system doesn’t kick in until it leaves Earth’s atmosphere. Why? Because there’s nowhere to go but up. Until the space shuttle enters orbit they don’t need to direct it because there is only one way it can go.
It’s the same for us. If we do the basic things God has asked us to do, we can be sure we’re headed in a good direction. Galatians 5:22-23
lists the fruit of the spirit and then ends with this phrase, “against such things there is no law.” If you are actively pursuing love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and asking God to develop these things in your life, you can’t go wrong. You will be headed in the right direction. As you are walking God will continue to reveal His plans for you.
In that same small group meeting our leader quoted another pastor who said that “God uses what’s in your hands to get to what’s in your heart.” So if you are wondering what God’s will for your life is, look at what you have in your hands. Are you an excellent financial planner? Do you love horses? Are you really good at making people feel welcome? Do you have a great voice? Take the things that are in your hands and look for a way to use them for God.
God created each of us specifically for the good works he planned in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10) Ask God to show you how to use what you have. Pursue the fruit of the spirit in your life and you can rest assured that you are pursuing God’s will for your life. Walk forward in confidence, abiding in prayer. There’s nowhere to go but up.
Father, Give me the courage to start walking. Remind me that You will come with me and that You know the way, even when I can’t see it. Amen.
Question: What holds you back when God tells you to start walking? Have there been times when you stepped out in faith? What happened?