You have an opportunity…
… to take a new job.
… to travel to an exotic location and provide short-term help.
… to date a guy you just met.
Do you do it or not? What do you do when you have these choices? Maybe something interesting shows up, just out of the blue. Or maybe it’s been brewing for a while. But either way, there comes a time when you have to make a decision — what do you do? These things can be hard for everyone to figure out. Christians have an extra step: How can I know if what I want to do is within God’s will?
Is God’s will supposed to be an added burden, something Christians need to slog through or search for mysterious signs or Bible passages? Maybe it can be a delight. How you think about this has a lot of do with your view of God—is He a cosmic killjoy, trying to steal your fun? Or is he a loving Father who wants good for you? Someone who delights in you?
The God of the Bible is one who is angry with sin, and its effects — brokenness, disease, hurt feelings, injustice — but loves people enough to send his own precious Son to die to pay the penalty for our sins. He desires a relationship with us.
Which brings us back to God’s will.
His desire is for relationship with Him. Do you have one? Do you desire this, either as someone who has never trusted him, or as a Believer who has—is this what you desire in the present circumstance?
If you do want to connect with God, do you see him as a loving Father? When you know Him as a loving Father, involved in your life as someone who created you and knows you intimately, his general commands, found in the Bible, take on a whole different meaning. They are for your good, your protection from possible harm.
So what does the Bible say? Does it speak directly to your situation?
But what if your situation passes these tests? What then? This is true for so many decisions. Your options are lawful, moral, possibly even obviously really good things. Another question becomes, is it wise?
One thing you want to do is to look at yourself.
What are your priorities? Goals? Interests? Values?
If your interest is in learning about other cultures with a view towards using your education overseas someday, for example, then that travel opportunity makes a lot of sense. Maybe.
But even that doesn’t necessarily mean a green light—more of a yellow, proceed with caution.
The caution is wise counsel. This is where learning, asking questions, getting details, talking with people who’ve had similar experiences or goals can be extremely useful. Does it make business sense? Logistical sense? Financial sense? What about relationally? Does it have the potential to build the type of relationships you desire with God and with others, or might it tear them down?
Prayer is a foundational element. As you ask God for wisdom, he wants to share it with you. Asking God to reveal hidden things, asking for him to provide for you, including all information you need to make a decision are valid requests and a part of the process.
But what if you realize you don’t have a sense of your goals and values? Do you feel fuzzy about what you want? You’re just going along with what sounds good, having a good time and enjoying yourself while trying to make sure you have enough material things you need. That’s ok, but it might be that this is an area that you want to develop and grow in.
Knowing God’s will, his desire for you, is a process. Is he going to give you guidance? Yes, he will walk with you through your decision. But, while sometimes he may give you a clear, specific game plan of what to do, there could be other times he’s allowing you to exercise your free will and preferences to make the decision. The Confident Identity workbook allows you to become intimately acquainted with who you are. When you know your goals, your unique gifting, and your personality, you’re able to know God’s will for your life.