Understanding God’s Will

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Recently I was asked by a young person, “How do I know what God’s will is for my life?”  I remember asking that same question in my teen and young adult years.  It always seemed such a mystery, something far off and unreachable.  So much emphasis was put on knowing God’s will for our lives that it became the more grown up version of the childhood question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  I remember spending hours at the altar seeking to know “His will” only to go home not much farther ahead than when I started.  It was a very frustrating and confusing time in my life.

It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I really began to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life after hearing a couple of excellent messages on the subject and searching the scriptures in my quiet times with Jesus.  One scripture that spurned me on to really get to the bottom of this conundrum I found myself in was Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  If I was going to truly begin to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life, and follow His direction, I had to immerse myself in His sacred writings.

As you read on Daughters, keep in mind that knowing and UNDERSTANDING are two very different things!  There lies a HUGE difference between these two concepts.  You see, I can know something as a fact and be able to rhyme that fact off over and over, but to UNDERSTAND is to comprehend what that fact is saying to me.  Comprehension is a much deeper process that burrows into the very center of my cognition and eventually takes root in my convictions.

To boil it down, I can know that 2+2=4.  That is a fact; one I learned very young by memorization; one I can recite over and over again without even thinking.  But, to UNDERSTAND what this equation really means is to break it into smaller parts to yield greater comprehension, learning and application.  Written like this, OO+OO=OOOO, the answer has far more meaning to me and I can stand on the fact with conviction.

So, began my journey into God’s Word to discover His will for me and to fully UNDERSTAND it.  I soon realized that God’s will for me was so much greater and richer than simply knowing who I was to marry or what I was to become as a professional or whether I should have children or not.  It really had less to do with the outcomes in my life and more to do with my spiritual wellbeing, character building and actions towards others.  I realized that God already knew every day of my life before each one was lived; therefore, He already knew how my life was to unfold.  I simply had to serve Him, cultivate the fruits of His Spirit within me and watch with great anticipation as to how it all played out.  This shift in my perspective made life so much more enjoyable to live with each day being a complete adventure!

Banner scriptures concerning God’s will for me began to fly off the pages of my Bible.  My excitement continued to blossom and grow!

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…”

1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

1 Peter 2:15, “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

These are just a few of many scriptures regarding God’s will found in His Word.  Ephesians 5:17 ties up perfectly this blog on UNDERSTANDING God’s will for us, “Therefore, do not be foolish, but UNDERSTAND what the will of the Lord is.”