It’s safe to say that the questions I’m most frequently asked as a pastor involve the issue of God’s will. People often ask, “How do I know what the Lord wants me to do with my life?” Or, “When I have two options, how can I know which way the Father wants me to go?” I’ve also found that never are believers more concerned about God’s will than during times of waiting—when we desperately want to know what He’s up to and whether He’ll answer our prayers.
King David was able to endure through all his adversity because he understood that it was the Lord’s plan for him to be king of Israel (1 Sam.16:1-13). And Abraham was able to be patient because the Father had promised he’d have many descendants and become a great nation (Gen. 12:2). Though I’m sure the delays were extremely difficult for these two men, they could hold on to the Lord’s assurances about their eventual blessings. Unfortunately, the long intervals of anxious anticipation can be even more challenging when you’re not really sure where God’s taking you or what He’s planned for your life.
Perhaps the issue of God’s will has been heavy on your heart. You know His plans for you are good, but what are they? Do they really include the fulfillment of your dearest hopes and dreams? Is there any way you can be certain?
Friend, please be assured the Father wants you to know His will for your life. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that if you genuinely desire to follow Him, He’ll move heaven and earth to show you His will. How can I say this for certain? Because in order for you to accomplish the good goals God’s designed for you to achieve, you must know what He’s called you to be and do. (Eph. 2:10).
Think about it. If you had a son and you wanted him to help with the dishes, would you wait for him to figure out what to do on his own? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d teach your son how to properly wash dishes. Then you’d express your expectations about how often you’d like for him to do so. You’d direct him carefully. And if he forgot your instructions, you’d be sure to remind him.
The same is true for your heavenly Father. He prepares you to do His will, equips you to carry it out, then leads you in accomplishing it. It’d be completely out of character for God to hide His plan or refuse to help you achieve it. Instead, the Lord promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8). The Father wants you to make the right decision. So just like a Shepherd lovingly steers a lamb who’s prone to wandering, He trains you to listen to His voice, prods you, calls to you, protects you, and even disciplines you in order to lead you in the way you should go (John 10:2-4).
Not only will the Father guide you, but in Jeremiah 29:11, He assures: “I know the plans that I have for you … plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” In other words, you don’t have to be afraid that there’s only heartbreak ahead. God’s purposes for you will bring you contentment, satisfaction, and success. Though you’ll most likely face times of adversity—as we all do—you can be sure in those seasons that He’ll “cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). You can be especially confident in the waiting seasons of your life that God is leading you and engineering all circumstances for your ultimate benefit.