What Is God's Will for My Life?
“What is God’s will for my life?”
Countless young Christians wrestle with this question. In my first year of college I remember being completely paralyzed by the stress of figuring out the answer to this question.
What degree should I pursue? What did God want me specifically to do with the rest of my life? I felt the self-imposed pressure to figure it all out within a two-week timespan.
There was a booklet that I filled out describing my current passions and dreams for the future in my college curriculum. Based on those two things, the book created a five and ten-year plan for my future. At the time, this seemed helpful and provided direction. However, even with these five and ten-year goals written out, I still feared I would make a wrong move and ruin my five and ten-year plan.
In my first two years of college, I considered four different degree paths before landing on a degree in Religion. I knew I loved studying religious beliefs and found it fascinating. This proved to be my sweet spot. I took classes based in Biblical Studies and Theology and did well. I loved my classes, and it was through those core classes in my degree that God really began to shape and intensify my passion for studying His Word and ministry.
I am currently ten years out from my freshman year of college, and my life looks nothing like what I wrote down in that little yellow life-planning book. All to the glory of God.
This brings to light a specific question: How do I know the will of God?
Not Mysterious but Knowable
As much as I agonized over finding God’s specific will for my life, I missed the fact God lays out his specific will for me in Scripture. This is the first place we should look if we want to know his will.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 gives us a clear statement concerning God’s will. “This is the will of God for you: your sanctification.” Sanctification is the end goal of God’s will for your life. Everything that happens in your life is working toward that goal.
Sanctification can be described as the process of rejecting sin and pursuing Christ. When we do these things, our desires become His desires.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
Delighting in God reorients and redirects our natural fleshly desires toward the heart of God, which is why the psalmist can confidently say that God will give you the desires of your heart when you are actively delighting in God.
How does one identify the will of God?
Immerse yourself in Scripture. Know his Word. Know your God. His plans for your life will unfold in a way that is God-honoring and Christ-exalting. Pray that God will use you. A recent prayer of mine has become, “God, use me!” I know he will answer that prayer because he says in his Word that he delights to use weak vessels for his use.
God’s will is not mysterious, but he has made himself known to us in his Word by his Spirit.
God’s Word is Vital
The fact that God so humbles himself to communicate his desire for us in his Word should humble us in return. He is a communicative God. He uses language and writing to communicate with his creatures. He desires to be known by us even though he does not need us. For if he needed us, he would cease to be God because his sense of stability would be dependent on something outside of himself.
Even though God is independent of all other living things, He delighted in his creation enough to reveal his will to them – what he desires for us as his people.
In summary, as much as we may struggle to know the specific will of God, the general outline is not difficult. God is not far off but is near to us (Ephesians 2). His Word is where we learn his will through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Pursue Christ well and strive to live a godly life where God is your passion. Pray. Be in fellowship with other believers. Seek to kill sin. When you do this, God’s will for your life will take shape and transform you.
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas, TX, holds a BA in Religion, and is a student at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is passionate about Scripture and how God’s Word impacts individuals’ hearts and lives.