“What is God’s will for my life?”
At different points in life you may find yourself having to make decisions that determine where your life is headed. This question is an appropriate response and you may have asked it in the past. Maybe that’s what you’re asking right now.
When I lived in Papua New Guinea, I once needed to hike 11 hours in a part of the jungle I had never been before. To get me to my destination, I had a map, a compass and a personal guide.
Before starting my journey, I studied the map. It gave me a big picture overview of where I was headed, and it helped me understand the direction I needed to go. But once I was at ground level, enveloped by the jungle, all I could see were trees. That’s where the compass came in — it kept me on course. But of all of the tools at my disposal, my personal guide was the one who helped me navigate the twists and turns of the journey most.
Our spiritual journeys have similar tools. We have a map in God’s Word, a compass in his purpose and mission for the world and a guide in the Holy Spirit.
But it still isn’t always easy to seek God’s will.
It would be wonderful to hear a voice from heaven or see a message written in the sky, but seeking the will of God is more than just that. God’s will isn’t a single, unchangeable, right-or-wrong, set-in-concrete path we have to figure out. Seeking the will of God is actually accomplished by seeking the kingdom of God!
When you’re seeking the kingdom, the Bible is both the big picture — the overarching story of God’s plan for the people of the world — and the details of how you walk with Christ. The compass, which is God’s mission and purpose for his people, sends us out. And the Holy Spirit guides us to unknown, uncharted and undiscovered regions of life.
As we desire what God desires, his purpose becomes our purpose. And this “true north” guides our decisions and actions.
Let’s talk about a few ways that you can begin to seek God’s will:
Ask the right question.
Often, we ask what God’s will is for our lives. But it has been said the better question is to ask what his will is for the world and how you might play a part in it.
Recognize God’s blessings in your life.
God has blessed you with experiences, skills and abilities to be a blessing to the nations. Don’t set your sights too low; remember that God’s desire encompasses the whole world!
Offer and obey.
Everything — our skills, experiences and abilities — has been given to us by God, the giver of all good gifts! We get to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to our Creator. As long as you continue to faithfully focus on the “true north” of God and his mission, you can trust that you’ll be guided no matter what path you take.
Realize there are no specific steps to follow.
It’s important to recognize that everyone’s personal journey in obedience to Christ looks different. In our journeys, God typically leads us into situations that require our dependence on him. And that means facing the unknown. Facing the unknown can be scary, but fix your eyes on Jesus to help you navigate the uncertainty.
Trust your compass, and rely on your guide.
The map of God’s Word has made it clear that our destination is having a personal relationship with Christ and leading people all over the world into relationship with him too. Remaining true to the compass of God’s mission, whatever path you take, is what will help you stay on course.
And as you follow the map and compass, be assured that the Holy Spirit — who has been given to us as our companion and guide — will help you navigate all of the twists and turns of life.