Last night, I shared with the students about “Knowing God’s Will”. This was a topic that was submitted by one of our students for my final series at First Baptist Church that we are calling “Total Request Live!” I thought that I would lay out my outline for those who weren’t able to be there and anyone else who might be interested.
Many people wonder about what God’s will is for their life. The plan that God has for a person’s life should be on the forefront of each and every person alive. The God of the universe has created each and every one of us with a particular plan in mind. Before we can get down to what that plan is, we must take hold of two important truths.
- God has a wonderful plan for your life. The Bible shows us that God has a great plan for each person. Jeremiah 29:11 is often used by many as a “life verse” because it reminds us that God has a great plan to help us and not hurt us. It is a plan that seeks to bless you in a mighty way by the hand of God.
- God has a unique plan for your life. The plans that God has for you are as unique as you are (Psalm 139:13). There is not another you in the entire world. There has never been a “you” before, and there will never be another “you” after you’re gone. There may be some similarities between God’s will for your life and others, but the total plan is totally unique for you. God isn’t about making “cookie-cutter” disciples. When God created you in your mother’s womb, He specifically “knit” you together. This includes the plans that He has in life for you.
Until we can get a grasp on these two truths, God’s will for our life will not mean a whole lot. When we do allow these truths to seep deep into our hearts, it causes excitement. The God of the universe has counted us so special that He has created us in a unique way for a unique task. There are parts of God’s will for our life that are specifically for us; no one else will be able to do them as we were created to do them.
The frustration of knowing God’s will even in light of these two truths is finding out the specifics. It would be so easy if God would just drop a big billboard into the sky with all the plans written out for us, wouldn’t it? We know from experience and looking into the sky that hasn’t happened. Does God even want us to know what His plans for our life are? Of course He does, and He has given us some billboards to point to those specific plans.
The first billboard is His Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Within the pages of the Bible, we have the words of God’s heart. If you want to know what a person says or thinks, then you need to go to them and find out. Remember when you were in the early days of middle school and would send your friend to the friend of that girl/boy that you liked to find out if they liked you? Why the waste? Just go to the person and find out from the source. So much misunderstanding could be squashed if we would just go to the source. If we want to know God’s plans for our life, then we should go to Him and His Word and let Him reveal it to us. On the subject of knowing God’s will, listen to Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” If you are in the dark and looking for a path, you would use a light of some sort to reveal the path. God’s Word (the Bible) is that light for God’s children.
The second billboard is the Holy Spirit. God has placed His Holy Spirit within every believer to guide them along the path God has for them. Jesus told us in John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit – the Father will send Him in My name – will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” Don’t you like open-book tests? The teacher gives you all the notes and then when test time comes, they let you use the notes and your book! The answers are laid out there before you. God doesn’t send His children out into the world without the Holy Spirit who has the all the answers. The guiding of the Holy Spirit may come through prayer, bible study, or other means. The things that the Holy Spirit will guide us to will always line up perfectly with the words of Scripture. That is how you know if what you “feel” God has told you or led you is really God. Does the directions line up with the Word of God?
The third billboard is His servants. God has called some to serve as guides for Christians. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ.” God will bring people He has gifted into your life to guide you to His plans for your life. They may be pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, school teachers, coaches, bosses, parents, or friends. It is important that we be praying for these people that they might be in tune with God and sharing His word with us and others. Again, if these people are truly from God, sent into your life to help direct you towards the plans He has for you, then the directions that they give will line up perfectly with Scripture.
Though we might not see a literal billboard in the sky, God has set up some clear billboards in our life to show us His plans for us. A key characteristic to each of the billboards is that they point not primarily to the path but to the Path-maker. Sometimes we can get so focused on the path that we miss God. God is more concerned with you knowing Him than the plans He has for you. I wish that I could take each of you out for lunch one-on-one and tell you what God’s will is for your life, but I can’t. That position belongs to God and God alone. The more and better that you know God, the clearer the path becomes that He has for you.