How can we know God’s will for us? How do we know we are praying for the right things? I’m so glad you asked. Day fourteen of #theFives has the answer.
“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.”
There are universal truths about God’s will found in the Bible. Basic, everyday life kinda stuff that you could probably guess if you thought for a minute. He wants everyone to come to salvation (1 Timothy 2:3-4). He wants us to always be grateful, no matter our circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). He even has a will for how much wine we drink, how we speak about other people, and being wise in our choices (Eph 5:15-20).
God does not want you to lie, cheat, put down others, become infatuated with your paycheck, or play the church game without investing your heart. Look it up- it’s all in the Bible. That is always your first filter when searching for the will of God.
But what about specifics that can’t always be answered through a direct word from the Bible?
“God, is it the right time for me to step into foster care?”
“God, my husband wants to leave me. What do I do?”
“I just got fired from my job. Do I search for a new job in the same line of work, or do something new?”
These needs don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Luckily, we don’t serve a God who creates “in bulk.” He has a specific plan for each of us, uniquely crafter for us, and He wants to tell us what that is. He does not withhold his wisdom from us (James 1:5) and wants us to follow His will. The only thing holding us back is ourselves.
1.) Re-read Romans 12:2. To know God’s will, we have to pray to renew our minds. Ask God to show you what is floating around in that head of yours that is not good.
2.) Pray for God to destroy those thoughts and replace them with good ones. This is the act of repenting and replacing. God cleans it all up, but it is your job to keep your thoughts clean moving forward (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s that question again- “What are you feeding your mind?” Gossip in, gossip out. Trash in, trash out.
3.) We will know God’s will when we surrender our own. It is hard to hear God’s voice when our own plans are like cotton balls in our ears! God DOES have a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) but you have to trust him with all the little pieces. Instead of praying for YOUR idea of what should happen, pray that your ears are opened to hear Him when He does tell you His will. Pray whatever is in your heart. God will never fault you for “praying the wrong thing”- He is a loving father who looks at the heart of our requests. Trust Him enough to know you can’t mess it up and that His plan is much better than anything we could imagine!