As Christians, one of the biggest comforts is knowing that God has a plan for your life. However, it can also be a source of confusion and frustration. We consistently hear about being in God’s will and trusting Him. Well, how do we know if we’re living according to His plan? How can we grow our faith in Him in a world of constant uncertainty?
The Bible speaks of the will of God many times, mostly in general terms — as in, the will of God for us as Christians. Consider what 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”These are general expectations for us as followers of Christ.
However, we get a little uncertain when it comes to our own personal path. How do we know if that job opportunity is from God? Is there a way to know if it’s God’s will for you to marry that man or woman? Well, He doesn’t give us an itinerary for our lives but He did give us a life manual in the Holy Bible.
There is great peace to be found when living within His will. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
So, we just need to love God and He will order our steps as He sees fit? Well, yes, but simply loving Him is not enough. Romans 12:1-2 gives us the most basic blueprint for life within His will. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Dying to ourselves and to the world is the biggest hurdle we face as Christians. Surrendering the reins to Him sounds great but it’s a little easier said than done. Especially when our flesh is ready and waiting to jump in and take over when we get impatient and lose sight of the bigger picture.
What does a life of sacrifice look like today? In our society, where entertainment, pleasure, and ease are placed above all else, is it really possible to be fully surrendered to Him? It is but won’t be easy. We will likely fail often. But He is a very present help in times of need. Thank God for His never-ending grace and mercy! Fully surrendering yourself to God requires a yielded spirit and a transformed mindset. Our worldview must shift from the temporal to the eternal. When we see things in light of furthering His kingdom or hindering it, it brings new clarity to each situation.
Daily prayer time, studying of Scripture, and keeping Him in the forefront of your mind will renew your mind and spirit. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 51:10-12. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” David wrote this after he’d committed adultery with Bathsheba.
He knew he’d sinned against God but he also knew that God was faithful to cleanse and forgive his transgressions. No matter what you have done, and no matter what you might do in the future, you can always find your way back to God and His plan for your life.
Walking in His will is the safest place for a believer. Resting in His perfect control provides peace and comfort. He wants the very best for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Keep your eyes on Him, friend. It’ll be the best decision you ever make.
Erica Caudill is a lifelong Christian who runs a blog. She is a married mother of two children. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.