I’m so glad you asked this question, especially because I just spoke on this recently. And, because this question is quite infamous amongst Christ-followers.
We so often get confused and over-complicate things when it comes to “finding God’s will.” Even that phrase is a misnomer. What are we trying find? Is it some sort of mystery we have to solve, a la Sherlock Holmes? Is it a riddle we have to figure out, all the while getting clues from the Holy Spirit, a la National Treasure? Is it a conspiracy we have to crack and uncover through in-depth word study of Scripture, a la “The Da Vinci Code”?
We may not outwardly voice those ideas, but often, that’s how we view “God’s will,” as if it’s something we have to “find.”
But let me tell you this, Anon, and all those who might read this, God’s will is far simpler than we’ve made. It all boils down to something Oswald Chambers once said, that we must follow God with “breathless expectation.” You might be uncertain of what the future holds, what tomorrow holds, or even what the next hour holds, but if you’re certain of God — and His gospel of grace through His Son, Jesus Christ — then you’re certain of everything you need in order to do God’s will. This is the point that Jesus Himself was making in Matthew 6, saying, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Rather, push further, fall deeper, and lean harder on Me, on My grace!”
That’s God’s will, for you and for everyone! I’m reminded of the story of Abraham, in the OT. God told Him, in no certain terms, to pack up and go until I tell you to stop. With a command like that, I seriously doubt I’d be as apt to follow God as Abraham was. But he obeyed; he surrendered; he followed, with “breathless expectation,” traversing in uncertainty, but he was certain of His God.
An old writer once said this: “The scientific instrument of Christianity … is the surrender to the will of God before you know what that will involves” (Barnhouse). I love that; it’s not surrendering after you’ve received explanation or confirmation or assurance, it’s surrendering solely on the basis of faith in Christ. It’s unreserved obedience knowing that Jesus is enough and His grace is sufficient.
That’s God’s will; that’s following Christ.
This is, perhaps, much longer than you expected, but don’t always seek earthly assurance for what you know you should be doing. Being in God’s will isn’t a secret thing, it’s a surrendering-thing: determine to know God and dive deeper into the caverns of His gracious gospel and unconditional love—and the solution will manifest itself. If you’re pursuing God with your life, Hw won’t evade you, but will manifest Himself to you, and His Spirit will testify to you the next step.
Follow God, in faith, with “breathless expectation,” perhaps being uncertain of everything else, but being certain of God—then you’ll know you’re in God’s will.
— Pastor Brad
Even on bad days, I try to be grateful because we are all lucky enough to have the chance to know our Maker.