Have you ever found yourself asking God, "What is your plan for my life?" Just about everyone I know has asked that question at some point in their life. We want to know God's will for us. We want to know if he has a purpose for our lives that goes beyond what we see right in front of us. Sometimes we have a big decision to make and we want to know what God would want us to do.
Should I date this person? Should I marry this person? Should I take this job? Should I quit this job? What college should I attend? What should I study in college? Should I make a career move this late in life? Should I make this big purchase? Should I move to a new city? Should I start this new business? The list goes on and on.
If you find yourself in one of these places right now, then here are seven questions you should ask that will help to bring clarity and direction to your life.
1. Have you prayed (and fasted) about it?
One of the first and most important things you can do when you are trying to discover God's plan for your life is to pray and ask him to give you specific wisdom and direction. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." This is a promise directly from God's word. Ask for wisdom and it will be given to you. This is a great place to start.
2. Have you looked to God's word?
One of the most amazing gifts God has ever given us is his word. We have 66 books of Old and New Testament scriptures full of God's truth, wisdom, and direction for our lives. Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." God's word illuminates our path and helps us take steps forward rather than wandering around in the dark. His will for our lives will never contradict his word. So the second question to ask yourself is, have you looked to God's word?
3. Have you sought wise counsel?
When it comes to making big decisions and discovering God's will for your life, one of the best things you can do is seek wise counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." I would highly encourage you to find some wise people who you trust and ask them for their input before you make a big decision. Notice I didn't say find just anyone. It's important to seek out wise counsel.
4. Have you sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
When it comes to wise counsel, you won't find anyone wiser than the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 says, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. " One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth. I would encourage you to specifically pray to the Holy Spirit and ask him for guidance.
5. Will it make you more like Christ?
God's will for our lives has much less to do with what we do and much more to do with who we become. 1 Thessalonians 4:3a says, "It is God’s will that you should be sanctified..." This means God's will is for us to be holy, to become more like Christ. If you are trying to make a big decision, it's really important to ask yourself, "Will this make me more like Christ?" This question will often bring about a lot of clarity for us in the decision-making process.
6. Will it bring God glory?
When it comes to God's will, we have to be cautious of buying into the false idea that life is about us. Ultimately we were created for God's glory, not our own. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." The beauty of this question is that it gets at the heart of our motivation. It forces us to ask the question, "Why am I doing this?" Is it for you, for your own benefit? Or is it for God and for his glory?
7. What is the wise thing to do?
If you have made it through the first six questions and you still don't have a clear answer, then the last question to ask is simply, "What is the wise thing to do?" 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 says, "'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but not everything is constructive." Just because you can doesn't mean you should. So ask yourself, what is the wise thing to do? Sometimes God has a very specific plan for us, and other times he gives us freedom to choose. So when it's up to you to choose, look for the wisest choice in light of your past decisions, your present circumstances, and your future hopes and dreams.
My hope for you is that these questions will help you discover God's plan and purpose for your life. I pray that as you work through them, God will reveal his truth and wisdom to you.
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