Monday 23 July 2012


How can we know God’s will for our lives?

When we come to a fork or crossroad in life, we know we need guidance.

God desires to show us His will and reveal His secrets to us because we are His friends (John 15:15b). So let us boldly approach Him (Hebrews 4:16) and let His Holy Spirit reveal His plans and purposes to us (John 16:13).

But we can only hear the Shepherd’s voice if we belong to Him, earnestly seek His guidance and are willing to obey.

This is what the chief Shepherd says in John 10:27: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

First, we need to set aside time alone with Him away from all distractions, including legitimate duties if that’s possible. We need to soak ourselves in the Word, meditate and pray. Reading books on guidance may help.

Before Jesus made any important decision — such as choosing the twelve disciples or whether He should tread the path leading to His sacrificial death at the cross — He spent a lot of time alone communing with the Father.

Can we do any less when it comes to crucial decisions such as career path or choice of life partner? Or the decision may be this: Whether to migrate or not; and, if so, to which country?

Next comes the difficult part. We’ll have to wait for the circumstances to unfold — the doors to open or shut. Waiting requires patience. But those who wait upon God will not be put to shame (Psalm 25:3).

Sometimes counsellors can help us discover His will for our lives — by praying and thinking through the issue with us. 

But they should merely undergird and confirm — not replace — what God speaks to us in a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). If we’re married, our spouse may help us in this regard.

When the Word, inner witness and peace, circumstances and godly counsel all line up in a straight line — like the runway lights that help a plane land safely at the airport — then we know that God has said, “This is the path I would like you to take.”

What happens if we aren’t absolutely sure about God’s will even after a period of waiting and deliberation? 

Just as nobody learns to drive without taking the wheel, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be stalled by “paralysis of analysis”. We should step out and act — by faith. If we make a wrong turn, “God’s GPS” will redirect * us along the correct path.

Faith is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes.

When we hone our skills in listening to God’s voice in minor life decisions, we will able to sense His leading when we face big decisions in life (such as going into “full-time” ministry or choosing a life partner).

All the best in your listening endeavours.


  Divine GPS   *

 “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it”’ (Isaiah 30:20-21).

*For decisions such as career choice, this kind of thinking is applicable. But when it comes to choice of life partner, we must remember that “trial marriage” is not a viable option. Choosing to marry in haste — for fear of ‘missing the boat’ — may mean a lifetime of regret.

Related post: 
Plans and Purposes:


  1. When it comes to guidance, believers need to seek God and listen to His voice. While some are gung ho like the apostle Peter, others are indolent and phlegmatic--slow to obey even when God's leading is strong. The latter is afflicted by this disease called the "paralysis of analysis". It is this category who need to get out of their comfort zone and step out in faith. Grab the steering wheel and start driving. There is a place for seeking guidance but there is also a time when we stop analysing and figuring it out and say to God, "I trust that You are leading me in this direction. I will go ahead."

  2. I know a bachelor in his 40's who was in between jobs for years and living off his meagre savings. When asked what on earth was happening, he told me that he was still seeking guidance from God before making the next move. This is a most classic case of "paralysis of analysis" that I have personally encountered.

  3. Discomfort awaits the faithful. To bring out the best in us, God may lead us to places where we get stretched like a rubber band. For more on STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE: