Bible Reading: Psalm 37:1-7
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
”I’M DOING all that universal-will stuff,” Natalie says. “But I have to decide what school to attend and what major to declare and what classes to take. And I have my eye on this guy. Where does he fit into God’s plans?”
If you’re committed to following God’s clear, universal will, it’s time to dig in and discover God’s specific will day by day. You can seek his plans for you through a four-step process:
- Seek God’s will in the Bible. Knowing Scripture is basic to looking for God’s will. If your idea of God’s specific will for you doesn’t square with Scripture, then it’s your will-not God’s.
- Seek God’s will in prayer. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven … may your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). God is willing to give you the direction you seek. Ask him for it daily-or as often as you need to!
- Seek God’s will in the counsel of others. God has put wise, mature Christians in your life to help you discern God’s specific will. Your parents, other family members, youth leaders, or your pastor might fill that role. Mature believers can speak from a background of experiences you might lack-and their objectivity can keep you from being swayed by your emotions.
- Seek God’s will in your circumstances. God often directs you through outside circumstances beyond your control. If you have musical talents, being offered a scholarship to a top music school might give you a hint that you should pursue a career in music. But keep in mind that circumstances alone don’t always clearly indicate God’s will. The circumstances you see in your life must be balanced by Scripture, prayer, and the wise counsel of others.
Let’s say you’re living God’s universal will-and you have sought his specific will in Scripture, prayer, counsel, and circumstances. So how do you decide what to do? It’s simple. Do what you want to do. If you put God first in your life, he promises to give you the desires of your heart (see Psalm 37:4). And guess what? If what you want somehow doesn’t line up with God’s will, he will kindly make that clear to you.
REFLECT: Which steps to finding God’s specific will do you have a handle on? Which do you need to put into practice?
PRAY: Spend a few moments now talking to God about his will in your life.