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 big universal will stuff,” Cheri says. “I obey God as best I know how. But how do I figure out all the specific little things God wants each day?”
Cheri is in a great spot! When you’re committed to following God’s clear, universal will, it’s time to dig in and discover his specific will.
God gives us four ways to search out his plans:
Step 1: Look for God’s will in the Bible. Knowing Scripture is our starting point for zeroing in on God’s will. We don’t have to wonder, for example, if it’s okay to swear to fit in with friends. Ephesians 5:4 says, “Coarse jokes—these are not for you.” If our idea of God’s specific will doesn’t match up with Scripture, then it’s not God’s will.
Step 2: Look for God’s will in prayer. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God’s will to be done on earth (see Matthew 6:9-10). God wants us to ask for the guidance we need—as often as we need it!
Step 3: Look for God’s will in the advice of others. God puts wise, mature Christians in our life to help us spot God’s specific will—people like parents, grandparents, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and pastors. They have experience we lack.
Step 4: Look for God’s will in your circumstances. God can direct us by opening and closing doors in life. You might be good at languages and want to attend a pricey, monthlong language camp. Well, being offered a scholarship might mean God has opened the door for you. Missing out on one might mean the door is shut. But circumstances are tricky. There might be other ways to get to camp, so it still might be God’s specific will for your life.
Being sure of God’s will happens when we make the most of all four ways God wants to guide us. But how do we settle on a final choice?
Here’s where God makes it easy. If you’re doing God’s universal will and seeking his specific will, here’s how you make your choice: Do what you want to do. When 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 doesn’t line up with God’s will, he makes it his job to kindly point that out to you.
TALK: How does it make you feel to know that God cares about you enough to show you his specific plan for your life?
PRAY: God, thanks for having a plan specific to each of us. We want to do your will in every detail.
ACT: Think about a big choice you made in the last few months. Knowing what you do now, how could you have done a better job of looking for God’s specific will?