Discerning God’s Will For Your Life
The question every believer wrestles with: What is God’s will for my life?
We have been given the ability to understand God’s will--in life, in every situation--because we have been given the Holy Spirit. And by this gift, we are mysteriously connected to our ancestors of the faith, like Moses, King David, and the Apostle Paul. We’re even connected to the act of creation!
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God’s presence at work in the world since the very beginning, giving life to plants, animals, and humans (Ps 104.27-30). The leaders of Israel were given power, direction and guidance by the Spirit (Num 11.24-30, 2 Sam 23.1-4, Isa 61.1; Ezek 2.2; 3.12-27).
The Lord promised to give his Spirit and message to his people so that they would become eager to obey God’s Law and teachings. Their hope for the future is that God's Spirit will renew them and their relationship with God.
“I will put my spirit in you and will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you.” (Ezek 36:27 GNT)
“I will pour out my spirit on your children and my blessing on your descendants.” (Isa 44.3 GNT)
We encounter the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, also. At Jesus’ baptism “the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove” (Luke 3.22), and the writer of Matthew also claimed that Jesus was the “chosen servant” Isaiah said would be given the Spirit of God and bring justice to the nations (Matt 12.15-21).
Just in case the first-generation followers of Jesus thought the Holy Spirit was only for their ancestors, Jesus tells his disciples he will send the Holy Spirit to show them what is true and to guide them in the full truth (John 14-16). What a relief this must have been to his grieving disciples!
Understanding God's Will
As the early church began to grow and spread, the Spirit gives them the ability to understand God's will, to live together in love, to see what the future will bring, and to carry out the different kinds of work that need to be done (1 Cor 12~14).
As we mature as believers, we start to understand the question of God’s will for our lives has less to do with specific direction, and more to do with obedience to God’s laws. In this, the Holy Spirit makes it clear:
“But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.” (Gal 5.22,23 GNT).
Encourage your brothers and sisters in the faith by sharing a story of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life. Has your perspective changed as you’ve matured?