How to KNOW God’s Will: Part 1

How to know God's will

You need to make a decision. What job to take, which ministry to serve in, what’s the best schooling for your kids? And countless others. We are frequently faced with making spiritual and “non-spiritual” decisions. Many of us are totally befuddled when it comes to determining God’s will in any given situation—assuming that you even want to know.

So how do you know God’s will in every decision you have to make?

Well, let me tell you a story first.

When I was a relatively young Christian I went on a quest to find the answer to this very question. I had been growing in my love for Jesus and wanted to obey Him. He showed me two life-changing truths which I have used ever since in figuring out God’s best.

First, God wants you and me to know His will. Think about it. If God wants us to obey (and He does), then He has to tell us what He wants. That’s His responsibility. If you, as a parent, expect your teenager to be home at a certain time, then you must tell him what that time is. Otherwise, that’s just plain meanness.

Secondly, God told me to just stay close to Him and I would know His will. Such peace flooded my heart at that moment! You and I need not remain anxious when we don’t know what to do. (see Phil 4:6-7). This is way more than knowing about God’s rules—it’s about knowing His heart, about relating to our loving heavenly Father.

Of course, there’s more to it than that. So here are a few more keys to help you to know God’s will in any given situation:

Know What God Says

Often we don’t know God’s will simply because we aren’t familiar enough with His Word and God’s ways. The principles of how to live godly lives are described in Scripture even when they are not explicitly stated. Since God’s direction will always be in line with His Word, it makes sense to know it.

Know God’s Overall Purpose for You

God has great plans for you, but first and foremost He created you for a loving relationship with Him. That means we need to be more like His holy Son.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified. (1 Thess 4:3, see also 1 Pet 1:16, Rom 8:29)*

Secondly, it means knowing your God-given mission. Discerning God’s will always falls under these 2 overarching purposes—godliness and your specific life’s purpose.


If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5)**

Just be sure to ask in a humble, undemanding way with pure (unselfish) motives (James 4:2-3).

For additional help in praying, go to the website page on How to Go Deeper with God in Prayer.

Trust that God Will Answer You

If you cry out to know right from wrong, and lift your voice for understanding…Then you will understand what is right and good, and right from wrong, and you will know what you should do. (Pr 2:3,9)***

If you come to God His way—He will answer! Believe Him ( See Pr 2:1-13,  Mat 7:8, James 1:6-8). 

God has never failed to show me His will when I approach Him in the correct reverent way. Granted,  I may have to wait much longer than I desire, but He always comes through!

God is capable of clearly communicating to you. You simply have to be open and listening. You don’t have to be a theologian or even mature in the faith (though that helps!). God knows how to get through our thick skulls! He Himself will teach you how to recognize His leading.

…We have received God’s Spirit…so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. (1 Cor 2:12)**

And that includes wisdom for any given situation!

There’s way more to come. I hope you will stay with me in this 5 part series. Meanwhile, my friends, keep seeking.

For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Mat 7:8)**


* THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.
**New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
***THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.