How Can I Know God's Will for My Life?

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

A question I hear nearly every week is,  “How can I know God’s will for my life?  How can I know what He wants me to do?” The Bible clearly indicates that God longs to guide His children in both the big and the small areas of life.  He longs to bless them with a life of abundant joy and peace, and He uses five primary means of giving us His direction.

God's Word: the Bible 
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, Psalm 73:24a.

Read and reread it and study it.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through both specific principles and general precepts presented in Scripture.   

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and abraideth not, and it shall be given him, James 1:5. 

Spend time talking to God.  Tell Him your thoughts, concerns, desires and dreams.  Ask God for wisdom.  Ask Him for the answer to your dilemma or for direction for your future.  Listen to the still, small voice within as He speaks.

The Counsel of Mature Christians
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; . . . as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them, Acts 13:1-2. 

The Holy Spirit  directed Saul and Barnabas through the leaders of their church.   Consult with mature, godly people asking for their counsel in your situation.  Listen carefully to what they have to say.  This counsel may also come from sermons, books, videos, television and/or radio programs by godly authors.  

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, Psalm 37:23.

What are your talents, training, experiences and desires?  What responsibilities do you have?  How is your health?  Your finances?  Look at the circumstances surrounding your situation.  All of these are important in making your decision.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him, Psalm 37:7.

When you are following God's plan, you will have peace and assurance in your heart.  Wait for that peace.  Do not move in any direction until you have it.

Use all five of these sources of direction as you seek God’s will for your situation.  It’s helpful to keep a Spiritual Journal for several weeks, if possible.  Note in this journal anything God says to you during these weeks.  Then review your notes and you will gain a more balanced perspective in determining God's will in a particular matter.   We have created a Spiritual Journal worksheet that you can print from our website.  Please visit

Heavenly Father, guide me as I seek Your will.  Show me Your plan for today, and help me to be all that You designed me to be.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Related articles and devotionals:
When You Can't Understand God's Plan
The God Who Sees
God Holds All the Pieces

The Search for SignificanceThe Search for Significance: Getting a Glimpse of Your True Worth Through God's Eyes (Revised)
By Robert S. McGee / Thomas Nelson

Now updated! Join the millions who've benefited from the classic that Billy Graham said "should be read by every Christian." Learn how to see your worth through God's eyes, step off the "performance treadmill," and discover, through insightful self-inventory exercises, how four false beliefs have kept you from the joy of abundant life in Christ. 352 pages, softcover from Nelson.