How to Determine God's Will

By Dr. Ann Shorb

God's Word clearly indicates that He is willing to give guidance to His children in both the big and the small areas of life (Psalm 32:8; 37:5, 7, 23; Proverbs 3:5-6).

Basing your decisions on just one source of direction can often be risky. It is better to look at several indicators to gain a more balanced perspective when trying to determine God's will in a particular matter. The following five indicators can help you in making that determination.

1. God's Word
"Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel," (Psalm 73:24a).

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

2. Prayer
"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).

Ask God for wisdom. Ask Him for the answer to your dilemma.

3. 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).

Consult with some mature, godly people asking for their counsel. Listen carefully to what they have to say.

4. Circumstances
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord," (Psalm 37:23).

Look at the circumstances surrounding the situation. How do they line up with what you are considering?

5. Peace
"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 proceed 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

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Related Articles and Devotionals:
Four Things God Wants You to Know
How to Grow in Your Walk with Christ
How Can I Know God's Will for My Life?

Read devotionals from CCES.