Knowing God’s Will (Part 1) – Deciphering God’s Will

How do you know what God’s will is when it comes to decision making? I would argue that is one of the most asked questions I have dealt with as a pastor and certainly in my own life. We can spin that question around and ask it this way: How does God reveal his will for me, especially for my life’s direction?

Where do I look for guidance? Does God speak in still small voices? What if I don’t hear anything? Does he speak in dreams? What if a dream is just the result of the curry I had for dinner? Does God speak through other people? How do I know if someone else is really representing God or just their opinion? Does God speak through interesting circumstances that seem to be hinting at a theme? Or is that just life and I am importing connections? What if my cheerios seem to spell out a word? Or is that just a random floating armada of my cheerios?

fork in the road

Some of you might be facing a big decision. What college should I go to? Grad school? Should I date this person? Should I marry this person? Should I take this job? Should I leave this job? Is God calling me to vocational ministry? Should my children go to public school, private school, Christian private school, homeschool, classical homeschool coop? And on, and on…and on?

For the next handful of weeks, we will discuss a sure-fire way of knowing God’s will for your life. For real! I guarantee it. I am going to give you a step-by-step formula for knowing God’s will for your life and it always works.

First, a lesson in how NOT to decipher God’s will…

In college, I had a good friend who really wanted to get married. His name was Doug. It still is, in fact. 😝 He was not into dating. He just wanted to meet Mrs. Right and date as quickly as possible and then get married. So, one day Doug prayed and asked God to reveal Mrs. Right by sending a girl with zucchini bread and that would be the fleece… er I mean sign… that she was the one. I am not making this up, by the way. You cannot make this stuff up. As preposterous as that seemed, guess what? A few days later a mutual friend showed up at our house, freshly baked zucchini bread in hand for my friend, Doug. Done! Doug knew. Doug praised God. Doug and this wonderful Christian young woman did indeed start dating… until they didn’t. About a year or so later, she dumped Doug. Doug was absolutely devastated, largely because he thought God told him that she was THE one. But she wasn’t. I actually think God punked Doug to make a point. Doug got the point. Doug has gone on to teach more Biblically on this matter, as a pastor. Doug and I are still dear friends, and we laugh about this still. Doug is married to Emily, after using the process we will discuss in this series. Doug and Emily are a wonderful, growing, Christ-centered couple, blessed with several children and a fruitful ministry.

Moral of the story – don’t go looking for zucchini bread. Sometimes bread is just bread.

So, what is the alternative? We will talk about it next week, but I will give a hint. It is discovered in the Bible, in a passage like this.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Jay Thomas, Lead Pastor