Everyone, deep down inside, wants to know God’s will for his or her life. It’s a universal longing for purpose and meaning, shared by anyone who looks at life as more than just existing day to day. Men and women struggle with—wrestle—and get frustrated by their uncertainty about where to turn or how to find out their purpose. I have personally met with thousands of people on such a quest, and have found that there exists a deep longing within each one to know God’s will for their life.
There are five key factors found in God’s Word that each contribute to your discovery of God’s will for your life:
- The YOU Factor—Getting Ready to Hear God’s Will
We have to get our hearts in the right place. During my college football days I suffered a dislocated shoulder because of an illegal hit. Here was the progression: a misguided person hit me, shifted my shoulder, and caused something to be out of place according to God’s design. That happens in life! We all have the wrongs we’ve done and the wrongs done to us. God wants to gently nudge our dislocated hearts back into place so that we can hear from him.
- The GOD Factor—Five Ways God Speaks to Us
God speaks to us primarily through his Word. All the other ways that God speaks to us, we only know, because he told us in Scripture. Make sense? Here are the five ways God speaks to us: his Word, through other people, via conviction and impressions, in dreams and visions, and through pain. C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
- The GOD and YOU Factor—Receiving an Answer from God
The third factor is all about getting an answer from God. It requires finding a quiet place where you can meet with the Almighty. It takes waiting patiently, listening, writing, and keeping your hope alive! It’s a path for your purpose.
- The TEST Factor—Testing Your Decisions
I always get asked, “How do I know this is God’s leading and not the pizza from last night?!” Great question. That’s why God’s Word calls us to test everything—as in “everything” (1 Thess 5:20-21).
- The PERSONAL Factor—Walking It Out
Finally, God calls us to walk out his call on our life with laser focus. I believe to have that type of focus, we must embrace the five P’s: Purity, Perseverance, Purpose, Prayer, and Passion. Through the lens of the New Testament, David of the Old Testament was called “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). You can also be a man or woman after God’s own heart. David obviously had some major failures, but was commended for relentlessly pursuing God.
Discovering God’s will for your life is a process of discovery. Interestingly, when one discovers God’s will, s/he discovers God, and discovers him or her own self, too. I invite you to discover God’s will for your life’s journey. Your life will indeed be changed forever.
Thom O’Leary is the lead pastor at Mountainbrook Community Church, a noted speaker, mentor, and author.To get a copy of the book Discover God’s Will—Five Factors That Will Change Your Life Forever, visit discoverGodseries.com today.