Scroll down to see the list of 12 questions to ask yourself which will help you to determine God’s will for your life.
Today we want to consider how we can find God’s perfect will for our lives. This is a very, very important subject.
The bible speaks in Romans 12 about understanding the perfect will of God, it says don’t be conformed to this world, Romans 12:2. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable, and perfect. There is a will of God for your life, which is perfect. You know from the time you are born again, from the time you’ve given your life to Christ, till the end of your appointed days on earth, God has chalked out, mapped out, marked out, prepared a perfect blueprint, a perfect plan for very detail of your life. Where you should live, whom you should marry, what you should do, what your earthly occupation should be, what all trials you should go through, what all temptations you should face and what ministry you should have in His Body. These are all part of God’s plan for your life. And you will never know or fulfill that plan unless you have a longing. See God doesn’t force anyone to walk in this plan. God doesn’t even force people to go into heaven. He doesn’t stop people from going to hell if they want to go to hell. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The Holy Spirit is in the world moving around, turning people towards God, steering believers to respond to His call, to surrender, and seek God’s perfect will. But if the Holy Spirit finds that you’re not really serious about doing God’s perfect will in your life, he will just live you alone. He won’t pursue after you. He may cry a few times, but if He finds that you’re not eager about doing God’s will because you won’t be able to make so much money then, or you won’t be able to get on in the world if you seek God’s will. Well then He’ll just leave you alone. And in eternity, you’ll have a lot of regrets because when you mapped out your life, you mapped out as a blind man. You’re totally blind concerning the future. You don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You’re totally blind concerning all the dangers and the pitfalls that are in front of you made by men and made by Satan and his demons. And as far the future goes, we’re totally blind. And it’s like a blind man trying to walk through an unknown path. Isn’t it good for such a man to have a guide whose eyes is wide open and who can see to the far distance? And that’s exactly what God wants to do for us. God knows the whole future. He knows exactly what’s good for us. He knows every pitfall, every snare that’s prepared for you by men or demons. And he can protect you from all of them. And he can lead you in a path, in your earthly life, that will be so perfect that one day when you come to the end of your life, and you stand before the Lord, and look back over your life, you’ll realize you could not have made a better plan yourself. You know I see it like this, that if I knew all the factors that are going to affect my life in the future, and if I knew every single thing that would happen to me along this path, and this path, and the other path, the alternatives I have to choose. If I knew every aspect of the future and I knew myself as God knows me, my abilities, my personalities, the plan I would make if I have God’s wisdom would be exactly the same as what God has made for me. Because all of us seek our own interests, we seek what is good for us. Do you know that God seeks what is good for you? There is a verse in Jeremiah 29 where God says, “I know the plans I have for you,” Jeremiah 29:11, “They’re not plans for calamity but plans for your welfare to give you your future and a hope.”
God’s perfect plan for us is something that is for our welfare that which is the very best for us. And therefore if you’re a wholehearted disciple of Jesus Christ, you will seek his plan in every area of your life. You’ll say, “Lord I don’t want to live in any city or town where you don’t want me to live. I don’t want to marry any girl or any boy whom you don’t want me to marry. It’s your choice that’s going to be uppermost in every single area of my life. I want to spend my money the way you want me to spend it. I want to spend my time the way you want me to spend it. And I want to do only what you want me to do on this earth.” If you are such a person, I want to share with you some principles, which we can prove the perfect will of God. I want to put this in the form of 12 questions that we ask ourselves if we are to find what is God’s perfect will. Sometime we can be faced with an issue concerning which we are not sure. Is this God’s will or is it not? And if we ask ourselves these 12 questions and seek to answer them honestly to ourselves as we come to the end of the list of those questions, it will become more, and more clear to us what the will of God is.
I’ll read those questions to you first and then we’ll go through them one by one.
1. Is this thing I’m considering contrary to any of the teachings of Jesus and the apostles or to the spirit of the New Testament as far as I know? In other words, is there something forbidding it in God’s word, in the New Testament especially?
2. Is it something I can do with a clear conscience?
3. Is it something I can do for the glory of God?
4. Is it something I can do in fellowship of Jesus?
5. Can I ask God to bless me as I do it?”
6. Will my doing it blunt my spiritual edge in any way?
7. Will it be spiritually profitable and edifying to the best of my knowledge?”
8. Would I be happy if I were found doing it at the moment when Jesus returns to earth?
9. What do wiser and more mature brothers think about it?
10. Will my doing it bring dishonor to God’s name or ruin my testimony if others know about it?”
11. Will my doing it cause others to stumble if they know about it?
12. Do I feel free in my spirit to do it?
As we look at these questions one by one, it will become more clear what God’s will is concerning any area. First of all if something is forbidden in scripture we don’t need to think about that a second time. That’s very clear in scripture. Should I tell a lie here? Well, the scripture say anything about telling lies? It certainly does. Is there any excuse for me not to forgive this person? In those areas, scripture’s absolutely clear. We must forgive and must always speak the truth. There are may other areas like this, God’s words are crystal clear, and we don’t need to pray or seek God at all. And if you are considering something which is contrary to God’s word, it is contrary to the spirit of the New Testament, it may not be a particular passage in scripture that’s pointing to that particular matter which I’m considering but if I understood the principles of the New Testament, I can ask my self, “Is this contrary to the Spirit of The New testament?” And by that itself I should know. That is the first question. And that’s why it’s important for us to know what the scripture said. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it says, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reprove, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” So there we see that scripture has been given to us to correct us and to lead us into path of righteousness and equipped us for every good work. So if we are not familiar with the teaching of the New Testament, there maybe situations in your life where you don’t know God’s will is, and you won’t know because you do not pay attention to scripture and you do not study the scriptures. This is why it is important to give ourselves to a careful study of the New Testament in order to find God’s will in the areas where that will is revealed in scripture and then it will be much easier for us to know God’s will in those many other areas of our life which are not revealed in scripture. For example, if you’re considering a job, or considering marrying scripture, that’s not mentioned in scripture. But if you have spent your life seeking to obey God’s will in every area that you’ve seen it in scripture God will make sure you don’t miss His will in such important area as marriage. That’s the benefit we get by obeying God’s word.
And secondly you need to ask yourself, “Is this something you can do with a clear conscience.” Conscience is not a perfect guide but it’s a very healthy guide to show us what God’s will is. In 1 John 3:21, it says, “If our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.” This is the thing that gives us boldness. As you consider this course of action, you find in your conscience a freedom. Or does you conscience disturb you that this is not good? This is not something that Jesus would want you to do. If your conscience disturbs you, don’t do it. So think of these two things. Is it according to God’s word? Is it something I can do with a clear conscience?
This is part of the Basic Christian Teachings Series, a set of 72 short messages presented by Zac Poonen. You can download the audio mp3 files or listen to Basic Christian Teachings by clicking here.