Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
A friend of mine (named Will) enjoyed saying that he was "God's Will." As a pastor, I get asked the question, "How do I determine God's Will?" more often than any other question. It is an important question.
I don't believe that God has a secret, "you-better-get-it-right-or-you-screwed-up-big-time" plan that we have to guess at as if it were a game. No loving father or mother would do that. I believe we have many destinations that God would approve of. I do believe God leaves "footprints" in our lives, pointing the way you follow. So, God's Will has more to do with the trip than the destination.
The "footprints" I examine on a regular basis (One never "gets it," It is faith after all) are;
·Does my trip square with scripture? I am not looking for a passage that gives me the answer. Rather, does my direction fit within the bigger story?
·What bubbles up in my time with God, especially over the long haul? (Prayer is more listening than talking)
·Are there precedents in faith history or human history, especially ones with fruitful outcomes?
·What do my closest confidants say? These confidants are one who love me unconditionally, do not need me to do anything for them, and can risk telling me that I am full of it, knowing I won't let go either. These types of friends are rare.
·I chart a course saying, "Forgive me if I am moving without you, Lord."
·I monitor the fruit, changing course when it is rotten.
·I enjoy the ride. Mike Yaconelli, Christian writer and satirist, told me that when he died (he is now deceased) that he wanted to be able to look God in the face an say (with much gusto,) "What a ride!!!!"
God's Will is that you have life and have it in abundance. Tell me how you discern God's Will.