Knowing the Will of God
The LORD will bless “any” decision you make if it is within his moral will; but not all decisions are equal. Some life decisions, although within the Moral Will-of-God, will lead us down more difficult roads than others.
How can I know God’s will for my life?
Sovereign Will-of-God – The first step in this analysis is to determine whether your decision, choice, or proposed path in life is the Sovereign Will-of-God. If this is the Sovereign Will-of-God, then it will happen, so sit down, buckle up, and hang on for the ride.
Moses, Mary, and Paul are examples of people whose lives were directed by the Sovereign Will-of-God, and there was nothing they could do to change it. The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9. See also Psalm 23:3. Sometimes the LORD speaks to us and tells us what we must do, and other times the LORD simply directs our steps.
Moral Will-of-God – Assuming the life decision is not within the Sovereign Will-of-God, we move to the second step and ask whether this decision is within the Moral Will-of-God? The LORD has spoken in his Word about what is permissible and what is not. For instance, adultery is never permissible. Accordingly, determining the Moral Will-of-God begins with a search of God’s Word. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119.105. Consulting with a pastor or friend steeped in the Word of God may also be a necessary part of this step. The point is simply that you must eliminate from consideration any life choice that is not within the Moral Will-of-God.
Making a Good Choice – The third step is to determine which of the permissible choices within God’s moral will is well suited for you. The LORD will bless any decision that you make if that choice is within his moral will. But some decisions will prove more problematic than others. You want to marry a young man who is very opinionated and always wants to have his own way. Yes, the LORD will bless such a marriage, but you will not have an easy marriage.
Several factors help us to make a good choice among the various permissive options open to us.
Counsel – Parents, mentors, pastors, teachers, and friends are placed in our lives by the LORD to give us good counsel. Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22. Our friends and family know us well, their insight is often useful in helping us to see which options are better suited to our gifts and personality. For instance, you may aspire to play as a professional in the NBA, but friends and family can point out that no matter the amount of desire you possess, it does not make up for a lack of stature and hand, eye coordination.
Seek guidance from the LORD through prayer and petition and find peace of heart and mind. – Do not be anxious, but seek the LORD’s counsel by prayer and petition with thanksgiving according to Philippines 4:6-7, and the LORD will give you peace of heart and mind about your decision. You are not seeking the Sovereign Will-of-God in this matter, because He has left the decision up to you, but you are asking Him for wisdom and peace to make the decision which will result in the best consequences for you. The LORD brought all of the animals to Adam to see what Adam would name them. Did the LORD know what Adam would name each animal? Certainly He did, and yet the LORD gave full discretion to Adam in the naming.
Making a decision that results in bad consequences
Do not confuse making a decision that has bad consequences with not following the Sovereign Will-of-God. If it is the Sovereign Will-of-God, you would have made that choice no matter what. This is what the LORD intended.
Perhaps it was the LORD’s sovereign will that you make a decision which resulted in bad consequences, so that you would learn a difficult life changing lesson.
Perhaps you made a decision that was outside of the Moral Will-of-God. And now you need to repent and return.
More likely than not, you simply made a decision within the Moral Will-of-God, but you did not carefully evaluate the consequences of your decision. This is not a bad decision or a wrong decision, it simply not a well-chosen decision. The LORD allows us to make such decisions. The lesson here is that next time you should consult with many counselors and seek the LORD by prayer and petition to give you peace about such a decision.