4 Questions to Determine God's Will

One question I think most Christians ask at one point or another in their walk with Christ is, “How do I know God’s will for this particular decision that I face?”

Some decisions are harder than others.  Every decision should be bathed in prayer.  (And when appropriate, fasting.)  As you pray, below are four questions to ask yourself to help determine God’s will.  The first three of these were taught to me by a retired pastor and mentor, Bro. Melvin Fanning.  I added the fourth question.  As I reflect on past occasions when I have made a poor decision, I can see where I did not address one or more of these questions adequately:

1)  Is it permissible according to Scripture?  Very simply, God will never call us to do anything in contradiction to His Word.

2)  Is it possible?  This is based on the principle that where God leads He equips and provides.  This is not to say He will provide every single thing we need up front.  He does like us to walk by faith after-all!  But it is to say if it is God’s will He will make it possible for us to take the first step.  The resources will be available.  The timing will be right.  But what if you feel a strong call to something, and God just doesn’t seem to be opening the door?  Another mentor of mine is fond of saying, “It may be the right thing, but it may not be the right time.”

3)  Is the calling persistent?  The Scripture says that God does not repent of a calling.  Any call that is truly from God will not go away.  It behooves us, then, not to rush into things.  Wait.  Pray.  Give the Holy Spirit time to confirm in your heart what God is calling you to do.  If time goes by and the call is as strong as ever, then go for it.  If the burden fades over time, it is not truly a call of God.

4)  Have you talked to your pastor?  God has given your pastor watchcare over your soul.  If he is a good pastor, he should have an idea of your giftings and abilities.  To be certain, he is not God!  But if your pastor has concerns or hesitations about what you feel God calling you to do, it should be a huge red flag, and it’s probably time to put the brakes on and re-evaluate.  In the absence of a pastor, any spiritually mature believer who knows you well would qualify.  Christianity is a communal faith, and important spiritual decisions should not be made in a vacuum.  If God is calling you out, allow the Holy Spirit to confirm that through other Christians.