I don’t profess to know any magic formula to knowing God’s will for my life. I often wish I did know what his plans are for my future, but I don’t. What I do know is how to stay in His will. I know how to please him, how to live out my life according to the directions I read in the Bible.
In 1 Kings 13 there is a great example of how easily a godly man can step out of God’s will and suffer the consequences.
I will give you a quick Biblical history lesson to set the stage for the drama. King Solomon is dead and his son Rehoboam has become the king of Israel. Unfortunately he was not a wise king like his father. Very soon the kingdom is split because of the hardships the people have suffered under King Rehoboam. Enter Jeroboam, who takes 10 tribes and rebelliously rules them in the north.
The man of God mentioned in 1 Kings 13 comes to King Jeroboam with a message from God. After the message is delivered he has a couple of opportunities to receive hospitality from the king and then another prophet.
His response to the king is: “If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came.’” So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came” 1 Kings 13: 8b-10 ESV
Wow, what a bold reply! Unfortunately he believes a lie told to him by a prophet and suffers for it, in fact he is killed by a lion. Read the whole account it is an exciting story from beginning to end.
Do you see how very easily we can be led astray? I do. When I read this the other day, it hit me hard that I often suffer the consequences when I step out of God’s will. How do I do that? By doing things my own way. I start out every day with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading; but I still fall out of his will. Frankly, I sin, and often have to suffer because of my sinful behavior.
So what is the answer to staying in His will? First and foremost you must be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive him as Savior from your sin. Then you must daily seek his guidance to walk in ways that are pleasing to him. It really is pretty simple. We tend to complicate it.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 that he must be born again. In 1 John 1:6 it says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Walking in darkness is going my own way and not God’s way. When I read truth in the Bible and choose not to apply it to my life, I am walking in darkness and out of close fellowship with my Lord and Savior.
There is light to be found in the Bible. Daily direction in how to stay in God’s will. I can’t tell you God’s will for your life; but I can direct you to where it is found. It is found in His Word.