God’s will—how do you know when and how to step out in faith? God’s will is big. It’s also unknown. It’s wonderful. It’s also scary. And being certain that you are in God’s will is critical having the confidence to go forward.
Perhaps you’re standing on the shore-line, looking out at the vast unknown that represents “God’s call…” You’re considering taking a massive step of faith. There’s a lot of risk. A lot of questions. Much hesitation and pause. Before you move forward, just a few quick thoughts about following God’s will.
Here are some things to make certain!
Before you step out, BE ABSOLUTELY SURE…
1. You can’t be talked into it. Strange to start with this one first, but if you can be talked into it (by human effort), then it’s not God and you’re not ready. God’s will shouldn’t hinge on someone’s ability to sell you on an idea. God’s will is often that which you couldn’t be “talked into.” (See 1 Kings 13—one of the scariest stories in the Bible for servants of God.)
2. You can’t be talked out of it. By the same token, if people can talk you out of obeying God, then it’s not God or you’re not ready. And getting past these “opposing voices” is a part of making God the Supreme Voice in your life. A 78 year old pastor said to me last year about this time, “Cary, don’t ever get your direction from man. Your direction comes from God alone. Then you get counsel from men who can confirm and provide counsel and insight that direction.” That was great, biblical advice. (See 1 Kings 13 again…)
3. You are scared to death of what’s in the unknown. If you aren’t afraid of what God is asking, then it’s not God and it’s not faith. Satan’s chief weapon to contend against God’s will is fear. Think “Peter stepping out of the boat!” “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
4. You are even more scared to disobey. In God’s will the only thing scarier than obeying is disobeying! Disobedience always costs more than obedience—though often obedience comes with what seems to be too a high price. “God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD…” Joshua 22:29
5. You can’t calculate how it’s going to happen. Safety and security are often our gods, and we calculate decisions based upon keeping these two things in place. We all want to be secure. We all want life to be predictable. Following God is always secure but rarely predictable. Faith doesn’t calculate, it obeys. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
6. You can point to specific scriptures that directed your path. God speaks through His Word. Not whim. Not fantasy. Not fate. Not impulse. He may use circumstances to indicate a path or door He’s opening, but He will always confirm His leading through His Word and voices speaking His Word. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
7. You have surrendered all selfish agenda or fantasy. A lot of times we tie an idealistic fantasy or wish to “the will of God.” The heart is deceptive. Don’t step out until you have completely surrendered your personal desires and will. Don’t follow your heart. God is greater than your heart. What you imagine will most likely NOT play out as you have imagined it—that’s when you need to know for sure it’s God’s will. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
8. You are prepared for spiritual battle and resistance. We dream of “God’s will” being something of a Heavenly experience—dreamy, smooth, comfortable, peaceful… but that’s eternity! That’s not now. Here and now, God’s will involves fighting, pressing, resisting. Step into God’s will and you always step into spiritual opposition! “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
9. You have many godly counselors (those with no skin in the game) confirming your direction. Not one voice, but many. God’s Word is clear that His purposes are established in the multitude of counselors. Choose godly voices who have nothing to gain or lose in your decision and who will truly give you biblical insight and wisdom with your best interest and God’s greatest glory in mind! Proverbs 15:22 “22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”
10. You have the courage to step into total, crazy abandonment. God calls us away from self and all that self clings to for security, stability, predictability, comfort, and personal agenda. Jesus said it this way, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Luke 18:29-30
It takes time to work through this stuff. God works patiently to confirm and solidify His call. But eventually you come to a point where there is nothing left to “work through”—nothing left to do but obey.
And when you do… be sure, you will find Him all the He promised He would be!