First let me say Happy NEW YEAR!!! The text that has been on my heart for the year 2018 has been Jeremiah 18:1-6. Where Jeremiah looks at the potter molding the clay. Like clay we ought to be in close connection with the Father, giving Him full permission to mold and shape the person He ordained for us to be. Yes, clay can be stubborn at times, but we must admit staying on the wheel the entire time and giving no opinion on the matter isn’t very easy. Unlike the clay, oftentimes, when we ask the question, “Am I in God’s will?” we ask believing that we ought to have some form of power or control to move ourselves within God’s will. Don’t get me wrong some circumstances call for that, like a new career for instance, but many times we just need to be still. I know the ‘still’ word. With every and anything accessible to us with the touch of a button, it’s extremely hard to be still enough to hear God’s voice. But let me tell you, it’s in the stillness where we get to know God. Have you ever wondered why looking at the ocean almost instantly brings thoughts of the Creator? As you gaze on the sea you are being ‘still.’ No iPhone, no internet, no distractions, just you and your Lord.
Our best example is Jesus Christ, who every morning asked His father what was on the agenda for the day. But there were times when miracles caught Him by surprise and He would ask, “Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45). Being in God’s will almost certainly means that life will take you by surprise. There might even be times when you are almost sure that this is God telling you walk this way. It happened to Samuel, when he looked at the eldest son of Jesse he said, “Surely this is God’s anointed.” (1 Samuel 16:6) Yet God’s response was “I have rejected him, I look at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Can I pause here for a moment? Sometimes in new relationships we say to ourselves surely this is the one. He/she has a good job, loves their parents, my parents love them, it’s a match made in heaven! Yet God might not choose them for you, not because they aren’t good people but He sees their heart and knows yours as well. Take time to hear what God is saying concerning your relationship, He is ALWAYS speaking, the question is will we be still long enough to hear Him.
With that said, here are just a few tips when trying to discern whether this is God’s will or not. Please note that this is only from my experience and isn’t limited to these tips alone.
1. Develop a prayer life: In my experience letting God know your heart and bringing yourself in a place of meditation only helps in understanding His will for your life. Also, being willing to say at the end of your prayers, “Not my will, but thy will be done,” gives God Divine access to change your plans as He deems fit.
2. Bible Study: Many times, when I prayed over a situation that was bothering me, I almost always landed on a text that spoke right to my situation. Be prayerful and ask the Holy Spirit to give insight in His word.
3. Know your will and preferences: It’s vitally important to know what your wants and preferences are so that you can understand what is your voice. Knowing your voice helps you to know His. This is where fasting is so special because it’s a way to kill your desires and seek after His desires for you.
4. What purpose will His will serve? If the path you are on is all about you and does nothing to improve the lives of someone else. Chances are this isn’t God’s will for you. Wherever God has planted you, will always place you in a position of service in some way shape or form.
On this Martin Luther King day, we must also keep in mind that God’s will for our lives will not always be a rosy road. At times, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it may be decorated with thorns. The question is, are we willing to align within God’s will even if it means enduring suffering and pain on behalf of someone else? Even when it doesn't seem beneficial for us? This is what makes the life of MLK so remarkable. He fought and died for rights that he never really had the opportunity to experience, yet he did it for the generation of today.
This year let us forge into the uncomfortable and embrace God’s will like never before. Whether it brings good times or bad, it matters not. What matters most is hearing Him say, “Well Done!”