I find one of the trickiest areas of very practical theology to be knowing the will of God. This is an area that applies to every Christian and it is one for which there is a great deal of disagreement. Some Christians teach that we ought to expect God to provide us with guidance in every area of life, from the most important to the most mundane. Others teach a very different view, that God gives us very general guidance. Some take a middle position.
It’s a valid and pertinent question: What does the Bible tell us about discovering God’s will for our lives? When we talk about knowing God’s will I think the heart of what we’re asking is something like this: How will God guide me today in such a way that I can consciously participate in doing his will? How can I make decisions that allow me to consciously participate in what God wants for me? What would it look like at this time and in this place for me to do God’s will?
Over the next couple of days I want to answer these questions and seek to show what the Bible teaches us about knowing and doing the will of God. Here is how I want to go about this: First I want to show that God is absolutely sovereign; then I want to show that God is speaking today; then I want to show that God is speaking to you today; and finally, I want to show that God is speaking clearly to you today.
God Is Sovereign
We need to begin with the sovereignty of God. If the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that God is sovereign, by which we mean that God is King, that he is Lord, that nothing happens outside of his knowledge or outside of his will. God is able to do whatever his will is; God will and must do whatever his will is. This means that God is always at work behind the scenes in our world and in our lives. God’s providence directs every event in the universe and every event in my life. God is involved not just in the big picture of this world, but in the nitty-gritty. Nothing is too big or too small or too difficult. In his sovereignty he quietly directs everything that happens in the entire universe. Not a hair falls from my head without him knowing it and in some way willing it. Literally. There is not an atom in all the universe that is outside of God’s direct control.