Jim Denison on How Can I Know God’s Will?

In 1870, the Methodists in Indiana were holding their Annual Conference. At one point in the proceedings, the president of the college where they were meeting said, “I think we are living in a very exciting age.”

The presiding bishop asked him, “What do you see for the future?”

The college president responded, “I believe we are coming into a time of great inventions. I believe, for example, that men will fly through the air like birds.”

The bishop said, “That’s heresy! The Bible says that flight is reserved for the angels. We’ll have no more such talk here.”

When the Annual Conference was over, Bishop Wright went home to his two small sons.

Their names were Orville and Wilbur.

God’s will is bigger and more exciting than any we can imagine for ourselves (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9). Living in his will is the key to living the abundant life Jesus came to give (John 10:10).

The most common question I’ve been asked as a pastor is appropriate and urgent: How can I know the will of God for my life?

Does God have a plan for us?

First, we must believe that God does, in fact, have a plan for our lives.

Some evolutionists say that life began as a chance coincidence, with no particular plan or purpose at all.

Existentialists say that this life is all there is, and life is chaos. Martin Heidegger, for instance, wrote that we are actors on a stage, with no script, director, or audience, and courage is to face life as it is.

Postmodernists say that truth is relative, that there is no overriding purpose to life.

So, does God have a plan for us, or is life a random coincidence? In the words of Shakespeare, are we “sound and fury, signifying nothing”?

Here is God’s answer: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

  • He had a plan for where and how they should live: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce” (v. 5).
  • He had a plan for the families they should have: “Marry and have sons and daughters” (v. 6).
  • He even had a plan for the country which enslaved them: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (v. 7).

A plan for where and how we live, the families we raise, and the country we inhabit—what is left out?

God has a plan for every part of our lives. Romans 12:2 calls God’s will “good, pleasing and perfect.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jim Denison