There’s one question so many young people are asking themselves, their pastors, and their friends. Maybe you’re not young but are still wondering, “Is this God’s will for me?” You are not alone!
Did you know it’s a question that has only begun to be a topic of conversation in the last 150 years or so? Before then, if your dad was a carpenter, farmer, or worked in a factory, you’d be a carpenter, farmer, or work in a factory. If your dad was a fisherman or a butcher, you’d be a fisherman or a butcher. The career pool was much smaller for women, where they were generally stay-at-home moms or a homemaker.
With an explosive amount of career options in 2018, it’s no wonder we’ve come to the question: “What is God’s will?” But it isn’t a secret – I know what God’s will is for your life! It’s not hard to find out, because the Bible tells us.
What Does the Bible Say About God’s Will for My Life?
The Bible doesn’t say anything about whether you should be a doctor, pastor, or a cowboy. It doesn’t say if you should live in Pittsburgh or Portland. It doesn’t say if you should be married or not. But, let’s take a closer look at what the New Testament does say.
Love God and Love One Another
Jesus was asked by a religious leader, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” in Matthew 22:36. Jesus’ response was scandalous because the religious leaders thought they were in a different league than the common folk.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” –Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others.
Sounds easy, right? It’s so simple to understand, but the most difficult command to live out! Jesus could have pushed the religious leader to pray louder or donate all of his money to the homeless, but instead Jesus said, “Love.”
WHAT?! Can it be that God’s will is not based on what we do or where we live, but on how we love?
Don’t get me wrong – I think that God has an opinion about everything! He cares what career we choose, what job we choose, what city we live in, how we spend our money and a myriad of other things in our lives. And as we go, He will guide us and show us what’s best for us.
Here is a secret I’ve discovered in 50+ years of life, expressing love increases love. Just think about it. It’s better than ‘fake it till you make it’!
Love the co-worker in the cubicle next to you who gossips. Love your neighbor with the teenagers who come in and out all night. Love your sibling who is always complaining about something. Love the person who has different political or religious views than you.
Love relentlessly like Jesus.
Related Post: 5 Truths About Loving Difficult People
Be Joyful, Pray Continually & Give Thanks
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Don’t you love it when something is spelled out for you? We’re told, “This is God’s will for you!” But, like with loving people who aren’t likable, these three commands are tough.
This is different than being ‘happy.’ Happy is a feeling, joy is a choice. We have to choose to think the best of others.
We have to choose to find joy in our kids even if they continue to disobey. We have to choose to go to church, read the bible and go to Bible Study week after week even we aren’t feeling it.
Feelings have nothing to do with it!
Talk to God all the time. Sound overwhelming? Read more about it in our post, The Best Way to Think About Prayer.
God loves us and just wants to talk with us. You can pray while you’re doing the dishes and driving to work. Pray for the barista while you’re in line at your favorite coffee shop or the pregnant women who is going to be a mom soon (she really needs prayer!).
Here are two great books about prayer: Practicing the Presence of God and Circle Maker
Give Thanks in all Circumstances.
Be grateful no matter what is going on in your life, because there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. If nothing is going your way, thank God for the ability to breath or walk or see. Gratefulness is a powerful tool.
Related Post: How to Be Intentionally Grateful
Sanctification (or, being Dedicated to God)
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified –1 Thessalonians 4:3
Sanctification is one of those big theological words that means to make holy – that is, to separate from the world and consecrate (be dedicated) to God.
In the letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul wrote that they should be sanctified or holy in their actions. He was encouraging the believers to live by the moral stands given to us in the Bible.
As we live by God’s standards, we begin to love like Him and can share the hope we have in Him.
If we live with these Biblical commands as God’s will for our lives, then the rest of our lives will fall into place. God loves us and wants only what’s best for us.
Trust Him with all the details, ask Him for guidance when making decisions, and rejoice that in the end, you’ll get to spend eternity in heaven with God!
Remember: Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbors. Everything else will fall into place.