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How do we know something is God’s will?

When it comes to God’s will, two things are usually in view: God’s decree and God’s desire. Everything that happens, happens according to God’s decree; but not all is done according to his desire. When someone says, “This must have been God’s will,” referring to something that has already happened, they are usually speaking of his decree. When they say, “It is God’s will for you to do such and such,” they are speaking of his desire.

Now, the trick is trying to determine what God’s desire is. Many today think they see it in their experience, devoid of scriptural guidance. But the Bible is very clear that God’s desire for us is to be found in the Word of God. “This is God’s will for you, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess 4:4); “this is the will of God, namely: do not get drunk with wine... but be filled by the Spirit” (Eph 5:18). These are the texts that speak of God’s desire. It is always right to obey them; whether it is right to follow one’s hunches or emotions is a different matter. But if such are in line with Scripture, it may be the prompting of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 10:27—”My sheep hear my voice”). God’s will is to be found in the Scriptures. There are over 200 commands in the New Testament alone. We need not look far to find out what God’s will is.

Related Topics: Theology Proper (God), Basics for Christians