How Can I Know the Will of God?

When thinking about the will of God, it starts with understanding that God has a general plan for all believers.  This plan then positions us so that we can discover the specific purpose that He has for each of us.  This general will can be divided into 6 areas where the Bible specifically says - this is the will of God for you.  

Look at these Scriptures.  God wants you to be:

     Saved, 2 Peter 3:9

     Spirit-filled, Ephesians 5:17-18

     Sanctified, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

     Suffering for Christ, 1 Peter 4:19

     Saying Thanks, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

     Submitting to Authority, 1 Peter 2:13-15

These 6 areas are not the only areas needful for fulfilling God's will.  Take a look at Colossians 1:9-14, and you will discover several other areas that are part of God's will for all of us as believers.  Paul prays that we would be filled with the knowledge of His will.  Examine this text first and see how to apply these truths to your life: do you live so that you please God, are you surrendered to Him so that you experience His power, do you express a genuine thankfulness in all things, and do you understand how Christ has rescued you from sin?  

Once you've positioned yourself in these ways, here's one more step.  Read Romans 12:1-2.  The passage indicates that when we surrender ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to Him, we can prove God's perfect will for us.  Finding God's will occurs when we have fully surrendered to Him as Lord.  The mistake that most Christians make is that we want God's will to fit into our plans (that's why Paul says not to be conformed to this world).  Remember, though, how Paul describes God's will - it is good and pleasing (acceptable).  God's will is never fatalistic.  It always puts you exactly where you need to be, regardless of the circumstances of life.   

God is not hiding His plan for your life from you.  He does not play games.  So if you want to know His perfect plan for your life, surrender yourself fully to Him.  Don't hold back anything with reservation.  Remember: when you obey Christ in the general areas of God's will for all believers, you position yourself then to discover God's perfect (complete) plan for your life.  God really does have a plan for your life!