Submitting to God’s Will for your Life

By guest writer Dr. Steve Highlander– Author’s note: I run a website called Talk to a Pastor (www.talktoapastorcom). For twenty years we have answered questions from people around the world on about every subject you can think of. Recently a young man asked how he could submit to God’s will for his life. I sent him the following email in response to his question. —

Hi ________,

Thanks for writing TTAP. Wow, that is a good question.

If I were to provide you with some steps I think the first one is knowing God’s will for your life.

There is the general will of God for every Christian and there is the specific will of God for every Christian. 

God’s general will includes being saved and baptized. It is to become a disciple of Christ and grow in spiritual maturity. To be a give-and-take member of a local church. As we grow we learn to serve the Lord and His church. Romans chapter 8 tells us, “we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.” So God’s general will for every Christian is to be like Jesus.

God’s specific will includes the gifts and abilities God gives us to fulfill His call on our lives. The Bible speaks of three gift-sets. Read Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 to see these gifts that are available to Christians. It is the Holy Spirit that imparts, activates, and empowers various gifts in your life.

As we learn to serve God we begin to discover His purpose for us. This includes the what and where questions. What does God want you to do and where does he want you to do it.

Moving into the will of God means we are seeking Him for His plans and purposes in our lives. I love the passage in Ephesians 2:8-10:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

This passage tells us we don’t save ourselves. Salvation is God’s gift to us. It goes on to say that God is handcrafting your life to fit the purpose and calling He plans for you. God takes the raw material of your life and forms it into the life He can use, for the purpose he already knows. You may look at a wooden log and see nothing. A woodcarver looks at the same log and sees a beautifully carved statue. God looks at all the junk and raw material in your life and sees what He can create through you – even when you or others can’t see it. 

Rest assured God has a plan for you and He is at work to bring that plan and purpose to pass in your life. Part of the process is resting in the assurance that He is at work in your life.

Here are some thoughts.

1. Never stop seeking God’s will for your life, because it will change somewhat over time.

2. Make sure you are working on God’s general will for your life as you you seek his specific will for your life.

3. Obey the small steps He asks you to take. Faith and obedience go hand in hand. Faith without obedience will produce nothing. Obedience without faith will burn you out.

4. Place your faith in God that He is at work. If you want God’s will, He will bring it to pass. He is not working against you on this, He wants it more than you do.

5. Understand that God already has a plan for you. You do not have to talk Him into something. You may have one plan and He may have another and you will have to get together on it, but know God already has a plan. Don’t try to talk him into your plan.

6. Watch how God is preparing your life. The lessons you are learning along the way prepare you for the purpose you have in God.

7. Discover your spiritual gifts and use them. They will be the keys to your service in the Kingdom of God.

8. When in doubt ask! God said we should ask whenever we needed wisdom and He would give it to us. James 1.

I trust this helps you out _______. Please feel free to write back any time with thoughts or questions. Above all else serve the Lord, He will bring you into His will and it will be great.

Father, I bring _______ to you in Jesus’s name. I ask that you speak to him and reveal yourself to him in a way he can know and understand. Father show him your will for His life. Shine the light on the work you are already doing in him as you prepare him for service in your kingdom. Father, I pray that you keep him from all spiritual error, deception, and distraction as he seeks your face. Bless him with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places, AMEN!

Be blessed,

Pastor Steve

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