5 Ways To Know You're In God's Will, When Everything Is Fighting Against You.
1. Prayer is always the first thing you should do.
There is nothing that can substitute for prayer. Simple heartfelt communication with God is the most important key in knowing God's will in your life. When it seems like all of Hell is against you and there is nobody to help, you must pray like you have never prayed before.
James 1:5-7 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
When you pray, pray for God's will to be revealed in your life. Jesus said to pray, "Thy will be done." If you are praying because of your own desires, you are asking for the wrong things. But when you have reached the place when you are willing to accept God's will over your own, you have reached a turning point in prayer. God will see that you have surrendered your will to His and He will begin to reveal His plan to you. It may not seem like it, but God wants you know His will for your life more than you want to know it yourself. You have to learn to trust that God has your best interest at heart no matter how bad it might appear at the time.
When you pray, pray in the Spirit. Paul said that the Spirit will pray for you 'with groanings that cannot be uttered.' God knows what you have need of more than you do.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
The Spirit intercedes on our behalf, but God is really moved through the power of intercessory prayer. When your brothers and sisters join with you to pray for God's will in your life, it multiplies the power of that prayer.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives
When Paul observed the church at Colosse, he saw their faith, he saw their love and their hope, yet he noted that they lacked in knowledge of what to do and how to move on in Christ. They were different than the church at Corinth who had a lot of talent and were enriched with knowledge. So Paul began to pray this prayer for them because he knew that ignorance of God's will is a constant source of error and heartache. If your mind is not full of God's will it could be that it is full of things not of God, it could be that there are empty places in your mind that would invite Satan to come and fill. Colosse would go through much tribulation without the knowledge of God's will in their minds, whether it be by their own thinking or by the attack of the enemy, Paul understood that he had to do something about this. He could not stay with them forever, so he did what he could; He prayed, and he invited others to pray with him! God is moved by intercessory prayer! When you find yourself surrounded on every side by the enemy, don't hesitate to ask those who really love you to pray for the knowledge of God's will in your life. God will reveal it to you.
It is one thing to have full knowledge of God's will and another to be filled with knowledge. The scripture gives us knowledge of God's will in a corporate fashion. We know what the will of God is for every man and woman. The scripture also states that God is able to do more than we can even think, therefore His will involves more than our minds can comprehend. Our finite minds cannot handle the full knowledge of God's will, only God knows that. Still, God can fill our minds with enough knowledge of His will to do what He specifically desires each of us to do. Through intercessory prayer God can fill your mind with those specific tasks that He has called and enabled you to perform. I encourage you to find those men and women in your life who have your best interests at heart. Join together with them in intercession for God to saturate your mind with the knowledge of His perfect will.
2. You will be uncomfortable and miserable doing anything else.
The calling of God is precious and a serious thing. Some, who are unsure of their calling finally realize they are called because of the burden it places on them. Like Jonah of the Old Testament, some may try and run from their calling, yet they will not be able to hide from it. Jonah found out that it was a very miserable life indeed, to ignore the call of god. Until you begin to respond to the call of God on your life you will feel very, very, empty. Once you are called, you are forever called, your calling is without repentance. God will take your life before He removes the calling from your life.
29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Peter found this out. The calling on his life was very clear. Jesus spoke it directly to him. There was no confusion about it.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
It is difficult to walk in your calling when it seems like all of Hell is against you. Peter was totally committed to Jesus and to the calling on His life. He really didn't have any clue of how tough it was going to get. Jesus even tried to explain it to him...
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.
32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Peter was so sure of the will of God in his life that he told Jesus he was willing to die for Him. Little did he know that he would be tested on that statement within hours of making it. Beginning at the garden when the soldiers came to take Jesus away, Peter began to act differently. This wasn't supposed to happen, this wasn't what Peter had signed on for. This was the beginning of a very confusing time for Peter. The bible states that he began to follow them from afar off. Peter was not one to do that, he was the one who was always at the center of the action. As the day progresses, things go from bad to worse. In the space of about two hours, Peter denies the Lord three times. It was a horrible day for all of the disciples, but Peter reacted differently than some of the others.
After the crucifixion, Peter became more confused than ever. Jesus was dead, Peter had denied Him three times and he figured he was done with following Jesus. It seemed like all of Hell was against him. Peter began to run from God. He even gathered some of the disciples together and they went back to their old life, fishing. Peter was trying to find some comfort and peace in his life, so he went back to what he knew. You can find the story in John 21:7 states that 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Peter was naked in the boat. This fact reveals to us his mental state. Things were not okay, Peter wasn't thinking rationally. Peter was miserable, he was not himself, in fact they fished all night and caught no fish. Going back to his old life was not the answer, Peter was called of God, and he would be miserable doing anything else.
Those who give up on the calling of God will live a life without comfort and without success. Peter's problem began in his own thinking, he talked himself out of his calling. Fortunately, Jesus found him, and taught Peter to trust in Him like he never had before. Jesus met Peter on the shores of Galilee and walked him back through his denials and Peter turned back to following Christ. A few weeks later Peter preached the first message of the Church at Pentecost. Had Peter continued running from God, he would have lived a very miserable life. We must learn to trust in God and His call on our lives, despite our circumstances.
Jesus is not going to show up in person on the shores of your life, but we have something far better than that.
2 Peter 1:16-20
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.
Peter was stating, "we were eyewitnesses of His majesty, we saw Him transfigured on the mountain, we saw Him raise the dead, we were with Him at Galilee, but we have something better than that, we have a sure word of prophecy."
It is very interesting to me that Peter was the one who wrote this because Peter did not turn back to Jesus until he saw Him in person on the shores of Galilee. Peter, better than anybody else, would understand how to know God's will while being attacked by the enemy. The scripture is our sure word of prophecy, it is better than what Peter had because we can read it every day of our lives, and we can be sure of what the Lord wants us to do.
3. God may be renewing your thinking. God may be asking you to re-evaluate your priorities and motivations in life.
There was a time in my life when I was struggling with the will of God for my life. I knew I was called, but I was confused and frustrated about my calling. What I didn't know at the time was that I had to learn the will of God.
David said... …….Psalms 143:10
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
...to be in the will of God requires some learning. There are some things that have to be taught to you. There is a transformation that has to take place in the mind.
Paul stated in...
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I can really relate to this scripture. You cannot know the will of God if you are not first submitted to His plan and His will. You do that by presenting yourself and your life as a sacrifice to Him, ready and willing to do whatever He asks of you. Not everybody is willing to do that. You need to totally align with God.
There was a time in my life when I was not ready to do so. Not that I wasn't serving God, I thought I was doing pretty well. I helped the ministry in our church whenever I could, I sacrificed to the Kingdom. I came to church all the time, I helped in outreach. Everything was going along just fine, and then I got sick, not the flu, but a scary type of sickness. I was only thirty six years old, and I thought I was going to die. My heart wasn't working properly. Irregular heartbeats, chest pain, dizziness. I was put through a series of tests that lasted for about three months. When your heart starts messing up at the age of 36, you begin to question some things in your life. I thought I was in the will of God, but it was during this time I began to question my calling, and question if God was even with me. I didn't understand it at the time, but God was causing me to re-evaluate my thinking, to re-evaluate my priorities. I thought I was one hundred percent committed to God, but I learned that I wasn't. There was still a little bit of the world in me that had to come out. God was teaching me His ways and His will, God was transforming my thinking. I had to learn to put God first in every part of my life. It wasn't until I presented myself totally to God as a living sacrifice that I began to see God's plan unfold for my life. It was a time of testing in my flesh, but it was also a time of learning in my spirit. It was a proving period in my life.
Some people want God to put the handwriting on the wall in black and white, and then they will say yes or no depending on whether or not they agree with Him. It doesn't work that way. (God actually did one better than that, He put His handwriting in a book called the Bible) When you present yourself to God as a living sacrifice ready to do His service whatever it might be, then God sees that and responds to that. There is a renewing of the mind that takes place. The things of this world are no longer important to you. You are primarily concerned about pleasing God and doing His will.
The more you sacrifice your life, the closer you become to God. Eventually you tune in to God's frequency, God begins to speak to you through His Spirit and His Word, and you can know and understand what He is saying to you. It becomes crystal clear. GODS ALLIGNMENT WITH YOU.
It is easy to know you are in the will of God when He is blessing all of your efforts. But when the enemy has you surrounded on every side, it seems so much harder to see His will because you have become blinded by the enemy. David knew this better than anybody, he had a lot of enemies. Don't be like Job and say that God has abandoned you, that is not the case. If you feel like the enemy is gaining the upper hand, read the 27th Psalm è, it is an amazing proclamation of how God lifted David up above his enemies in the midst of the battle. One of the verses from this Psalm states...
11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
God will lead you down a path that is clear to you if you only ask Him to. It is a learning process, ask God to teach you His will, if you really want to know it, He will reveal it to you!
4. Listen to the still small voice of God.
I recall the story of the most famous of all the prophets. Elijah was one of the most powerful prophets of God. Nobody doubted his calling, his prayers brought results. When Elijah prayed, fire fell from heaven. When Elijah prayed, rain fell from the sky. Through his prayers, Elijah altered the course of an entire nation. He was one of only two men in scripture who did not see death. There is no doubt that Elijah was in the perfect will of God.
Having said that, the book of 1 Kings reveals a time in Elijah's life when it seemed like all of Hell was rising up against him. Israel had forsaken the ways of God, the altars had been destroyed, the prophets of God had been slaughtered. Elijah found himself all alone and began to wonder if God was still with him. He decided to run for his life, in fact, it got so bad, he asked the Lord to take his life.
1 Kings 19:1-4
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there,
4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
The wicked queen Jezebel had been threatening Elijah's life for some time. Now it was heating up. Jezebel had just informed Elijah by way of messenger that he would be dead by the same time tomorrow! This was a man hunt, she had people looking for him everywhere, he was a wanted man, dead or alive. Elijah could feel the heat and he couldn't take it anymore. It is hard to picture the most powerful of all of the prophets backed into a corner by the enemy and running for his life. Often times that is where we find ourselves. Yet, in the midst of running, God sends an angel to feed him. "That ought to be enough to confirm that God is with you Elijah." I know if an angel visited me, I would be ready to do whatever God asked of me. Still, Elijah kept running.
The meat the angel brought to Elijah sustained his life for forty days and nights. That might be a hint that God is with you. Finally he finds a cave to hide in and the Word of God came to him there, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
God wasn't asking about Elijah's physical location, He was asking about Elijah's spiritual condition. God wanted to know why Elijah had given up.
Listen to Elijah's response...
1 Kings 19:10-12
And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
In each of these spectacular displays, I am sure that Elijah felt God would reveal Himself to him, but God was not in any of them. Finally, after the fire there comes a still small voice, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Elijah repeats his previous answer, "God everybody else has forsaken you, they have destroyed the altars and killed your prophets, I am the only one left, surely you don't want me to minister to these people now?"
1 Kings 19:15-16
15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.
16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
God's response was simple, "Return to what I have called you to do!" The still small voice of God was all that was needed to confirm to Elijah that he was still called of God and he still had a work to do. If you find yourself surrounded by the enemy, and you feel like throwing in the towel, don't wait for an angel, and don't wait for some spectacular sign from heaven. God has given you His Word and His Spirit. Get rooted in the Word of God and stay in tune with His Spirit so you can hear the still small voice of God. His plan will become perfectly clear to you. When you stay in the will of God, what you fear the most will likely never come to pass. God has already defeated your enemy. Jezebel never succeeded in taking the life of Elijah, God took care of her, and God took care of Elijah. God will surely take care of your life as well.
5. We know we are called by the feelings that God places in our hearts and minds through His Spirit.
The story of Nehemiah illustrates this very effectively. After Israel was taken captive by Babylon, the Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians and a Jewish man named Nehemiah became the cupbearer of the King of Persia. This was a high ranking position to hold in the ancients courts of kings. This person had to be regarded as very trustworthy to hold this position. He was guarding the life of the king, and his close proximity to the king endeared him to a very close relationship with the king and all of the high ranking officials of the king's court.
Nehemiah was visited by his brother Hanani who told him that the city of Jerusalem was nothing but heaps of stones. This upset Nehemiah so much that he sat down and wept. He began to pray and fast before God about this news. There were people who had survived the exile who didn't have a place to live, and the city of Jerusalem was their home. Nehemiah didn't know what the will of God was for his life, all he knew was that Jerusalem was still in ruins and was surrounded by enemies on every side. Yet he saw that he was in a very unique position of power where he could do something to help. He began to pray and fast and seek God's will. Listen to what happened;
12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.
God placed a desire and a burden in Nehemiah's heart to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. Once the desire was there, Nehemiah began to see and understand that he was in the unique position to accomplish it. He had the King of Persia's support. At that time the king of Persia was the most powerful man in the world. Nehemiah might have been the only person in the world at this time who could have accomplished this great feat. Nehemiah recognized that he had an open door. He had the burden, he had the desire, and when the door opened he went. He didn't have to tell anybody, he didn't need anybody to confirm it to him, he just knew in his heart that it was right.
16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:
Sometimes you just know beyond a shadow of a doubt what God wants. God puts it in your heart and in your mind! I don't know how to describe it other than to say you just know it is right in your heart, the Spirit confirms it.
Paul somehow knew that he had to go to Jerusalem...
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
Paul didn't know why he was to go, he just felt compelled to go. Not only did he go, but he knew that he would face some very hard times when he got there. He knew they would throw him in prison, but he still went. How many of us would do that?
To compound the situation, along his journey Paul met several disciples who told him not to go to Jerusalem.
4 We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.
They were in the Spirit when they told him, still Paul continued on to Jerusalem. He knew in his heart it was right.
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.
It got to the point that in every town Paul stopped, there were disciples and all kinds of people begging him not to go to Jerusalem. On two occasions, prophets came and spoke to him. One prophet even bound his own hands and feet with Paul's belt, and said, "this is what the Jews are going to do to you in Jerusalem. When the people heard the prophet Agabus say that, they all began to plead and beg Paul to stay with them. Still Paul knew that it was right to go;
13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”
Finally when they see the resolve in Paul, they could see that it was God's will for him to go, and they relented in their efforts to stop him. When you know it is right, not even prophets can persuade you otherwise.
Paul knew when it was right, he had that feeling in his heart. It came from being sensitive to the Holy Ghost. The Spirit will either give you rest or it will cause you to move on. Make sure you stay sensitive to the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will place that feeling in your heart and you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt what you need to do.
2 Corinthians 2:13
13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.