Early on, I felt drawn to Africa and helping orphans. God's word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement. He does not leave us wandering about in doubt and confusion. 4 Ways to Love One Another. Everything else faded—parents filling the pews, Lydia leaning against my knee, our children lining the front of the church. This has brought up a good question in conversation: How Can I Determine God's Will for My Life? … Dana was looking too. The second thing to keep in mind is that God not only has a general will that includes all of us, but He also has a specific will for each one of us. It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. I had been praying and dreaming of this moment for decades, but not once had I imagined adopting a child with disabilities. Or was His answer just different from our expectations? Or perhaps the path you felt God directing you to follow now seems barren and barred by obstacles. Mine—and now Dana’s—was to rely on the Holy Spirit and walk in faith as we sought to discern that plan. You don’t have to live in fear of His displeasure when you seek His will through these 5 steps. Finding God’s will for your life is not as difficult as we make it out to be. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10 says. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5-6 says. Image Credit: ©Thinkstock/mavoimages This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. With the astonishing revelation of Ruth’s age, Dana and I felt emboldened to pursue God’s plan. This modern engineering marvel can carry an amazing amount of weight and strain because of … Be devoted to one another in love. Three years later, our son, Judah, was born. Her skin was the color of gingerbread, and she was beautiful, stunning, with a high, rounded forehead and a fat little pucker of a nose. But in a quiet moment alone, I’d offered up this feeble prayer: “Lord, if you want us to adopt, you will have to put it in Dana’s heart too.”. . His Circumstantial Will. The four runway lights that I use to determine God’s will in making a decision are: 1. Co-ed Online Bible Study Groups with couples and singles. The thought of spending the rest of our lives taking care of someone who might never be able to take care of herself scared me. Before you were even born, God created you with a passion and a purpose, and he will prepare you. Do your plans line up with his? A friend once encouraged my wife and I to take on a certain task. Ruth’s head flopped against his shoulder. The descriptive Biblical insights aren’t timeless truths for Christians today — though they are valuable for mediation, reflection, and learning about God. All the other steps are pointless if we don’t follow up with action. There was money to raise. Yes, we still walked through all the other steps of discernment, but we did so with greater confidence. Since neither Dana nor I knew much about cerebral palsy, we talked to our pediatrician. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” So simply ask for God’s help and then… 3. That long prayed for job or ministry opportunity lacks the outcome you imagined. “It’s too early to tell.” Theresa shrugged. But it's also a matter of practice. Trust God? For being so weak, Ruth’s happiness was contagious, and we laughed too. Therefore, to determine God’s specific will for your life you must familiarize and submerge yourself in the Word of God. God’s Will Definition. “Want to hold her?” Allen dropped Ruth into Dana’s arms without waiting for a reply. Rather than impulsively leaping forward or fearfully turning back, we took seven crucial steps—one at a time. In fact, 90 percent of God's will for my life is the same as 90 percent of God's will for your life. Maybe you’ve faced a similar predicament. And how do we really know whether we are in step with God’s plan when it appears so different from what we expected? Ruth, who had cerebral palsy, was here for six months of physical therapy. 1. Two weeks after graduating from college, I married my high school sweetheart, Dana. Lawyers to hire. I’d go to college, get married, become a writer, and have two boys and a girl—in that order. 3) Do not assume to know precisely when, where, or how God’s promises will be fulfilled in your life. While we don’t rely on man’s wisdom alone, God often uses people to increase our wisdom. Over the years we’d been married, Dana and I had often talked of adoption. (Romans 12:1-2) In a previous article, I wrote about Following God Without Hesitation, referencing Joshua 3:3 and what I said there was that 'we need to determine God’s will and “go after” God without hesitation.' But my heart was doing flips. Trust God’s love . God has a will for all who know Him personally, which is referred to as specific will of God In every situation, what revelation of God must always take precedence written will of God Does "God's will" only apply to moral decisions or is there a framework or guidelines/advice for identifying what God's will may be? From the time I was little, I’d planned my life in measured detail. What happens when life’s reality differs from our expectations---and prayers? This was very confusing at first, but after some time I understood what it meant. The pathway to knowing the will of God is found in loving imitation of the Lord who laid down His life for His friends. God’s will is found in the Cross. Don’t say a word. Many texts in the Bible are specific, concrete, revelatory expressions of broader, universal realities or theological principles. For Dana and I, the idea of adopting wasn’t out of the blue. If so, it looked radically different from what I expected. Yet here Ruth was, smiling from the cradle of my husband’s arms. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men liberally without criticism, and it will be given to him,” says James 1:5. No matter what decision you are facing or what obstacles stand in your path, these seven steps will help you discern God’s will in difficult situations, one step at a time. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} It struck Dana the same way it struck me. 10 Powerful Reasons to Pray Scripture (And How to Start), Here Are 10 Things Selfish People Always Do in Relationships, 10 Ways Satan Wants You to Respond to the Coronavirus. And Romans 12:2 says, "Be renewed in your mind so that you can prove what is the will of God"—His will, I believe, for you—"what is good, acceptable and perfect." This covers what the Lord desires us to do today in our current situation. Theresa had told me about her several weeks before. Any indepth bible study, such as iStudy, will open His Will up for you to learn and follow. Usually it's a day-by-day, sometimes minute by minute, method of guidance where we must listen and respond. Some Bible verses have “timeless truths” that are applicable to Christians today. Her right eye turned weakly toward her nose. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Or have you ever wondered how you are supposed to determine both God’s general and specific will for you and for others? Pray, glorify God, study the Scripture, be willing to wait, and trust God’s … Should I Think Of Having Children When The World Is So Broken? Jesus said that His true relations are those who know and do the Father’s will: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” ( Mark 3:35 ). “You remember, honey?”. “They sprang up—way, way up—into the air like Olympic divers. The most obvious answer to the question, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” is to ask Him. The confirmation of God’s Word While my emotions were all over the place—one moment excited, another moment scared at the possibility of adopting Ruth—God’s Word is unchanging. 1) God’s promises are often conditional. That was the decision Dana and I faced after meeting Ruth. As we spent time with Ruth, we carefully observed our children’s reactions. So the second stage of God’s will of command is the discerning application of the Scriptures to new situations in life by means of a renewed mind. First, I suggest that you give yourself to the word of God. The following March, we joyously welcomed our daughter, little imagining what God had in store. A promise does not make God bend to our will. A whirlwind trip to plan to East Africa. Tests that would reveal further disabilities. Basing your decisions on just one source of direction can often be risky. As you begin walking in faith, the path will become clearer—as will your blessings and the ability to see with greater clarity His hand and guidance through our difficult situations. It took me a moment to remember the baby that Theresa and her family were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. 4. We welcomed our son, Gabriel, and daughter, Lydia, soon after. Since leaving our decision to adopt with God, Dana and I hadn’t talked about it. How can we discern what is truly God’s will for our lives compared to the curve balls that sometimes take us by surprise? Praying doesn’t have to be complicated. “God is going to give you the desires of your heart,” three separate ministers had told me on three separate occasions, and I believed them. CBN.com--One of the strongest man-made structures in the world is the suspension bridge. No matter what decision you are facing or what obstacles stand in your path, these seven steps will help you discern God’s will in difficult situations. As Dana and I sought God’s will, he led us to Scriptures encouraging us to share with those in need, feed the hungry, and care for orphans. To discern the will of God, analyze your gifts, motives, and desires in light of God’s sovereign purpose of being glorified among the nations. Reading and studying the Bible will provide the answers for God’s general will for each and every person. Keep on reading to find out what God has taught me about His Word and how it reveals His general and specific will for man-kind. God rarely gives us a specific list of GPS directions for our lives. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! “I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. Along the way, God blessed us with a love for Ruth as deep as for our other children. The day we returned from our honeymoon I landed a job as a reporter for a small Maine newspaper. “Two girls were diving off a dock into the water,” she’d told me. 7 Steps to Discerning God’s Will in Difficult Situations, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. He has a general and specific … Verse after verse is filled with practical lessons and instructions for daily life. lean into His grace and mercy. But as we sought to determine God’s will, we felt that the Great Commission overrode his concerns. Faith is an important component to accepting God’s wisdom. She was scrawny and limp and dressed in a shapeless pink onesie that sagged where a round tummy and chubby thighs should have stretched it tight. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement,” I Corinthians 1:10 says. Look for the word “if” in the context. That night at church, people squeezed against the pews as Allen made his way up the crowded aisle. An ultrasound later revealed only one baby. Use God’s word as a guide when seeking God’s purpose. Unless otherwise indicated, all contents are copyright of iStudyEBS. Being able to determine God's will in a situation is influenced by our effort to submit to Him and obey Him. “Fifteen…sixteen months?” Theresa ticked off the numbers on her fingers, looking to Allen. Learn how your comment data is processed. All rights reserved. So, I went digging to find verses that might help us know God’s “always” will . How to Determine God's Will . God had indeed given me the desires of my heart, with one exception. Dana slid Ruth into my arms. Tiny fingers curled into her palms, but she was smiling—a lopsided, baby-toothed “Here I am” smile that creased her cheeks and made her dark eyes gleam. one could Google the question or search the world to know God’s will for your life, your purpose for being but your best option is to spend a little time with God in the Bible and His Truth will open up to you. Or trust ourselves? Did God ignore our heart-felt petitions? Unknown to my mom, I was pregnant with our third child. God responds to a two word cry for help in the middle of a busy afternoon, just like He does to a focused prayer time after reading Scripture in the morning. So, together we prayed, “Lord, if you have another child for us, you will have to bring that child to us.” We wouldn’t pursue it. Judah, six, and Gabriel, four, darted through the packed sanctuary to join their classmates. Don’t say it, I thought, handing Ruth back to Dana. Then she was scheduled to return to her orphanage, Welcome Home Africa, unless someone wanted to adopt her. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Dana wiggled a finger, holding it out for Ruth to grab. Paul explained … The better you and I know God’s general will, the easier it is to determine God’s specific will in particular situations. I also felt called to write, but I had no idea how God would bring these paths together. Submitting to God’s will challenged us in ways we never expected and opened our hearts to other children with disabilities. While we knew that adopting a child with disabilities would not be easy, we knew that God was guiding us together. The Bible outlines God’s general will for all man-kind. To discern God’s will, designate a specific period of time to pray. We also got to know several families with children who had cerebral palsy, asking them their experiences and learning about local programs for children with disabilities. God had planted a love for orphans in my heart from childhood. That part of the puzzle was God’s. Turn to God in prayer and ask Him what He wants you to do. God specifies how He wants us to live as Christians. How to Rest in God’s Shelter in Times of Trouble. Amazingly, Dana said it for me, “So, do you want to adopt her?”. 4 Ways COVID-19 Stresses Your Relationships and How to Respond, Why We Need to Look to God after National Calamity, How to Start 2021 Strong in the Midst of Chaos, 7 Prophetic Words God Has for Us about the End Times, 6 Things Every Husband Needs to Know about Emotional Support, 10 Unexpected Reasons for Infidelity in a Marriage, 10 Things Never to Say to Your Adult Children. Instead, she wrinkled her nose and let out a deep “hee-hee-hee” that stiffened her entire body. BOOK EXCERPT Circumstances and Hearing God's Voice By Craig von Buseck CBN.com Contributing Writer . Surprisingly, our children were Ruth’s biggest advocates, always encouraging her and cheering her on. If you’re struggling to trust God in the storms of your life, not sure God can really help with your troubles or don’t know where to even begin, I invite you to join the Trusting God study. “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.”. But through it all, we kept walking faith, confident that adopting Ruth was indeed God’s plan. I learned that I can know how I should be living by reading God’s Word, discovering what pleases Him and what He desires from me, and then simply living it out. Towing sixteen month Lydia through the crowd, Dana and I slid into a pew beside my friend Theresa. Let us study 12 specific, practical steps the Bible gives to show us how to change and improve our selves to become what God wants. When we fail to live up to God’s standards, He wants us to know how we should respond to these circumstances. There are five key questions to ask in order to determine God’s will in a decision-making situation. Copyright © 2021, iBelieve.com. Or that wonderful man you felt called to marry left you feeling lonely and disappointed. If God was calling us to adopt Ruth, we knew he’d call our children as well. From that familiarity with Jesus’ personality and character, we equip ourselves to recognize what His will is for us in all circumstances. Because my most visited post is 5 Ways to Know if Something is from God which leads me to believe I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes with the specifics of God’s will. God had … Ruth’s head was fringed with a thin scrub of curls. SURRENDER--Am I committed to doing God’s will in this situation? Two weeks after Lydia’s. Questions like, “Should we get a divorce?”, “How should I treat someone who persecutes me?”, and “Is it okay to look at pornographic material?” are all answered through Scripture. Ask God for His wisdom. These might be prayer warriors, ministry leaders, or others with experience in the area about which you are seeking to make a decision. When we seek God's direction for specific answers to particular situations, we need to ask ourselves if we are surrendered to God's will and if the answer lines up with His Word or if it seems more in line with our own desires. Many times I wondered, “How can I be effective for the kingdom of God?” or “What does God want me doing?” or “How can I best serve him?” In response to my questions, someone said, “Your ministry will come from your quiet time”. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety,” says Proverbs 11:14. The better you and I know God’s general will, the easier it is to determine God’s specific will in particular situations. Romans 12:10 You know who they are – the people who lift you up when you are down, who give you energy to move forward, who consistently remind you of God’s will. Honor one another above yourselves. They were strong and athletic and very graceful. God’s Desired Will. By Dr. Ann Shorb . But he wasn’t sure we were ready. While Dana’s experience was different, as soon as he held Ruth, God awakened that love in him in a clear answer to my previous prayer. Believe He will guide you. Not once. iStudyEBS is a division of Explorer’s Bible Study. What He requires of us and what pleases Him. What Would the Apostle Paul Say about Wearing Face Masks? Ruth’s head rolled forward and back, forward and back. The Gospel of Love "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." She and Dana are the parents of six children and live in a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine.You can contact Meadow at meadowrue@twc.com or sign up for her weekly blog, Faith Notes at www.meadowrue.com. I knew they were yours.”. The Bible expects us to walk in the good works that God has prepared beforehand for us (Ephesians 2:10). The will of God (or Divine Will) is the idea that God has a plan for people (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Instead of giving in to fear and doubt, Dana and I set aside two months to pray while waiting to see whether another family would step forward to adopt Ruth. I couldn’t see his face, couldn’t tell what he was thinking. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. by Selina | Sep 1, 2015 | Blog | 1 comment. A sudden urge to protect her overwhelmed me. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” Psalm 119:105. Then proceed to the next step. Then my husband and I would adopt. Watching her learn and grow was a greater delight than we ever anticipated. Was this God’s answer to our prayers? And we almost missed it, all because Ruth wasn’t quite what we expected. To adopt Ruth, our family faced numerous hurdles. In such situations, our choice is to trust God and draw closer to him or to trust ourselves and potentially miss the fullness of his plans and blessings. . You can be confident that God will make any specific plans He has for you clear. When facing a decision that doesn’t look the way you expect, take time to reflect on whether this fits your passion and prayers. Her body was alternately stiff and then limp, as if someone had forgotten to tighten her muscles. Take on a certain task us with a splash it took me a to! The word of God that night at church, people squeezed against the pews as made... Life is not as difficult as we make it out for Ruth grab., soon after, concrete, revelatory expressions of broader, universal realities or theological.... 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