Question: How can I know the Lord’s will for my life?
Answer: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Lord would send you a letter from Heaven telling you that He wanted you to be a pastor, missionary, youth director, music director, deacon, etc.? But, such is not the case. This is not the easiest question to answer. From thirty years experience, there appear to be some universal applications that may be applied to those whom the Lord has, or is leading, into specific avenues of His service.
First, if you are fully committed in serving the Lord in your local church and still seem to be unsatisfied, or have an emptiness within, it is very likely the Lord wants you to prepare yourself for leadership responsibility in the avenues He leads you into.
A number of years ago, a young man, a trustee in our church, came to me and said he thought the Lord was calling him into the ministry as a pastor. He wanted some advice. I asked him if he wanted to be a pastor, and he said, “No.” I told him, since it was not his will, then it must be the Lord’s will; or he wouldn’t have thought about it. Since he wanted more evidence, I remember praying with him in the following manner, “Dear Lord, in the next few months make everything go badly in this young man’s life.”
After a couple of months, he came back saying that he was headed to Bible college to prepare for the ministry, as that was the worst two months he had experienced in his life. He moved his family to Florida, finished four years of Bible college and was the founding pastor of a church where he had previously lived.
The late Dr. Walter Wilson, founder of the Kansas City Bible College (Kansas City, Missouri), gave this simple formula for following God’s leading:
- Is there a need?
- Will I be happy?
- Is it scriptural?
When I felt God was calling me to the ministry, I wrote a 3-page letter to one of the great Bible teachers that I knew, a professor in the college I eventually attended. I was expecting a long letter in return explaining how I could know if this was God’s will for me or not. When I received the letter it contained nothing more than, “How can you doubt the calling unless you have the calling?
“Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” - 1 Corinthians 9:16
That answered my question, and it now became a matter of submitting to or rejecting God’s leading. I hope you will make the same decision I did.
“...Lord, thy will be done.” - Matthew 6:10