(Romans 12:1-2) They were strong and athletic and very graceful. How can we discern what is truly God’s will for our lives compared to the curve balls that sometimes take us by surprise? Since leaving our decision to adopt with God, Dana and I hadn’t talked about it. Surprisingly, our children were Ruth’s biggest advocates, always encouraging her and cheering her on. The four runway lights that I use to determine God’s will in making a decision are: 1. “Fifteen…sixteen months?” Theresa ticked off the numbers on her fingers, looking to Allen. Early on, I felt drawn to Africa and helping orphans. Or perhaps the path you felt God directing you to follow now seems barren and barred by obstacles. Along the way, God blessed us with a love for Ruth as deep as for our other children. This is the greatest discovery we will ever make – God has a purpose and plan for each human being; past, present, and future. A whirlwind trip to plan to East Africa. That was the decision Dana and I faced after meeting Ruth. God specifies how He wants us to live as Christians. God faithfully directs his children. Sometime later, I walked into a friend’s church for the last night of Vacation Bible School. Tests that would reveal further disabilities. Or that wonderful man you felt called to marry left you feeling lonely and disappointed. All rights reserved. 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. By Dr. Ann Shorb . —John 3:16 The Boast of the Cross May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. God had planted a love for orphans in my heart from childhood. 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. 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. The better you and I know God’s general will, the easier it is to determine God’s specific will in particular situations. 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. And we talked to adoption agencies and lawyers to find out what steps adopting Ruth would require. For Dana and I, the idea of adopting wasn’t out of the blue. iStudyEBS is a division of Explorer’s Bible Study. Use God’s word as a guide when seeking God’s purpose. 2) God gives us promises to help us better submit to His will and trust Him. This was very confusing at first, but after some time I understood what it meant. Pray, glorify God, study the Scripture, be willing to wait, and trust God’s … Learn how your comment data is processed. An ultrasound later revealed only one baby. The will of God (or Divine Will) is the idea that God has a plan for people (Jeremiah 29:11-13). How to Determine God's Will . 1. archangel sent by God to Daniel 2. 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. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”. God’s will is found in the Cross. Not once. Judah, six, and Gabriel, four, darted through the packed sanctuary to join their classmates. 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. Watching her learn and grow was a greater delight than we ever anticipated. Many texts in the Bible are specific, concrete, revelatory expressions of broader, universal realities or theological principles. So when God’s plans differ from what you expect, don’t despair. Yes, we still walked through all the other steps of discernment, but we did so with greater confidence. 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." “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.”. So, I went digging to find verses that might help us know God’s “always” will . I’d go to college, get married, become a writer, and have two boys and a girl—in that order. When we fail to live up to God’s standards, He wants us to know how we should respond to these circumstances. God had indeed given me the desires of my heart, with one exception. Lawyers to hire. Then I saw the baby dangling from his arms. 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. Ruth’s head flopped against his shoulder. 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. Or have you ever wondered how you are supposed to determine both God’s general and specific will for you and for others? Copyright © 2021, iBelieve.com. The day we returned from our honeymoon I landed a job as a reporter for a small Maine newspaper. 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. Don’t say it, I thought, handing Ruth back to Dana. 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. There are five key questions to ask in order to determine God’s will in a decision-making situation. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. God’s Immediate Will. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth,” John 16:13 says, “… He will tell you things that are to come.”, Two years before we met Ruth, God gave my mother a dream in which Dana and I had twin girls. Or trust ourselves? Therefore, to determine God’s specific will for your life you must familiarize and submerge yourself in the Word of God. Her body was alternately stiff and then limp, as if someone had forgotten to tighten her muscles. God’s Will Definition. While the specifics of a particular passage may only apply to the particular situation of the biblical audience, the theological principles revealed in that text are applicable to all of God’s people at all times. Do you ever wonder what Gods specific will is for your life? Yet here Ruth was, smiling from the cradle of my husband’s arms. He has a general and specific … Our boys had been coming all week. Did God ignore our heart-felt petitions? Trust God? That part of the puzzle was God’s. And how do we really know whether we are in step with God’s plan when it appears so different from what we expected? Faith is an important component to accepting God’s wisdom. His Circumstantial Will. Recall what brought you here. His aim is that we be transformed, sanctified, freed by the truth of his revealed word (John 8:32; 17:17). Verse after verse is filled with practical lessons and instructions for daily life. When we spend quiet time with Him it will overflow into all areas of our life. All the other steps are pointless if we don’t follow up with action. 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. 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”. But my heart was doing flips. “They sprang up—way, way up—into the air like Olympic divers. It struck Dana the same way it struck me. This modern engineering marvel can carry an amazing amount of weight and strain because of … I couldn’t take my eyes off 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. Trust God’s love . Ruth’s head rolled forward and back, forward and back. 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. Finding God’s will for your life is not as difficult as we make it out to be. 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 4. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. 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. I had been praying and dreaming of this moment for decades, but not once had I imagined adopting a child with disabilities. A promise does not make God bend to our will. I knew they were yours.”. God's word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement. What He requires of us and what pleases Him. Honor one another above yourselves. 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. More than a year later, as Dana held Ruth in church, I asked Theresa how old she was. “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. The most obvious answer to the question, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” is to ask Him. When you and I are making a decision “in the dark,” we also can line up the “runway lights” that assure us our decision is in the center of God’s will. 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. If God was calling us to adopt Ruth, we knew he’d call our children as well. “Two girls were diving off a dock into the water,” she’d told me. Two weeks after graduating from college, I married my high school sweetheart, Dana. Basing your decisions on just one source of direction can often be risky. Ruth’s head was fringed with a thin scrub of curls. Trusting God is a free 4-week email-based devotional to help you learn to trust God through the storms of your life. The pathway to knowing the will of God is found in loving imitation of the Lord who laid down His life for His friends. From that familiarity with Jesus’ personality and character, we equip ourselves to recognize what His will is for us in all circumstances. That long prayed for job or ministry opportunity lacks the outcome you imagined. Submitting to God’s will challenged us in ways we never expected and opened our hearts to other children with disabilities. And we almost missed it, all because Ruth wasn’t quite what we expected. What happens when life’s reality differs from our expectations---and prayers? Since the Scriptures provide us to all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17), they give all the guidance we need. God’s aim is a new mind, a new way of thinking and judging, not just new information. Three years later, our son, Judah, was born. Two weeks after Lydia’s. Then they crossed their arms over their chests before spinning down and disappearing into the water with a splash. The following March, we joyously welcomed our daughter, little imagining what God had in store. God rarely gives us a specific list of GPS directions for our lives. CBN.com--One of the strongest man-made structures in the world is the suspension bridge. When facing a decision that doesn’t look the way you expect, take time to reflect on whether this fits your passion and prayers. First, I suggest that you give yourself to the word of God. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety,” says Proverbs 11:14. “Twins?” he mouthed silently. 1. For being so weak, Ruth’s happiness was contagious, and we laughed too. When none did, we took this as God’s leading to spend more time with Ruth and see what caring for her was like. 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. “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. 1) God’s promises are often conditional. From the time I was little, I’d planned my life in measured detail. Paul desired to preach here 3. compared Paul's word with Scripture 4. circumstances which God arranges for His purposes 5. prayed to understand the meaning of a vision 6. the chief prince angel 7. a prophet who refused God's will 8. praiseworthy qualities that we should think upon 9. second channel marker 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.' p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} by Selina | Sep 1, 2015 | Blog | 1 comment. ( James 1:5) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For Dana and I, the idea of adopting wasn’t out of the blue. 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. Amazingly, Dana said it for me, “So, do you want to adopt her?”. What Would the Apostle Paul Say about Wearing Face Masks? God had … There was money to raise. We sent the teams, recognizing the potential danger. Image Credit: ©Thinkstock/mavoimages … I also felt called to write, but I had no idea how God would bring these paths together. We welcomed our son, Gabriel, and daughter, Lydia, soon after. 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.”. Darted through the crowd, Dana and I faced after meeting Ruth: 1 had often talked adoption... 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