Recently one of my employees told me about a man she met at a business near our office. When the man found out that this employee worked for me, he said that about thirty years ago, he had given one of my tapes to his niece who was living a very ungodly lifestyle. After she listened to the tape, she turned her life over to the Lord and eventually became a missionary, totally dedicated to God's will for her life.
Praise God for this testimony! But what if I hadn't been walking in God's will and preaching the Gospel? One possibility is that her life may never have changed. Of course, God could have used someone else to reach her, but who knows how long that would have taken or how far from God she may have strayed in the meantime? This story illustrates how important it is for each one of us to be doing what God has called us to do.
Are you fulfilling your call? Do you even know what God has ordained for your life? If not, you're certainly not alone.
I recently ministered at a Gospel Truth Seminar in Orlando, Florida, on the subject of finding God's will. Two-thirds of the audience rose when I asked for those to stand up who didn't know if they were walking in God's will. Being uncertain of God's plan for our lives is common among Christians. But it shouldn't be (Eph. 5:17). How can we ever expect to build God's kingdom if we don't know our part?
The place to start is to realize that the Lord has a specific and unique plan for you. He's had this plan in mind before you were even born.
Psalm 139:15-16 says,
"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (New International Version).
God had all of your days written out before you were born. You aren't a mistake going somewhere to happen. You haven't been placed on this earth by chance. Where and when you were born, the parents God gave you, your personality, and everything else about you was orchestrated by God for a specific purpose.
However, you can't assume that God's will is automatically going to come to pass in your life. It won't. God's will doesn't always come to pass. Take salvation, for instance.
Second Peter 3:9 tell us,
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
It's clear from this scripture that God wants everyone to come to repentance and be saved, yet we know not everyone does. God also wants everyone healed, yet people still live with sickness in their bodies. Likewise, God wants everyone to find and walk in the purpose He has ordained for them, yet not everyone will. But that's not God's fault.
Once you realize that you are the one responsible for discovering God's will, the next step is to start seeking God for it. He's not hiding His will from you. But you're going to have to do some seeking to find it.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 tells us how we need to seek God:
"Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Notice the emphasis on seeking with all your heart. As long as you can live without knowing God's will for your life, you will. But when you seek with all your heart, you will find it (Matt. 7:7).
When I was a senior in high school, I was faced with having to know what God's will for my life was. I hadn't thought about it much before that, because for twelve years, I was just a student. But at that point, I needed to know if I was supposed to go to college or what path God wanted me to take.
I asked people in my church how to find God's will. Nobody could tell me what to do. So I decided to start reading the Bible. I figured God's Word could give me the knowledge I needed, so I stayed up until two and three every night, reading. Even though I ended up reading the Bible through two or three times during my senior year, I still didn't have any specific direction from the Lord. But then, all of a sudden, one passage of Scripture, Romans 12:1-2, came alive to me:
"Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
For the next four months, I meditated on those scriptures. It was shortly after that when I had my life-changing encounter with God. As a result of that encounter, I began to see that God had called me to be a full-time minister. I don't think it was any accident that God showed up in such a miraculous way in my life at that time. It was because I had been diligently seeking Him, wanting to know the path He had for me.
One mistake people often make in seeking God's purpose is that they assume whatever they're good at in the natural must be what God wants them to do. So if they're naturally good at public speaking, they figure God must have called them to a speaking ministry of some sort. I don't believe this is always true. It certainly wasn't true in my case. I was scared stiff of speaking in front of people.
God called me to do what is beyond my natural ability so that I would have to rely on Him to get it done. That's why God's will may have nothing to do with your natural gifts. If you can do something yourself - naturally - you wouldn't need God's empowerment. Sometimes people's talents may be an indication of what God's will is, but many have gifts and talents they don't even know exist.
Paul said that God had separated him from his mother's womb and called him by His grace (Gal. 1:15). God purposed for Paul to be a minister of the Gospel before he was ever born. He didn't look at Paul's talents once he grew up and then decided He could use him. His life had been predestined, just as yours is. So if you only look at what you're good at to determine your purpose, you may totally miss it.
I believe that most people are not accomplishing what God has called them to do. They may be doing good works, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're walking in God's purpose for their lives. Not everything that is good is God.
Believe me, God's perfect will is worth finding. Supernatural peace and joy come when you're in the center of His will. And God's blessing and anointing will always be on your work when you're doing what He's called you to do.
Do you feel dissatisfied or unsettled with your life? Are you tired of just going to work, coming home, watching television, going to bed, then getting up and doing it all over again? If so, it may be God who has placed a holy dissatisfaction within you in hopes of provoking you to start seeking out His perfect will. Don't wait another day to begin the search for God's will in your life.
There are a number of reasons the Lord is using this ministry to touch thousands of lives around the world, but it's certain that none of this would be happening if Jamie and I had not committed ourselves to knowing the will of God for our lives. This also could not be happening without thousands of people just like you who have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to help us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your partnership. You are a blessing.