If you are a Christian, I know you want to be in God’s will for your life. That’s what we all want as Christians. But as we all experience, it can be really confusing to know if we are following God’s plan or our own plan.
So here are 5 things that will happen in your life when you are truly following God’s will for your life.
1. When You Are Following God’s Will for Your Life, You Will Not Always Choose the Easiest Path Forward
When I was a teenager, I was living in rebellion, and as the Lord was bringing me back into his will for my life, I read a poem that really resonated with me. It’s called The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. It starts with the line, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood . . . .”
This felt very metaphorically true for me during that season of life. I had one foot in the world while trying to also get back to following the Lord. It was becoming very clear to me I could not go on much longer living this double life. The end of the poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
I didn’t have any Christian friends at the moment. Everyone seemed to be going one way while in my heart I felt this intense pull from the Lord to go the other way. The Lord was teaching me a lesson then that has served me well in the decades that followed, “The easiest road is not always the best road.”
As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
2. When You Are Following God’s Will for Your Life, You Will Not Be Perfect But You Will Be Progressively Moving Forward in Maturity
When the Spirit of God comes to dwell within the Christian, he does not possess you and take over you like a demon possessed person. Rather, through the Spirit we are given the power to choose to obey God’s will for our lives. This process of learning to submit to the Spirit truly is a process. For as 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3 explains:
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . .”
Don’t think that because you sin from time to time you are completely missing God’s will for your life. But also don’t think that if you are living in sin and not growing in the Lord that you are actually following God’s will. When we are following God’s will, we will not be perfect but we will be continually progressing forward more and more in our sanctification.
3. When You Are Following God’s Will for Your Life, You Will Start to Think Differently than the World Around You
Most of the world is not following God’s will. You will be able to see this not only by how they disobey the commands of God but also by the clash of ideas the Christian mind has with those who are not Christians. Paul warned Timothy about this when he said:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-16)
It’s tempting for the “Lord’s servant” to be quarrelsome because the entire world will have opposing ideas to what the Bible says. Satan wants people to follow his will rather than God’s will, and to do that he tries to corrupt their senses and block their minds from receiving “a knowledge of the truth.” Therefore, when you are truly following God and not the devil like the rest of the world is, your thoughts will often clash with the world’s thoughts and ideas.
As Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
4. When You Are Following God’s Will for Your Life, You Will Be Intentionally Making It Your Goal to Follow Him
You will not follow God’s will by accident. Everything in us wants to naturally go the opposite way. Our old nature rebels against the Spirit’s leading. Therefore, when we just turn on our autopilot mode and start living in an unintentional way, we will always veer from God’s will for our life, for as Galatians 5:17 explains, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
So one prerequisite to following God’s will for your life is an internal attentiveness to staying aware of God’s will for your life. Notice how Jesus intentionally taught us to pray that we would stay focused on following God’s will, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
As Paul said in Ephesians 5:15-17, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
When you are following God’s will, you will “look carefully,” seeking to walk in a “wise” way, so that you will “understand what the will of the Lord is.”
5. When You Are Following God’s Will for Your Life, the Promises on the Pages of Scripture Will Start Manifesting in Your Life
When God says something, it always happens. Therefore, whenever the Bible promises a certain result for a certain action, you will always see those results when you take those biblical actions. Many people feel like this truth has let them down not because the word of God has failed them but because they were taught false promises that are not in the Bible.
God has not promised us health, wealth, and all of our wildest dreams come true when we follow his will. But according to Ephesians 1:3, he has promised us every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus when we put our faith in him.
Therefore, when you are truly following God’s will for your life, the promises of Scripture will manifest in your life. For as Jesus said in John 7:17 (NIV), “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”