"I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart."1
A Daily Encounter reader asks, "How does one know that God is speaking to him or her? I am very confused because I do not know what God wants me to do with my life."
In younger days I used to struggle with the same question; that is, how can I know the will of God for my life? The following comes from what I learned:
First, and most important, is that it is always God's will for us to put God first in our life and live in harmony with what his Word, the Bible, teaches.
Second, ask God to help you discover what your God-given life purpose is, and then do what is necessary to fulfill this purpose. This will be achieved by using your natural gifts and talents to serve God—and we serve him by serving/helping people.
Third, when using your God-given gifts and talents, you will enjoy and find fulfillment in the work you do (either paid or volunteer). Referring to Jesus, David, the Psalmist, wrote: "I take joy in doing your will, my God." When we live in harmony with and do the will of God, we, too, will find joy and fulfillment.
Fourth, unless we have a "specific call" from God for a specific task such as being a missionary (or other ministry), we can do any of a number of things and still be doing God's will. For instance, picture God's will as traveling on a "train" that will take you to heaven when your life on earth is ended. While God is in charge of that train, we have all the freedom to move around in that train involved in many and varied activities and doing the work in which we find fulfillment.
Fifth, realize that God is not co-dependent. He will give wisdom and guidance if we ask him to (See Proverbs 3:5-6) but he doesn't make our decisions for us. So don't wait for a special vision, just put to use the talents you have in serving others through your local church, a para-church organization, or with a volunteer service organization.
Sixth, every morning pray and commit and trust your life and way to God and trust him to lead you in the way that is best for you to go. I have prayed this prayer almost every day since my youth and, as I look back, I can see how God has answered this prayer in so many ways I never would have dreamed possible.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to discover my God-given life purpose, to live in harmony with your will, and to develop and use my God-given gifts and talents in a way that will best serve you and fulfill your purpose for my life—and therein find joy and fulfillment. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 40:8 (NLT).