I run into people every once in a while who are wondering about God’s will for their lives. I think that a desire to know God’s will for our lives is very admirable. I wish that there was a certain prayer to pray, or series of steps to go through that automatically identify God’s desire for each of our lives. There are effective strategies, but one really great way to find God’s will for your life is to be in God’s will for your life.
You may think that that’s not an answer at all, but it truly is. To find our specific place in God’s will, we need to be in God’s general will for all Christians. In general, it is God’s will that you talk to Him throughout the day – that you have a prayer life. In general, it is God’s will that you are in the Word and are studying it.
I know that life is busy – it’s summer time, the kids are home, the cabin needs you, and still there’s work. Plus, the TV won’t watch itself! The trick is for us to make our time with God a priority – especially if we’re wondering about God’s will for our lives.
The Word says that He wants us to pray, to be in the Word, to worship Him, not to neglect the assembling together of ourselves. He wants us to be generous and give to the poor. These are a few of the things on the lists of “God’s general will for all believers.” It’s by being and doing these general things that God’s specific will for our lives is seen.
Think about the deacons chosen in Acts 6. First they were just guys, without a special call, without a special ministry. They were pew-sitters and part of the first congregation. They were seven normal guys who, like you, were perhaps wondering about God’s specific will for their lives. We know that while they were regular guys, they were focused on being all that God had desired for them! They weren’t doing nothing, waiting for God’s will for their lives to drop in their laps! Instead, they were working on themselves, aligning their lives with God’s general will for all believers – so much so that they were described as “men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom!” They’d spent their non-ministry lives in the general will of God, so that when it was time for their specific call THEY WERE READY!
So they were promoted from “regular guys” to waiters! God’s will for them was to wait on tables, making sure that the food was distributed fairly! They may have been frustrated at this menial ministry, but it enabled the Word of God to keep on spreading, and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem (Acts 6:7)! That had to have made them thankful for the specific will that God had for them.
In the very next verse we see that one of the waiters was performing great wonders and signs among the people! God moved him from being a regular guy to being a waiter, then to being the first of the Christian martyrs! His end was a glorious fulfillment of God’s will for him – and he started by being a normal guy who focused on God’s general will for all believers!
Instead of jumping from “regular guy” to “great signs and wonders” Stephen followed the process – and we can follow the process, too. Even if you feel like you’re just a regular guy or girl, start by doing the generals; the specifics will follow! If you want to know God’s will for you, be in God’s will for you!