The Master's Instructions about specific Christian problems. (Jonah chapters 1-4).
The Bible tells us that God has a plan for each individual and a purpose for them only to fulfil. We are called according to God’s purpose (Romans 8:28-30), and we are able to prove what His will is, as we give ourselves
completely to Him (Romans 12:1-2). The discovering of God’s will comes as we listen to His word and His Spirit and, perhaps, through the counsel of godly men. The doing of God’s will comes only as we take the plunge from
the pool edge into the water.
The example of Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-21)
Although he was close to the Lord, he did not yet know him (vv.1, 7). He
heard God’s call to him in a growing conviction (vv.4, 6, 8, 10). He had the
counsel of Eli (v.8). He continued with the Lord and the Lord with him
Notice that Samuel was not initially called to be a prophet. He was called
to come to know God. God always requires that as the number one
The example of Jonah (Jonah 1-4)
Initially Jonah clearly rejected God’s word to him (1:1-3). God used a
great storm, a swirling sea, and a spell in a fish’s stomach to bring Jonah
to his senses. He remembered the Lord though he was trying to run from
him (2:1). The second time God called him, Jonah got it right. He had
learned his lesson (3:1-3).
The doing of God’s will is always a matter of our choice. When He
confronts us with something, we can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Frequently Christians
say they do not know what God is calling them to do, when in reality they
know He is wanting them to do something they are not willing to do.
Jonah still had a lot to learn about God’s never-ending love. His own will for
the Ninevites was very different from God’s will for them.
The example of the council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-30)
Groups of Christians sometimes need to know God’s will together on
certain issues. The early church leaders gave due regard to custom and
personal testimony (vv.1, 2, 5). ‘Did all the believers have to be
circumcised in order to be saved?’ They gave consideration and
judgement together (v.6). There was discussion and dialogue. There was
evidence and evaluation. Their conclusions were drawn in the light of all
this and the witness of the Holy Spirit to their hearts (vv.19, 28). They
then clearly communicated their findings to all the people involved
The Bible is very specific on some issues and it may be a good idea to take
a concordance and look up all the occasions where it says: ‘It is God’s will
that you ….’ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:18 will give you a start. Every
command of God in the Bible is His will – you can be sure of that.
However, you will not find the Bible saying that you should be a scientist,
or that you live at no.123 in a certain road, or that you should marry
Miss World! How do we know God’s will on issues like these?
1. Listen to the wisdom of His word.
2. Listen to the witness of His Spirit.
3. Walk forward by faith.
4. Wait upon God in continuing submission to what He wants.
Each one of these four is important. Any one without the others could be
Thank you Lord God for the confidence I can have in You and for the
confidence You have in me.
Discussion guide on ‘How to know God’s will for your life’
1. Share any difficulties you may have in knowing God’s will for your
own life. What makes it more difficult, or more easy, to know?
2. Share together all the Bible verses you can think of that contain
something like, “It is God’s will that you …”
All of the things these verses speak of are clearly God’s will for
3. Colossians 2:6-7 tells us to keep growing in the Lord. How can we
grow in the Lord? And, therefore, how can we know God’s will?
4. The more difficult times are where the Bible is non-specific. What
has God given to us to help us with these less clear choices?
After sharing your own ideas, look up these Bible verses.
5. Discover from Acts 16:1-5 how Paul knew Timothy was right to add
to his team; then from verses 6-10 how Paul and his team knew
where to go next. Are these valid ways you can know God’s will
6. Read Proverbs 3:1-6. How do you get a “straight path” ahead of