Of course you do! Why else would you be reading this post.
But do you really?
If I’m honest, many times I say I want to know God’s will, but what I really want is for Him to know my will. And to make it happen.
But then again I really do want God’s will too. Even if I think I’m not going to like it.
If you can relate, I’m going to give you five ways to check your heart, so you can know and walk in God’s will!
However, even as I say that, who can forget John Crist, the comedian who made “check your heart” the Christian meme of the day. And when you think about what happened to Crist, could anything be more ironic?
But why am I bringing John Crist into all of this? Because you and I both know that same temptation to “fake it til you make it,” and I’ll go ahead and admit that I’ve fallen for that temptation myself. More than once. Even if my fall wasn’t as dramatic as Crist’s.
That said, the call of Christ is not to fake, but to confess, so set yourself free to discern the will of God with these five heart checks:
Heart Check 1: Humility
Pride will not merely keep you from knowing God’s will. It will keep you from God. Period.
There’s good reason both Peter and James quote the same verse from Psalm 34 (bolded in the scriptures below). Here’s what Peter says:
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:5-7 (ESV) (emphasis added)
And don’t give me any of this, “I already have humbled myself and now I’m ready to be exalted.” #LOL
That reaction is categorically proud. And I know this, because this is my typical reaction.
A humble person doesn’t humble themselves so that they’ll be exalted. They humble themselves, because they accept the fact that they do not deserve to be exalted.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:6-7 (ESV) (emphasis added)
So, dear one, if you would know God’s will, humble yourself!
Heart Check #2: Repentance
Does it make any sense to believe you can reject the will God has already clearly written out in His word, but then somehow gladly submit to His will in particular matters, like who to date or “how far is too far”?
No it doesn’t.
That said, is there any unrepentant sin in your life?
Try checking your heart with these written instructions from God’s word about His will:
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; – 1 Thes 4:3-5 (ESV)
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thes 5:15-18 (ESV)
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. – 1 Peter 2:15-16 (ESV)
Do you have sexual sin, a vengeful spirit, a selfish attitude, ungratefulness, or do you take advantage of your “freedom” in Christ to do whatever you want to do?
If so, what do you think God wants you to do about that?
Ignore it? Excuse it? Just feel bad about it? Remember…
Sin doesn’t prevent you from receiving God’s grace. Sin is a prerequisite for receiving God’s grace.
However, you have to chose to receive it. Which means you must choose to repent! At least you do if you want to know God’s will about the important questions in your life.
So, dear one, if you would know God’s will, repent!
Heart Check #3: Love
So what if you’re the person reading this post thinking, “Baby, I’m a rule follower! And even where I’ve failed, I’m all ‘repented up.'”
Then how’s your love tank?
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:9-11 (ESV)
Would you say you are truly living in that joy or running on empty?
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matt 11:28-30 (ESV)
Many times we want to blame our empty love tank on those who haven’t loved us well. And well they may have not. Indeed, the desire to find the “perfect love” drives many to desperate straits in the dating world. That’s why I wrote this three-part DNA series: 3 Truths about Love. However…
No one can love us the way we truly need to be loved. Except Jesus!
And Jesus wants you to learn to abide/rest in His love.
Want to know God’s will for you? That’s it!
So if your God is just some rule-dealing deity, then you have the wrong God. I would encourage you to stop worrying about whatever it is God wants you to do with your life or whoever it is He wants you to date or marry, and understand that more than His will, God wants to give you something far greater. He wants to give you Himself!
So, dear one, if you would know God’s will, learn to rest in His love!
Heart Check #4: Faith
On one level knowing God’s will ought to be automatic for the believer.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5 (ESV)
But what if you were to sincerely ask God for His will, only to disbelieve it when He gives it to you.
Notice, I didn’t say “disobey it.” I said, “disbelieve it.”
Well in the verses which follow James 1:5 (above) we find out what happens to those who ask God for wisdom without believing they’ll get it.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1:6-8 (ESV)
So how about you?
Do you truly trust God to give you His will?
If not, why do you doubt?
- Do you really think anything can prevent the God of the universe from communicating with you?
- Do you think God gives wisdom “generously to all without reproach?” Except for you?
- Do you doubt the wisdom of His wisdom altogether.
So, dear one, if you would know God’s will, ask for it in faith that He will answer with the perfect word in His perfect timing!
Heart Check #5: Accountability
Anyone setting out to accomplish any noble endeavor knows you need accountability to succeed.
- Want to succeed in your career? You need instructors and supervisors.
- Want to succeed in a sport? You need coaches and fellow athletes.
- Want to succeed in your relationships? You need mentors and friends who understand how to thrive in relationships.
Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. – Luke 13:31-32
Do you want to walk in God’s will? Then you will seek, listen to, and follow the wise counsel of those who know and love God well.
Even better if they know and love you well! But if they don’t already, lower your guard (and your pride) and let them into your life, so they can grow to know and love you well too.
You may be the “Mandalorian” type who likes to go at it alone and never let anyone see through your mask, but believers are called to live like members of one body. We’re not called to independence. That’s an American ideal. We’re called to interdependence. That’s the Biblical standard.
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. – Prov 11:14
So, dear one, if you would know God’s will, embrace your need for the accountability to walk in it.
How did Your Heart Check Out?
How did you do on these five heart checks?
- Are you approaching God like He’s God and you’re not?
- Have you repented of sinful habits and thought patterns?
- Are you resting in God’s love?
- Are you trusting in God’s wisdom?
- Are you seeking, listening to, and following wise counsel?
Let us know how this post helped you, or what further questions it raised for you.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!