Tips to remain in God's will

A friend and I were chatting a few weeks ago about our lives and where we want to see them go. Our dreams and hopes, and even the now. Where was God moving in our lives?

At some point in the conversation, I casually and confidently spoke of how I am walking in God's will.

It led to some good dialogue about how we know that we are walking in God's will.

And I wanted to take a moment to share how I know that I'm walking in God's will, with the honest preface that I'm very much a sinner who often chooses sin over God's will, and I often choose my satisfaction over His glory.

These are how I know I'm in His will, because they're the things that require spiritual discipline. Living within God's will requires discipline. There is no way around it. I wish there was. But there isn't. There is a reason it's called the narrow path, because not everybody is willing to tough it out.

1. Remember that God never contradicts Himself. So the things that God calls you to will not contradict with the words of scripture.

2. Read the Bible. Every single day we need to be filling ourselves up with truth. We live in a world where we have an enemy, and I promise you that Satan knows scripture far better than you or me. That shouldn't cause us to give up, but should prompt us to constantly be looking to scripture, because that is the only place we have the written word of God. You'll only know if what God is calling you is true to His words if you know His words.

3. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Sometimes I wish I could just write blog posts about prayer, and in them I would just write go pray because it's always the right time to pray. We have got to be in constant conversation with Jesus, utilizing the Holy Spirit to lead us wherever we go. If we don't talk to God, we won't hear from Him very much. Similar to any relationship, the ones we pour into are the ones that we typically see fruit from. Spend all of your time living the way God has called you to.

4. This goes along with the reading the Bible tip, but honestly, read through the Gospels. Often. We are called to live like Jesus. While all of scripture points to Him, only in the Gospels do we see how He lived out each day. We learn what we're meant to do when we look at what He did. I've got some words in my head and heart for a few posts on practical theology because much of what Jesus shared and did is actually incredibly practical. I'm excited to share them at some point.

5. If you want to remain within God's will, remain within community. A first act of ministry for Jesus was to surround Himself with a group of people. While He had the specific twelve disciples, He also had many others who lived life with Him. We are not called to solitude. Yes, He spent time away, and we are definitely supposed to spend time alone and in solitude (with Jesus) but I truly don't believe that God calls us to a life of solitude.

6. When I shared this list with a friend, she added that we constantly need to check our motivation. Why do I want to do this? Because if our motivation isn't to give God glory or to know God more, we probably need to reconsider.

7. In the Bible, we're given a list that shares the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) and I truly believe that they are very good gages of whether we are walking in God's will. God will never call us to stop bearing those fruits, so if our endeavours produce those spiritual fruit, we can walk in confidence.

Like I said at the get-to, this list isn't exhaustive. It also isn't set in stone. But I do think it's a good place to start when we're wondering what God wants us to do.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

I don't know about you, but I want to live in a house built on a rock - the rock - the Lord.

And don't you be leaving without sharing how you walk in God's will. Or share the opposite, how do you know when you've walked out of it? I'd love to hear.