Finding God’s will can be a confusing journey for many Christians. The fear of making the wrong choices or straying from God’s plan can cast a shadow of confusion over all our decision-making.
Many Christians feel plagued by worries: “What if I choose the wrong college and don’t meet my future spouse? What if I’m supposed to be a missionary, and instead, I wind up as an accountant? Have I spent the last 20 years outside God’s will…?”
“God’s will” can take on dramatic proportions and seem like a mysterious, mystical concept just out of reach. But is finding God’s will truly so elusive, or is it something more straightforward than we often make it out to be? There are two fundamental misconceptions many well-meaning Christians fall into.
Misconception #1: You Are Outside of God’s Plan
One prevalent misunderstanding is viewing God’s will as a predetermined track—like a train we either catch or miss. However, the Bible suggests a different perspective. Yes, God has a plan for our lives, and our steps are ordained by Him. (Proverbs 37:23) That idea alone can trip many people up. If God has a specific plan, how do I know if I am in it? But this is simply a misunderstanding of what that means.
God has granted us free will, a precious gift allowing us to make our own choices and pursue our passions and dreams. The truth is that, as we navigate these choices, we can trust and find assurance that God is actively working through them. There isn’t a rigid, singular path we are obligated to follow. God’s sovereignty is intricately woven into the fabric of our decision-making process in ways impossible for us to understand on this side of Heaven.
Misconception #2: You Are Only Doing God’s Will in Ministry
It’s a widespread and deeply ingrained fallacy that assigns greater importance to spiritual activities over everyday tasks such as preparing a meal, doing household chores, fixing a car, or killing it in business pursuits. The Protestant Reformation reclaimed the biblical principle known as the “Priesthood of all Believers.”
This rejects any division between those “more spiritual” jobs and those considered “common.” In Christ, we are all new creations and “priests” (1 Peter 2:5), underscoring the holiness of all types of work. So, whether you’re changing diapers or replacing a tire on the roadside, don’t allow yourself to wonder if you should instead be on the mission field where you could get some *real* work done. While missionary work and serving in ministry are right and good, they don’t necessarily hold higher significance in God’s kingdom.
What is God’s Will for Your Life?
Many Christians would benefit from spending less time obsessing over the mysterious parts of scripture and focusing instead on the plain teachings of the Bible. As Jesus stated in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” The scriptures make it abundantly clear that God desires us to live in obedience to Him. As Micah 6:8 puts it, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In other words, “God’s will” is that you live your life in obedience to Him.
Understanding God’s will is less about deciphering mysterious plans and more about obedient living. It involves aligning our choices with His principles. While God may call us to specific situations or people at times, walking with Him ensures that these callings become clear.
In the words of Saint Augustine, “Love God and do as you please.” When our love for God shapes our desires and actions, we naturally find ourselves moving toward His will. So, rather than dwelling on the fear of making the wrong choices, focus on walking in obedience, trusting that God’s plan unfolds as we align our hearts with His.