One of the questions I get asked more than anything else is, "How do I discover God's will for my life?" If I've been asked that once, I've been asked that a thousand times. The age of the person doesn't matter. Even people in their twilight years ask the same question. It's almost as if everyone wants to do God's will but they think it's some deep dark secret locked up somewhere in Area 51.
Discovering God's will for your life is not difficult. Why would it be? If God, the creator of everything has a will and desire for you to be doing a specific thing, and he gifted you, and equipped you to do it, why would he ever hide it from you? Why would he go to the trouble to equip you and then not tell you what you were equipped to do?
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Philippi and they must have been asking the same question, because Paul told them in the second chapter,
"God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."
Part of what God does in each one of us is wire us with certain desires. There are certain things that we naturally like to do, and are good at as well. Those desires are not evil or self-indulgent they are a God given catalyst to help us step into what he has for us.
King David said the same thing in a song he wrote,
"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
As we lean into God, and get closer to him, he leans into us and changes us. He removes the desires of our hearts that are self-serving and replaces them with desires that are Godly and kingdom advancing. As you walk with the Lord, the desires that surface in your heart are the desires that God has for you.
I can still hear you shouting at your computer screen, "But how do you know if the desires are the left over fleshly desires, or Godly desires?" Okay, let me give you a quick little check list to help you in your discovery process.
Does it Line up with Bible?
If you have any desire, dream, or destiny that is not in line with the Bible then it is not of God. It is a fleshly endeavor that is not the direction that God has for you.
Will it make me more like Christ?
Look at the long game. If you follow this path for a year will it lead you closer to Christ or further away? I know people who are just sure that they are stepping into an open door that God has blessed them with, but the door doesn't lead them closer to God, in fact, it leads them further away. They take the new job because it's a huge blessing, but they can't ever attend church again because they are working 7 days a week. They can't hang out in small groups because their work hours are too many and too difficult. Whatever it is, if it leads you away from Christ then it is not God.
Do those in spiritual authority confirm it?
We hate this one because nobody likes to be told "no." Spiritual authority is not to be lorded over people or to control people. If your spiritual authority is ruthless and controlling, you need to find a new one. A spiritual leader in your life is not a task master but a loving sage who wants to guide you on your journey, but the journey is still yours to take. Seek their counsel and advice before you jump all in. Who knows they might have been there before and can give you the real guidance you need. I would rather hear a "no" in the beginning and save myself years of heartache and pain. Don't go to your spiritual authority and "tell them" what you're doing. If you have already made the choice then just do it. Don't waste their time or yours. The best way is to go to them with an open heart and a teachable heart and seek honest guidance.
Is it focused on others?
Does your dream, destiny, or desire only satisfy you? Does it scratch your itch but does nothing for anybody else? Then that's not God. Yes, God wants us to enjoy life and live in abundance, but when it comes to dreams and destiny it must help somebody. The clarion call for people working in the Kingdom of God is serving others. Serving them with everything we do and say. It's always about the other.