Each new year begins with a blank page, a new chapter in your life that has yet to be written. There will undoubtedly be difficult and complex decisions; knowing which direction to go or God’s will may be challenging. Do you take this job, move to this city, or marry this person? Sometimes, what God wants you to do won’t be obvious. However, rest assured that God has a plan for you. Steve Arterburn said it best, “Wherever you find yourself, whether on the mountaintops, in the valleys, or at the crossroads of life, you may be assured that God is there and has a plan.”
How can you know God’s will in the new year? Here are some tips to help you discover God’s will for your life.
1. Search God’s Word.
Any decision you make should line up with—not contradict—God’s Word. This is why reading the Bible and knowing what it says before making a major decision is essential. Psalm 119:105 (NLT) says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
2. Ask God for wisdom.
When you pray and ask God to show you what to do, God will give you wisdom. James 1:5 provides this assurance, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you…” As you seek God, write down the sense of direction you get from Him over time to avoid making an impulsive decision.
3. Be patient with the process.
Knowing God’s will requires patience. There will be times when you’re tempted to rush ahead of God and do whatever you want to do…don’t! Perhaps God wants you to wait because He is still orchestrating all the pieces of His grand plan to come together—other times, He might have you wait so He can work on your heart.
4. Think through each decision logically.
Sometimes, Christians can get so caught up in hearing from God that they forget to use reason and common sense. List all the possible decisions you could make. Then, brainstorm all the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.
5. Submit your will to God’s will.
Your prayer should not be to get what you want but for God’s will to be done. Pray, “I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39). Don’t limit God’s will, but be open to God doing something incredible in you and through you that you never thought possible.
6. Seek counsel from qualified individuals.
Ask others to pray for you, and seek godly counsel from a counselor or coach. Get advice and insight from people who have made good choices in their own lives so that you can make the right choices. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
7. Look for open and closed doors.
Sometimes, God may use an open or shut door to point you in the right direction. “What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open” (Revelation 3:7).
8. Take the next right step.
To know God’s will and do it in the new year, surrender each step you take to the Lord. Don’t focus on all the steps to take. Instead, ask yourself: “What’s my next best step?” After following the tips listed above—from searching God’s Word to looking for open and closed doors—take the next right step.
9. Trust that God is already there.
Deuteronomy 31:8b says, “the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” No matter the decisions you’ll make in the new year—whether deciding which job to take, where to live, or who to marry—the Lord has already gone before you. He is always beside you and has a plot twist to your life that you never saw coming— but is better than you could ever imagine.
Knowing and doing God’s will is not always easy. Call 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433) to find a counselor or coach to help you.
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