Know What God Wants You to Do Every Day

We can know God’s will in two different ways:
• through His general will
• through His specific will
God reveals His will to us through:
• His Word
• Holy Spirit
• other people
• providential circumstances

There is an old story about a man trapped on the top of his house during a flood or hurricane or tsunami (insert your own natural disaster). The water is swiftly rising. As this man sits on his roof, fearful of being swept away by the current, he cries out to God, “God please help me.”

A few moments later, a friend arrives with his boat. “Hey, friend, need a ride to safety?” he asks.

“No,” replies the man on top of his house. “God is going to help me.”

An hour later, the water is up to the gutters. A voluntary rescue person comes by on his yellow raft. “Hey, let’s get you off of there and on to safety,” he yells.

But the man on top of his house refuses to go. “God is going to help me.”

Another hour passes and now the water is halfway up the roof. The man is now on top of his chimney, nervously looking down at certain death.

God’s general will is clearly revealed in Scripture.

Fortunately, a Red Cross volunteer swings by in a canoe and offers to take him to safety. But the man refuses. “No, God is going to help me.”

A couple of hours pass by and the water sweeps over the top of the house. The man is carried away by the current and drowns. When he gets to Heaven, he says to God, “I thought you were going to help me.”

God and says to the man, “I sent a boat, an inflatable raft, and a canoe—but you refused each one.”

God’s specific will at times is difficult to see clearly.

And you laughed, right? But quite often this is a perfect analogy of our attempts to know God’s plan for our lives. We act as if God’s will is some sort of vague, mysterious amazing thing. It’s as if we want God to show us what He wants us to do, but we don’t really think He will make it clear to us. Ask God what He wants you to do … and then wait expectantly for Him to give you answer!

How do you most often figure out what you should do?


Do you usually consider what God might want for you to do? How do you determine this?


 Many times what God wants us to do is very clear. When we talk about knowing what
God wants us to do this is sometimes referred to as “knowing God’s will”. We can know
God’s will in two different ways: through His general will and His specific will. 




God will never lead us to violate the principles in the Bible.




 God’s general will is always clear.  We find His general will clearly revealed in Scripture. When we are considering whether or not God is directing us to do something, some decisions are objective enough to be eliminated on the basis of whether or not they conform to God’s Word.  God will never lead us in a direction that will violate the principles He has given in the Bible.  For example, He would not lead lie or cheat or steal, because this is clearly taught in the Bible as something that is wrong. Or He would not want you to pursue a relationship with a person who is married, because you would be committing adultery, which is in direct violation of what is taught throughout the Bible.

In Psalm 32:8 we read, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (NIV). As we immerse ourselves in prayer and in the study of God’s Word, He will give us His wisdom to make decisions that are compatible with His principles.

Romans 12:2 says, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV). Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).


God has a plan for your life.





Here are some principles that can guide us as we seek to determine God’s general will:

 God has a plan for your life.  Jeremiah 29:11 says,  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV).

 God desires that each and every person have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.  1 Timothy 2:4-5 says, God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is, There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us” (CEV).

 God promises to give us wisdom if we ask Him and believe that He will give it.  James 1:5 tells us, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (NIV).

 God promises to give us strength and courage for whatever life brings.  Philippians 4:13 encourages us with Paul’s words, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (NLT). And Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).




God promises to give us wisdom if we ask Him and believe that He will give it.



What new thought or idea has been presented to you so far in this lesson?


 God’s specific will at times is difficult to see clearly . Does he want me to take a job in a different city … or stay with the one that I have? Does he want me to marry this person that I am currently dating … or should I wait for someone else?  Should I buy a new car … or a used one? Should I go to the university … or stay home with my family? You can be sure of one thing: No one has perfect insight into God’s specific will. The soundest, most mature believers can and do make mistakes about God’s specific will. However, in determining  God’s specific will there are some absolutes that never change.   God reveals His specific will through His Word, the Bible (Psalm 119:105), through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), through other people (Proverbs 15:22), and through providential circumstances (Proverbs 16:9).

Take time to recognize His direction through insights, impressions, conversations, circumstances, counsel that may be

God’s specific guidance. 

Making Sure the Direction is from God



God promises to give us strength and courage for whatever life brings.

As you study God’s Word and talk with him about the specific things in your life that you need direction and discernment for, here are some questions that can help you make a decision. Each one of these questions is based on principles that run throughout the Bible. A specific Bible verse or passage is given for each principle as a reference, but you can find many other verses related to each question!

  • Does it comply with the directions given in God’s written Word? (Psalm 119:133)
  • Does it demonstrate love for God? (John 14:15)
  • Does it demonstrate love for others? (Romans 13:9-10)
  • Does it promote personal holiness? (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
  • Does it reflect the fruit of the Spirit? (Galatians 5:22)
  • Does it require faith and trust in God? (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Does it make sense when you use reasoning that is based on God’s truth? (Romans 12:2)
  • Does it generate a supernatural inner peace and calmness that cannot be
    attributed to your circumstances? (Philippians 4:6-7)

Is there any situation or relationship in your life right now for you to apply some of these questions to?


Be patient and willing to wait on God.

You do not have to be able to answer “yes” to each and every question in order to determine that the direction you are heading is the one God wants for you. There may be several questions that you simply cannot answer, but there should be a clear consensus among those that you can. If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, take time to wait on God to give you more confirmation before taking action. Many times people believe God is leading them into an area, and He may be, but they plunge forward without getting His confirmation.  Be patient and willing to wait on God. 


How can you apply the principles contained in this lesson to your life right now?