We don’t see them much any more, but when I was growing up we would often see special events where the speaker’s topic was, “How to know God’s will for your life.” You had to get there early, because the place would be packed out.
Hopefully, people are still concerned about being in God’s will. But do we really know what that means? Some people are afraid that if they miss God’s will then God will be upset with them. Others are afraid of finding out God’s will, because He might tell them to become missionaries when they would rather not.
Now if this really interests you, I would recommend David Benner’s book, “Desiring God’s Will: Aligning Our Hearts With the Heart of God” which is by far the best thing I’ve ever read on this topic. But there is one thought in particular that I would like to add here, and that is this:
You can be a complete mess, spiritually speaking, and still be in God’s will!
First, this has to be true because the closer we get to God the more our flaws show up anyway. So there’s no place of arrival and we are always in need of more renewal. If near perfection were a condition of being in God’s will, no one would qualify.
But more importantly, God’s will is to be actively involved in our lives for our good and our restoration. So if we are actively engaging with Him in order to participate in His restoration of our lives, we are in His will — no matter how far along in the process we are, or are not! Wow! That’s good news!
The truth is, God loves to be involved in our lives. He is far more committed to our restoration than we are, and He actually enjoys it! He loves to give and heal and renew, because it’s in His character to bring life and love and light into dark places. We have an amazing God. Making space to engage with Him so He can work in our hearts and minds is what He most wants from us. Everything else will follow from that.