By Lynn H. Pryor
It was during my college years when I got serious about my walk with Christ. And since I was going to take my walk with Him seriously, I wanted to be right in the center of His plan and will for me. But what exactly was His plan—and just how deep does God’s will go? I mean, do I seek Him out on only the big decisions in life, or should I pray for God’s will over whether I wear brown socks or tan socks today?
I spent a gazillion years in student ministry, and I met so many students who wrestled with similar questions. They had huge decisions in front of them. The college they chose would impact the rest of their lives. Do they go to college, go to work, or join the military? How could they be sure that person is the one God wanted them to marry?
As adults, our lives often settle down into a routine with a family and a job. But no matter where we are—what stage of life we’re currently in—we still face decisions, and we would be wise to seek God’s direction. We’ve all found ourselves regretting a decision. I should’ve chosen door #1 instead of door #2. The same question faces us: how do we know what God would have us do in this situation?
There is no shortage of books and studies written to help us discover God’s will. I’ve read my share of those. They’ve all been helpful in their own way, but when Experiencing God was first published in 1990, it was different. Henry Blackaby’s insightful look into seven realities for experiencing God’s will lit a fire under me—and under literally millions of other believers. Even today, almost 30 years later, this study continues to be widely used.
Richard Blackaby, Henry’s son, grew up in the home where these principles were learned and practiced. When Experiencing God went through a revision a few years ago, Richard was deeply involved. He was the obvious choice to write the study “How to Know God’s Will,” which is a part of the Bible Studies for Lifecurriculum.
In a strongly conversational study, Richard walks us through the different ways God reveals His will to us: His Word, His Holy Spirit, His church, and even through our circumstances. Before all that, though,
Richard addresses the elephant in the room: How much of God’s will is predetermined to happen no matter what? Christians have long debated the tension between God’s sovereign will and our own human will. Richard leads groups in a healthy conversation on this issue, and it sets the stage for examining the different ways God reveals His will.
A favorite session for me focuses on the why of God’s will. There is a purpose behind the things God calls us to do. We may not fully understand why God’s will is pushing us in a certain direction, but following His will always leads to His glory. His plans for us are always for our benefit and His glory.
We can know God’s will, and life is richer when we live in obedience to His plan.
And if anyone is curious, I am wearing brown socks today.
Lynn Pryor (@lynnpryor) is the Adult Team Leader for LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life. He also serves as an interim pastor in the Nashville area. He writes a weekly blog at lynnhpryor.com that complements the studies in Bible Studies for Life.