How to Know God's Will?
by Tamara Eaton
Should we homeschool our children or send them to the local Christian or
public school? How can we be sure what God's will is for our family?
God chooses to reveal His plans for us in many ways. He doesn't usually
give us a specific "sign" or audible voice with intricate
instructions, or a clear road map with step by step directions. Instead, He
wants to us to have a close relationship with Him, spending time praying and
in His Word, asking Him to show us His Will. Often He chooses to lead us
one step at a time, and we must step out in faith, trusting that He will stop
us if we're going in the wrong direction.
The good news is that He wants us to be in His Will even more than we do,
so He delights in guiding our steps! We just have to make sure our heart is to
do His Will and seek Him by taking time to listen for that small still voice
of the Holy Spirit, spending time in His Word, and not rushing into things or
switching gears so fast we run ahead of Him.
It's not always crystal clear at first, and yet one way we can know that
we're walking in the right direction is when we have that deep inner peace of
the Lord. Sure, there still might be attacks of nervousness, and Satan
might attempt to throw doubts into our minds. Respected friends may even
encourage us to go a different direction. But when through it all, we still
take time to "draw nigh to God and allow Him to draw nigh to us" (James
4:7-8), and we continue to have that deep peace, we know we are making the
We can't always go by circumstances to confirm whether we've made the right
decision or not because circumstances can be very unreliable and
manipulated by Satan. Paul talks in 1 Thessalonians 2:18 about how
Satan hindered him time and again from taking a trip--obviously Paul believed
it was God's will that he take the trip or he wouldn't have even planned it.
So, let's say we decide to homeschool and suddenly almost ALL our Christian
friends (and pastor!) start in on us saying, " I think this is a big
mistake, you're just not cut out for homeschooling...your children NEED to be
challenged in school with all those other children!" And then we find
out the curriculum we've ordered is out of stock and won't be available for
ages, and we have a big offer from someone who wants us to start a new
business-- only catch is it would take up ALL our "extra" time. Does
this mean God is trying to show us homeschooling is not His will? NOT
Sometimes we have to stand strong and go with what WE believe seems
best, trusting God will intervene and clearly show us if we're wrong. Psalms
and Proverbs are filled with principles and assurances that God will lead us
if we commit ourselves to Him and put our trust in Him. He will make our way
Look at the following principles from God's Word:
* Proverbs 1 Tells us how we must treasure and obey the
Lord's counsel when He speaks to us, and if we listen to Him, we will dwell
safely and be secure without fear of evil.
* Proverbs 2 Tells us how we must seek Him for wisdom,
understanding, and discernment and that He stores up sound wisdom for the
upright and guards and preserves our paths.
* Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and
lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He
shall direct your paths."
* Proverbs 16:1 "The preparations of the heart belong to
man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." And vs. 9 "A
man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
To me these scriptures suggest:
1. It's up to us to spend time getting His Word into our hearts.
2. We must prayerfully and humbly seek His Will, repenting for any
3. And then He will lead us and bless the steps that we take.
* Psalm 1 We should not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, but
delight in the Word and meditate in it, this brings blessings for the Lord
knows the way of the righteous!
* Psalm 9 "And those who know Your name will put their trust
in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."
* Psalm 16: 7-8, 11 "I will bless the Lord who has given me
counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord
always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved."
"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of
* Psalm 17:4b-5 "...I have kept away from the paths of the
destroyer. Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not
* Psalm 18:28-33, 35-36 Encouraging scripture when you feel weak and
uncertain! He will enlarge our paths so that our feet don't slip and He
lights our way!
* Psalm 25 He promises to guide the humble in His way and
those who fear Him.
* Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way
you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like
the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and
bridle, else they will not come near you."
* Psalm 37:5, 23-24, 31 "Commit your way to the Lord, trust
also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." "The steps of a good
man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he
shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand."
"The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide."
* Psalm 119:130, 133-134 "The entrance of Your Words gives
light; it gives understanding to the simple." "Direct my steps by
Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the
oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts."
* Psalm 139 is very encouraging! The Lord understands us and our
path better than we do and we can't flee from His presence... vs.5 "You
have hedged me behind and before", and laid Your hand on me." vs. 10
"Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold
* Psalm 142:3 "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
then You knew my path."
* 143:8-10 "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the
morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should
walk, for I lift up my soul to You...in You I take shelter. Teach me to do
Your will, for You are my God;"
And there are many, many more...including James 1:5-6 "If
any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and
without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with
I believe the primary method of discerning the Lord's will is knowing
His Word and while there aren't specific verses for everything, there are principles
which we can learn to apply to our lives. Any further "signs" or
specific directions we receive concerning God's will for our life would only
be a confirmation of principles that are outlined in His Word and would
never contradict the principles of the Word.
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole
heart! They also do no iniquity; they walk in His Ways. Psa. 119:2-3
May we all take time to discern His will for our lives! Because we
are certain that homeschooling is God's will for our family, we are able to homeschool
with confidence, assured that He will bless and prosper our homeschooling
For a more indepth article on discerning God's will, see "Where
Are You, God?".
[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how
you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as
His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit
publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the
copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the
publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high
school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their
homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information,
please join us on the Christian Homeschool
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."