What Is God’s Will for My Life?

What Is God’s Will for My Life?

What is God’s will for my life?

We all want to know the answer to that question, right? I mean, could there be a more pressing subject? We’re talking about the sovereign God of all that is, the one who created us, who sustains us, who gave his Son to save us. What does he want us to do with this vapor of a life he’s given?

In his new book, Follow Me, David Platt gets right to the core of our search for God’s will. We’re drawn to the methods — whether casting a fleece or listening to “that still small voice” or looking for that door to fling wide open. But Platt wonders, is it really that hard?

What if God the Father has not sent his children on a cosmic Easter egg hunt to discover his will while he sits back in heaven saying, “You’re getting colder . . . warmer . . . colder . . .”? And what if searching for God’s will like this actually misses the entire point of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus? (127–128)

Christian discipleship aims to transform our will. That’s what happens when believers are made new in Christ. “As followers of Jesus, our lives are subsumed in his life, and our ways are totally surrendered to his will” (128). To be “in Christ” means that we no longer live for ourselves “but for him who for our sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

So then wouldn’t it be strange for us to look toward God with crossed arms and puckered lips? We are not our own, yet do we say “anything Lord, but this and this and this?” Can we really live conscious of our union with Christ and say to God anything different than “I will go wherever you lead and give whatever you ask.” Platt writes, “This is what it means to be a disciple. Declared and demonstrated in our initial act of baptism, we have lost our lives in Christ, and we gladly surrendered our ways to his will” (130).

So the first step in finding God’s will for our lives is to understand that in Christ our own wills are radically recreated. As far as which way to go after this semester, or whether to take that job or move to that country, there aren’t any shortcuts to the mind of God. Platt reminds us that this isn’t God’s design.

His ultimate concern is not to get you or me from point A to point B along the quickest, easiest, smoothest, clearest route possible. Instead, his ultimate concern is that you and I would know him deeply as we trust him more completely. (131)

You see, we are called to a relationship with Jesus. We are called to his person, not his drills. He is a Savior more than a sergeant. Platt writes, “The goal of the disciple of Jesus, then, is not to answer the question ‘What is God’s will for my life?’ The goal, instead, is to walk in God’s will on a moment-by-moment, day-by-day basis” (133).

The point is to walk with Jesus. And if we walk with him, if our lives are swallowed up into his own, we’ll go the right way.


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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.