Spiritual Gifts

What God’s Will for You Is Not…

Dr. Larry Gilbert

Many good books have been written on the subject of God’s will, but many will unintentionally mislead you. So let’s address what may be confusing by looking at what God’s will for you is not.

God’s will for you…

  • Is not bad. God is our loving Father and he wants only the best for His children. He is not going to put us in any situation that will compromise our effectiveness to serve Him. That would be contrary to God’s nature.
  • Is not fixed. We have all made many mistakes along the way and the idea that God’s will is non-bendable, fixed or non-variable can put undue pressure on us.  The good news is that God has many provisions in His will for our failures and shortcomings. You haven’t missed the boat; he has even allowed you the privilege of making some decisions and choices while remaining in His will.
  • Is not lost. You do not have to aimlessly search for it. It is easy to recognize in Scripture. Psalm 40:8 says, “I desire to do your will my God; your law is within my heart.” In various translations of this passage, the word “is” runs in italics. This means the translator added it for clarity. Read it without the word “is.” Right! Now we see “your will” and “your law” are one and the same. They are both within our hearts. In fact it could say, “Your will is your law within my heart.”
  • Is not revealed to others. Legitimate counsel where someone shares principles from God’s Word will help you make decisions based on God’s will. Young people can receive such counsel from Christian parents. However, some people are always imposing God’s will for their life on your life. The principle to learn is: God will reveal His will for your life to you.
  • Is not based on circumstances. Today when we “put out the fleece” (see the story of Gideon in Judges 6:37-40), we sometimes wrongly set up circumstances and ask God to fit them. We say, “If you want me to do that, God, then You must do this.” Decisions based on such circumstances in your life rest upon your having a large amount of faith.
  • Is not contrary to God’s Word. “Lord, You know I am out of work and have been out for a long time. The bills are piling up. We don’t have money to buy groceries. The children don’t have shoes. Father, is it Your will that I rob the convenience store on the corner so we will have money to take care of our financial needs?” This is a foolish prayer because it is contrary to God’s Word, which says, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15). This might be an extreme example…but the main principle is: anything that is contrary to God’s Word is also contrary to God’s will.

To summarize: If we cannot rely on the previous “Nots” to help us recognize God’s will for our lives, then where can we look? In God’s Word—the Bible.



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Dr. Larry Gilbert is founder and chairman of Ephesians Four Ministries, and founder of ChurchGrowth.org. For more on spiritual gifts, see Dr. Gilbert’s books, from which this article was condensed: Team Ministry: Gifted to Serve (for pastors and group leaders) and Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You (for individuals and groups).

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Everyone wants to know God’s will and there is uncertainty of how to go about it. Is my will in line with his will?

    Sometimes its a matter of trust and sometimes it’s a matter of faith.

  • Thank you. Excellent reminders that we often miss when the stress of the moments feels larger than our faith.

    • Mrs.Francina Bridget-Victor
      February 13, 2015 1:42 pm

      Sometimes God allow things to happen, that if we trust and believe in him, with our Faith he, brings us through with his unchanging hands. Thats why he said lean not to your understanding, but trust his will for our lives.

  • How often another – especially a spiritual authority – has, knowingly or not, tried to impose their will insisting God has told them this or that about another’s life.

    Not too long ago someone told me that a certain guy was my husband. She told me that he was from a wealthy family; that our purposes were linked and we would do ministry together. Though we met and chatted for a while, something did not sit right. Later, it was shown to me that these people were family friends; moving in the same circles and this lady was (mis)using her influence with me. I thank God for pulling me out and saving me.

    Thank you for these powerful pointers. I see that The Father unravels His will progressively. I just need to trust, to have faith and to wait on Him. I take these as prayer points when praying to The Father to know His will for my life.

    Thank you and God bless.

  • This is an excellent remainder for me i like point that God’s will for me is not revealed to others because he is a personal God he will reveal it to me personally I feel worthied that i don’t have to someone to speak it to me. Thank you for the insight.

  • This is really awesome!
    God wants to have an intimate relationship with His children and in the process reveal His will.
    We start looking to others to tell us God’s will for our lives when we fail to draw close enough to Him.

  • Cristina martinez
    April 14, 2015 8:32 am

    Es realmente hermoso, hablar pero aún más conocer las grandezas de Dios, para sus hijos, yo quisiera adquirir más conocimiento y me gustaría poder obtener los libros que ustedes facilitan, pero no se como, los he pedido he llenado las ca anatas, pero no se que más hacer. Gracias por todo lo que Dos hace a través de ustedes. Que El Señor los siga benficiendo.

    • Thank you. The books may be ordered through ChurchGrowth.org. You may click on the product titles at the bottom of the articles to go to the product information and cart for ordering. Orders must be prepaid by credit card. Those unable to pay by credit card may mail the order with proper payment in US funds, by check, to ChurchGrowth.org, PO Box 763, Forest, VA 24551-0763.

  • I appreciate & I agree…

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