rebelling against low expectations

How can we determine God’s will for our lives?


JOY WRITES: As a teenager I always hear, “Do whatever you believe God wants you to do” or “Find God’s will for your life and follow it.” So my question is… How?! How do I know if God wants me to go to college or enlist in the military? How do I seek God’s will as a teenage Christian?

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • I’ve been thinking about this a lot as well. As teenagers, our lives are filled with all kinds of decisions, but how do we figure out what God wants us to choose?

    1. Try asking yourself, will this put me in a situation to share God’s Word, build/strengthen relationships, or serve others in the best way I can?

    2. Think, “what would Jesus do?” Or even better, “what did Jesus do?” He’s gone through every hard situation known to man, and you can base your life decisions on his.

    3. God gave you free will, he doesn’t want to control your life. It’s okay to trust yourself to make decisions and be in sync with God’s will, even if you haven’t figured out what that is yet. If he’s placed it on your heart (a more spiritual way of saying that you’ve talked it over with him and it just feels… right :P), you’re good to go.

    4. Wait for it…. PRAY. I know, I know, so cliche. Pray for everything. But seriously, you can’t do any of the above without consulting God first. To be able to trust yourself and your own instincts, you need to be in line with God, and to do that, you need to talk to him.

    I hope that wasn’t terribly confusing, and I pray it helps!

  • I’ve wondered this myself many times, so I don’t know a “perfect” answer. I think many people don’t really know FOR SURE what God is calling them to do. It’s just where they believe He’s leading them. I think the biggest, most obvious thing to do is to pray. And make sure your heart is open.

    Think: What do you feel your purpose is? What do you hope to do with your life? What are your strongest talents? If God keeps opening doors in those directions, that could be a sign that He’s leading you in that direction.

    …I don’t know if that helps or not. I’m not really the best advice-giver. :/

  • I wonder this myself… a lot. But here are some of my humble thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe that God is completely sovereign and that His will is gonna happen exactly as He planned. I think that finding some mystic “will of God” for your life is more about simply walking through doors He opens for you, and being content when He shuts doors. It seems like i always say this, but seriously, PRAY. Follow God wholly with and open mind and heart, and He will make your path in life clear! Does that make any sense? Well anyhoo, I really hope to read other comments on this thread ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a fantastic day!



    Actually, that’s probably the best start, honestly.

    For example, in the Bible, we read that Paul on his missionary journeys, made most of his own decisions, unless God explicitly told him something.

    And we get many specific verses such as…

    So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31


    It is Godโ€™s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

    ooh and here’s a good one:

    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godโ€™s will isโ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

    Also, check out the book, “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung.

    Hope this helps! =D


    • You finally got your first Reb comment in there! Congratulations! XD
      Another book recommendation! I have no lack of reading material thanks to y’all on here ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yep, you summed my opinion up pretty well. I just think that too many of us tend to get caught up in “finding God’s will for our lives” and never end up actually DOING anything. We tend to ignore the commands Jesus gave us, such as the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

    • That book is fantastic! I know you guys probably hear this all the time but… “It will change your life”! I’ll never look at GOD’s will the same way again!

    • I agree. Read the Bible, especially the New Testament, and pray about everything! Godly counsel from your parents and/or other godly figures in your life who’s opinion you trust, and studying your own inclinations to see if they are in accordance with the commands God gives us as believers. Sometimes more than one choice fits in with God’s will, and you simply have to pick one.

    • Agree with Josh A that reading your Bible is one of the best ways to find your purpose. God does not usually reveal his entire plan for a person’s life right off the bat, because then that person would be severely intimidated. We humans, with God’s help, are much more capable of doing great things than we think we are. Just keep praying and pursue your passions and interests. God will honor our likes and dislikes, and I think He will kind of model our future off of that (as long as they are more or less godly interests).

      Hope this helps.

  • When I was making an important decision, my youth pastor shared that as a general rule we determine God’s will for our lives four ways.
    1) Through the Bible. For example, we know it is God’s will that we love our enemies.
    2) Wise counsel (this would include parents, pastors, mentors, etc). If I wanted to be an engineer but no one in my life thought that would work out for me, God may be trying to tell me something through them.
    3) Our giftings. I am not gifted in math therefore God has probably not made me for engineering.
    4) The Holy Spirit’s leading.

    • Good input! Though on giftings, God often does not call the equipped, he equips the called. More glory is brought to Him that way. I don’t think we should limit God’s will to our giftings (and I know you’re not meaning it that way, but I’m just saying). ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This is definitely something that I have struggled with lots recently and a question that I continue to struggle. First you should always pray. Secondly the Bible does tell us some things that are his will for our life, such as to glorify him, to love our neighbor, to rejoice always, and to pray without ceasing.
    But as far as making a decision where the options are all good things, but you can’t choose all of them, God has blessed me with some really good mentors, friends, and professors who have helped me to think through these things. Some advice that people have given me are things like asking me ( or pointing out to me when I don’t know) what my talents are and what kind of things I enjoy doing most? What kind of gifts has God given me? What do I see myself doing within the next 5-10 years? Something that my professor told me was that if I have several possible options and all of them are good things that I could do with my life, leave the door open for all of those options for as long as possible. That may not be helpful for your case, but for me that helped me not to panic and I realized that I didn’t have to make a definite decision at that moment. Also, when I do make a decision, I will pursue that plan unless God clearly shuts the door, otherwise, there is no reason to not pursue it.
    Hope this may be helpful to someone!

  • Very recently, I have made this remarkable discovery that has given me a firm assurance in this matter. It is this. Instead of asking God what He has for my life 5 years from now when I’ve finished college, I’ve decided to wake up every morning with the determination to live this day, hour by hour as He would have me. As I look back on the week, I see how it has revolutionized my life and brought me closer to God and His will for my life. So I challenge you, do likewise. I believe it is the most sure way of knowing God’s will. And I believe it to be Biblicial! (surprise!!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’ve been considering this idea a lot as of late. I struggle with living every minute sold out to Christ. It’s a long road, but i’m trying to trust God day by day for the strength and mercy i desperately need. Thanks for sharing this today, and HAPPY EASTER!!!

      • I understand. Prayer has been mu answer. Lots of prayer will keep us close to Him, hence knowing His will becomes quite natural in time. I just had a very Godly man speak to my Church at a revival service. He completely changed the order of the service twice because He was so close to God that he could tell God had different plans for the service. It was such a blessing to me! And you’re welcome, HAPPY EASTER RIGHT BACK AT YAHH! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • There is no necessarily right, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, since I find God speaks differently to all of us. I would say a couple of things:

    1. Pray. A lot. Especially when you have a difficult choice right in front of you, pray. Pour out your heart to God. Don’t worry about saying stupid stuff or foolish stuff, just go somewhere no one can hear you, and pour out your heart.

    2. Read the Bible. The Holy Spirit’s leading will not contradict the Word of God, and it will sometimes direct us specifically through them.

    3.) Listen for God’s voice of direction. Take the time to listen. Go somewhere away from distractions, away from other people and just listen. Talk to God like a conversation, and listen for His voice of direction. I think God is speaking a lot more often than we are listening!

  • Pray and ask for God’s wisdom to help you decide what to do next in your life. When we recently moved house, it was a huge decision for us as our old house took a long time to sell and we were still not sure where He wanted us to go. We prayed and prayed every day and when we went to view another couple of houses we just knew which one to buy. Now that we have moved in we feel so blessed to have this house and we know it was the right choice. Praying works!

  • From what I’ve gathered from other Christian friends who have more experience than me, we often get caught up “Searching for God’s will.” While you do need to seek God’s will, it’s even more important to DO God’s will! So how can we do it? Prayer, being in the Word, and listening for the Holy Spirit Are all vital to seeking and doing God’s will, but I think it’s fine to, having done those things, make a decision on what you feel is the right thing to do. If you’ve involved God in the matter, he will be in your decision making. His will is ultimately for us to glorify Him, so if you make a decision with the purpose of honoring and glorifying Him, I believe He will honor that decision. (maybe not in a way you expect, though). God will open doors, but He will also close doors. If, at the time, you feel you have made a good decision after seeking His will, and He closes a door, or stops you in your tracks, that doesn’t mean you made a bad decision! It means He is using the process to mold and shape you into the character He wants you to be.Enjoy the process as well as the outcome!

  • Okay… so… Here’s the truth!

    There is no “yellow brick road” to follow that will lead you to GOD’s will for your life. You can enlist and be within GOD’s will or you can go to college and still be within GOD’s will. HE can and will use whatever path you choose to bring Himself glory, as long as you’re not going against His Word… you should have no worries! The number of choices in this world can be a major hang up, so just do something, and give it 100%!

    While you can and should pray, study GOD’s Word, and seek wise council… the truth is, even after all that, some of us still don’t seem to know what it is HE wants us to do!

    So PLEASE read “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung forwarded by Joshua Harris. It is a liberating approach to finding GOD’s will OR how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random Bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writings in the sky, writings on the wall, etc.

    I loathe books that talk about GOD’s will for your life… so if you’re like me… READ this book! It’s a quick and easy read. A “one day” read for us readaholics and can be found on Amazon. You’ll never look at GOD’s will the same way again!

    • Elizabeth, I’m genuinely curious about something, so please bare with me! My brother read that book and really liked it, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the quotes I’ve read from the book. however, I am curious about Biblical backing for the idea that God’s will encompasses whatever we wind up doing.

      My question really is: does God have a perfect will for your life? Biblically, it seems that God quite often has a certain plan of how He wants us as humans to behave, for example, telling Paul NOT to go into Asia Minor, but instead to go into Macedonia.

      Are you speaking of God’s will as what He sovereignly arranges to occur or what His ultimate wish would be? Sorry if I’m not clear, but I’m genuinely curious. Thanks!

      • Hey Taylor!

        Not sure if you’ve read the book or not, but one of the most important distinctions he makes in it is that there are multiple things referred to when someone says “God’s will.” For example you ask “Are you speaking of God’s will as what He sovereignly arranges to occur or what His ultimate wish would be?” The first part is identified by the author as God’s “will of decree” (what God knows/declares what will happen) and the second part as his will of either direction or preference or something.

        For example, if I sin, it is in God’s will of decree, but not in his will of preference.

        Make sense?

        • Some, but I’m gonna follow up a little. I have not read the book (it’s on my list, but the list keeps getting longer faster than I can read!). Here’s an example from my own life.

          I had an opportunity to go to Jamaica as a taekwondo competitor to compete at the World Cup. This event also was happening close to the same time as an African missions trip I wanted to go on came available. Now, I had a choice, because I could only afford to go on one.

          I could either go to Jamaica and compete as a taekwondo competitor (not a sin, by any means) or I could go to Malawi on a missions trip. Now, I spent a lot of time in prayer and debating myself, but I finally felt God tell me that I should go to Malawi. I did, and was tremendously blessed.

          What I don’t understand is that in my worldview, God would glorify Himself either way, but He preferred me to go to Malawi. Thus, my job was to seek His will as to which one He wanted me to do. What the author of the above comment seemed to say (seemed to, I could be reading this very wrong) was that we should do whichever one we feel like doing, and God will be glorified either way.

          I do believe He will be glorified either way, but I think God’s will means more than just that He will glorify Himself. I believe He has a fixed purpose that He wants us to do, and it is our job to find it. Now as you said, He also has a prescribed will, “this is what will happen.”

          Thanks for responding! I’m still not completely clear though, while I do understand what you said.

          • Please tell me if I’m being unclear, and in what way. I don’t feel like I’m saying what I’m trying to say well. Thank you very much for your input!

          • If one option glorifies God more than the other, go with the one that glorifies God more. =) I g2g so I can’t say more sorry.

          • I’ve been in this situation before too… If you do feel the Holy Spirit nudging you in one direction instead of the other… that’s fine… that’s great! But when you don’t feel “the nudge”… don’t freak out! Make your request known to God (Philippians 4:6), Read His Word, seek godly council, and then make a choice. Sometimes there is no wrong choice.

          • Another great example is this: so a man falls in love with a woman and they marry! He’s finally found “Mrs. Right”… but then after a few years, she gets cancer and dies. After greaving for two years he meets another women, falls in love, and marries once again. So which of the women were “Mrs. Right”?

          • Um, both!

            After reading your follow up comments, I agree with you. I’ve met way too many Christians just sitting and waiting for God to reveal something to them about what they should do instead of just doing something to disagree with you. Thanks for the conversation!

          • Yer welcome! I enjoyed your comments… it’s very important to know why we believe what we believe… and it’s equally important to be able to explain it to others! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Sorry… I’m just seeing your comment. Great Q btw… I hope I’ll be able to clarify.

        I don’t believe GOD’s will encompasses whatever we wind up doing. I believe we should first seek His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). If we’re doing this daily, then the daily decisions we make will automatically be within His will.

        I also believe GOD does have a perfect will for His people. It’s like GOD has the one and only map of everyone’s lives, but He’s given us the navigation we need to do His will. We have a GPS that shows us where we’re at and also what’s coming around the bend along with brochures of our final destination (yahoo!). The rest we should TRUST Him with! (Philippians 4:6-7)

        The example with Paul is a good one: GOD did clearly direct him elsewhere like He has in many others lives, but I see this as the exception, not the rule. How did Paul know where to go during the rest of His journey? What was He going off of… the Great Commission perhaps?

        Read chapter 6 of “Just Do Something”… it speaks directly to the above example of ordinary guidance vs. Supernatural Surprises. I hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚ let me know if I missed something…

        • Alright, thank you! I agree with you then! I probably miss-read your original comment, but I thought I’d ask anyway to make sure. Thanks for the response!

  • Ooo, ooo! *bounces up and down* This is my Dad’s ‘pet topic’ as he likes to call it. Anyways, this is pretty much what he says:
    1) Direct spiritual leading. God may tell you clearly what he wants you to do. It’s thank kind of supernatural guidance we all hope for when we’re wondering what God’s will for us is. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2) If you don’t get direct guidance, use wisdom. Which is pretty much what all you guys have said. All that stuff about where you talents lie, what you’re passionate about, etc. Continually ask God to guide you of course, but don’t sit around waiting for a loud voice from heaven to instruct you. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Can I also just mention that, given that you are continually submitting to God, being in the Word and prayer, seeking to obey Christ, and doing all that stuff @josh_whatshislastname:disqus mentioned that we KNOW is God’s will, then there is very little chance that you will make a BAD decision. After all, you ARE God’s child! Will He let His kids go around wasting their lives on bad decisions? I don’t think so (as long as you are seeking to follow Christ to the best of your ability and relying on Him, like I said above)! Those who are seeking Him will not be led astray!

    • Totally! Plus, even if you make a decision that could have been better by choosing the other option, God uses all things for his glory. Every little mistake and embarrassing mess up we make, it all has a small part to play in the bigger plan!!! (And I’m really looking forward to someday seeing how getting my hair stuck in my backpack zipper in front of everyone on the first day of a history class will contribute to God’s plan…)

  • The best way to know if God wants you to do something is ask him. Its important to have a relationship with him where you don’t just pray but you actually talk. It took me a while to figure out that my prayers are not just TO him but I’m praying WITH him and he speaks back. I mean this very literally. I was making quesadillas and talking to Jesus today! When you have the kind of relationship where you can talk to him as a friend things become much clearer. Then you can ask him what his will is for your life and for the moment. And he will tell you! He LOVES talking with us because he likes us a whole lot!

    • Ha, ha, you explained a really difficult thing really well! I’ve had the same experience. I take time frequently to go into the woods behind our neighborhood and just talk, out loud to God, and He does talk back! And you feel really stupid the first few times, but there’s no sweeter fellowship than that!

    • Wait a minute.

      You were making quesidillas.

      And the creator Lord of the entire universe talks to you.


      Sorry for being blunt, but if the Lord Jesus Christ truly spoke to me, I would drop whatever I was doing, fall on my face, and worship in awe of His splendor and holiness.

      That and the fact that if God truly spoke to you (and how do you distinguish God speaking from your thoughts, anyway? What has he “said” to you?) it should go right after Revelation in the Bible, but “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” (Revelation 22:8)

      Scripture finished with Revelation. The only way God speaks to us nowadays is through his Word.

      If you can find anything in that Word that clearly shows that I am wrong, that God still speaks to us today other than through the Bible, then I’ll change what I’m saying. I promise. =)

      And hey, I’m sorry if this came across as rude/blunt/etc. I enjoy a friendly debate now and then, but if you don’t have time to answer I totally understand. =)

      • I am laughing so hard! And I also like a good debate.

        Yes, I kept making the quesadillas and they were delicious!

        I now have, even though it took me a while to learn, a relationship with Christ like a friend. So I talk to him like a friend and he talks to me like one too. Its easy to see God as the almighty creator of the universe because he is and we SHOULD be in awe of his majesty…however he is ALSO a friend to sinners.
        John 15:15 says “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his
        master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have
        heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
        So we’re now justified by Christ. We were set free and made friends (and sons of God) with Christ. We can confide in him and he in us.

        I believe that God talks to us through many, many ways. Some of which are other people, visions, dreams, conversation (as I have talked about) and the bible. The bible is a big one but not the only one. If you want me to explain more of this I can.

        As for what God says to me… I talk to him about my day or something thats been on my mind and he helps me out or just…talks…because he’s a friend. He does reveal things to me, as he does many other people too.

        Theres a lot more to say about this subject but I don’t have enough time to type it out right now. I would like to hear more about what you’re saying too if you can!


        • Absolutely!
          I wonder if Jesus ate quesadillas… they probably weren’t invented yet ๐Ÿ™ I like putting corn in ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Hey, thanks for responding! =) Unfortunately I don’t have time to answer tonight and my dad is taking our one and only computer in to the Mac store tomorrow so I can’t get back to y’all for a while…sorry! =)

          • Well, Josh, this is for when you get back:

            If I may be blunt… I 100% disagree with you. Ok, not 100% – I believe that God speaks through His Word to us. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I do 100% disagree with the statement “The only way God speaks to us nowadays is through His Word.” I think Sadie explained it well, and Joyful joyful quotes some good Bible verses, but let me add a few things.

            First off, the Lord spoke directly to both Peter and Paul in visions (Acts 10:13-15, Acts 18:9-10). Ok, that’s not ‘nowadays,’ but it does show that He has spoken to His children outside of His Word. Has he any reason to stop doing that?

            Secondly, there are dozens of references to the Holy Spirit speaking to God’s children in the New Testament, and many are in verses that apply not just to specific people (i.e John 14:26, 16:12-15 (like Joyful joyful said), Luke 12:11-12, Ephesians 5:19). I believe wholeheartedly that God speaks to us through His Spirit living in us. Now, Sadie said it was Jesus, and I can’t really make an argument for or against that, but we do agree on this: God talks to us.

            Thirdly, I doubt this will count for much as you weigh the arguments (which is fine), but I will say that I go to a church that strongly believes in God speaking to us outside His Word, and hundreds of people in the church have heard Him. Me included. ๐Ÿ™‚ And we must be doing/hearing something right, because God has MASSIVELY blessed our church. Like, in a humans-couldn’t-do-this way. And always, ALWAYS, our pastors weigh every ‘word from God’ against the Bible, and teach us to do the same.

            Hopefully your computer is fixed soon! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll keep tabs on this debate, cause I find it thoroughly interesting.

            Blessings, brother!

        • “Friend of sinners” is a title. It’s not like Jesus is my homeboy. It means HE (Lord of the stinkin’ universe) loves US (rebels who’ve earn every right to be crushed under His wrath forever.)

        • Agreed with what @disqus_oyvaFwmD2o:disqus said. It’s like the bumper stickers that say “Jesus is my copilot” or whatever. Ick. You should be giving the controls to Jesus! =P

      • John 16: 12-15 [this is Jesus talking]

        12โ€œI still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

        Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor 3:16

        God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, lives in all Christians and speaks to us. It is important to know the scriptures, because if it is God speaking, what he says will be in accordance with the scriptures. I have certainly heard God speak to me. most recently, He said “I have something to say to you… your life is not [your friend’s], and it is not your own. It is mine.” This is certainly in accordance with the scriptures.

        By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:2-3
        I believe the scriptures say very clearly that God speaks to us. There are probably many more verses, but these are the ones I found first.
        Mother Teresa once said “God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.”
        In Christ,
        Joyful joyful

        • Agreed! But two things…

          1. Scripture wasn’t completed at the time, so the Holy Spirit probably did speak to people in a more literal sense (i.e. Pentacost)

          2. There’s no reason that these verses cannot be used to support the fact that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through God’s word. =)

          If there’s any other verses you can find, I’d love to discuss them!

          • I agree with both statements you said. But neither contradicts what Joyful Joyful said. Yes, the Hoy Spirit did speak to people in a more literal sense back then. That doesn’t mean that He does not today.

            I think all of us in this discussion agree that the Holy Spirit does speak to us through God’s Word. We just don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is limited to speaking only through the Bible.

            So, what I guess my whole opinion in this comes down to is this: why do you interpret Jn. 16:12-15 to mean that this verse is limited only to the those living in the NT time period?

      • Rev. 22:8, none of us claimed that God told them prophecies to add to the Bible, so we haven’t contradicted that verse!

        I was struggling deeply with something at a youth camp. I felt God wanting me to do something, but it really made no human sense. I laid out, out loud, all the reasons why this didn’t make sense and why I shouldn’t have to do it. I won’t say I could audibly hear God, but I could feel Him tell me, “Trust me.”

        So, what’s your opinion? Do you believe that God is silent now except through what has already been said in His Word? Can you explain how the Holy Spirit is a comforter if it is completely silent?

        Joyful Joyful referenced an important verse I think when she brought up Jn. 16:12-15. Thoughts? I’m genuinely interested in what your opinion is!

        • Hey man!

          The thing is, if God truly is telling you something, it’s just as valid as Scripture. Unless your saying that what God told you is less important than Scripture. I’m not very eloquent at all (I’m sure you can tell XD) but basically what I’m trying to get across is that all of God’s words are equal. So if God is truly telling you something, it should go in the Bible. Does that make sense?

          I can explain how the Holy Spirit comforts people. This is going to sound really old, but through the Bible! For example, I was really struggling with something as well. So, I do what I always try to do when I’m struggling, and picked up my Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold any stock in random Bible verses, but when I flipped open my Bible it opened to literally the perfect passage that I needed, and He spoke to me through His word. (hey btw, this is a little thing, but most cases in Scripture the Holy Spirit is referred to as a He not an it just fyi). =)

          So yes, the Holy Spirit can still comfort people. =)

          • Ok, that’s really cool about the Holy Spirit directing you to just the verse!

            Not every word that God says belongs in Scripture. Even the disciples didn’t put every word Jesus said into the Gospels. Why? Because they weren’t meant for us. They were meant for a specific conversation with specific people, not for everyone. I think the same is true here.

            Honestly, I’ve never felt like I’ve heard God tell me something that isn’t almost a direct quote from Scripture.

            We need to get something straight here about what I mean when I say “He spoke to me”. It doesn’t mean that His voice audibly spoke through the woods! It means it’s almost like a thought in my head. My personal opinion is that the Holy Spirit or Jesus is directing my thoughts to remind me of something I should be thinking about.

            I’ve had random verses I hadn’t thought about in forever pop into my head at just the right times. I believe that’s the Holy Spirit (I would call it speaking to me, but I guess you could call it directing me) guiding my thoughts.

            Does any of that make sense? I’m the last person you’ll meet who will advocate the idea that God comes down and talks to us audibly, and we just smile, nod, and go about our everyday lives! However, I do believe that He “speaks” to us not with an audible voice, but with thoughts and ideas that come into my head with no other explanation.

            Thanks for replying, Josh! I’m glad to see you’ve still got a computer!

          • As I quoted earlier, John 14:26 says “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” I think that random scriptures popping into your head like you describe is the Holy Ghost bringing all things to your remembrance; I agree that it is God talking to you even though you don’t physically hear His voice.

          • I agree. I hadn’t thought of that verse, but that does seem to be exactly what Jesus was describing there. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Also Josh: If God doesn’t speak to us outside His Word, what do you think/do when stacks of us Rebelutionaries on here are all saying ‘Oh my gosh, God totally challenged me/spoke to me/encouraged me through that article’ on some really good articles? Essentially we’re claiming God used that article to speak to our hearts. Would you disagree with that?
        Oh, and I thought of something else: if God doesn’t speak to us outside His Word, why do people do things everyone (sometimes even they) think are crazy, that they never would have thought of, that Scripture doesn’t describe, and that God appears to totally bless, all in the name of ‘God told me to.’ I’m thinking of things like selling everything and moving somewhere to start a ministry (which many Christians throughout history have done). (Note: I totally get that ‘God told me to’ can be misused and given as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour, but I’m talking about instances where someone obeys what they are convinced God has told them to do, and He blesses it.)

        • There’s no reason God can’t use an article to convict us/etc. But that doesn’t mean that it is “God talking” through the article. =)

          What about the “prosperity gospel”? It appears that God has blessed that, but it’s clearly un-Biblical. Or Mormonism! Would you say that just because Joseph Smith believed an angel (in reality probably a demon) told him something, and because its very successful, that God blesses it? And what about Job? You wouldn’t exactly call what happened to him success…

          Basically, success on earth is definitely not a measure of God’s blessing. =)

          • {Note: please read the P.P.S. at the end!}
            OK, I concede those points. (And for the record, I do believe that the prosperity gospel is un-Biblical.)

            Actually, I should probably take a moment to define what exactly we’re debating about.

            Firstly, by ‘God talking’ I mean any communication outside His Word – be that dreams/visions, audible words, a voice inside that we hear with our heart, not our ears, a strong feeling, etc – with the exception of the appearance of angels (that is God communicating something to us, but it’s through another being, not directly). Would you define ‘God talking’ in the context of this debate the same way? Or have we got different ideas in mind?

            Secondly, I think we would agree that God CAN talk to us if He wants to. He is, after all, all powerful. So He COULD if He wanted to. Agreed?

            I believe that there is clear evidence in Scripture for God talking to His people in the past – in both the New and Old Testament. I cited some examples in my other comment. So would you agree that God HAS talked to His people in the past (Bible times)?

            If you agree with both those statements, that leaves the question of IF GOD TALKS TO HIS PEOPLE NOWADAYS. He can and He has, but does He now? To which I say ‘yes’ and you say ‘no.’ Is that a correct assessment of the issue at hand?

            If God talks to His people now, there should probably be two evidences: His Word, and practical examples that hold water, especially when weighed against the Bible. Examples from the Bible are a little difficult, seeing as a lot of them describe God talking to His people in Biblical times, which is not what we’re looking at. So the verses I’m looking for are those that – like a lot of the Bible – can be applied to our present day, not just back then. I cited some I believe fulfil this requirement in my other comment.
            As for practical examples, there are dozens of instances I could site. But before I do, I’ll ask you, what exactly would you want to see as a practical example that you would consider evidence?

            Also: Do you have any evidence, Biblical or otherwise, that God does NOT talk to His people nowadays? Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the burden of proof is on my side, and I’m not resting my argument on the fact that I see no evidence that He does not talk to His people now. But I’m interested in any evidence you can bring forward.

            P.S. I know I’ve made this sound all ‘professional’ and serious, using words like ‘evidence’ and other such long, lofty words. ๐Ÿ˜› I just found that easiest when trying to explain and clarify. I’m not trying to turn this into a professional debate or anything, I promise. It’s still a friendly (albeit rigorous) discussion.

            P.P.S LOL! I just read above where you said you were bowing out of the debate (which is totally fine!). If you don’t want to reply to this comment, I totally get you. But hey, I poured a fair bit of time into writing this, so oh well, I’ll post it all the same. ๐Ÿ˜› No pressure to reply, bro. Thanks for this discussion! You’ve made me think hard as well, which I love!

      • @disqus_0EPlfBsVWj:disqus, @disqus_oMHOgFTIn3:disqus, @joyfuljoyful:disqus, @sadie_grace:disqus, @disqus_oyvaFwmD2o:disqus, @anyone else I missed:

        So my dad didn’t get the computer taken in, so I’m on here again until Wednesday. I think I’m in over my head on this one, but I’ll do my best to get back to as many of you as I can! =D

      • Well I would have to disagree that the only way God speaks to us is through His Word (in a friendly way, of course). ๐Ÿ™‚ The Bible is obviously the main source of direction for a believer, but if God is all powerful, He shouldn’t be limited to anything; not even the Bible! He can chose whatever method He pleases to communicate with us, including fellow believers, the Holy Spirit, Creation, etc.

        • Yeah, but you could use that same argument to say that “God is all powerful, He shouldn’t be limited to anything” , so God can lie, murder, etc. Get what I’m saying?

          • Yes, I see your point. Those things, though, go against God’s very nature; therefore, He will never do those things. Ever. Communicating with us does not go against His nature. Technically, though, God does have the power to lie, murder, etc., but since that’s not who He is, and he spews those kinds of actions out of his mouth, He will never, ever, ever do them. He hates them! We have record, in His Word, of God speaking directly to people through signs, lights, and audible voices. God never changes. If He used to do those things, there’s no reason He can’t do them again. In the Old Testament, they didn’t have the whole Word, or the Holy Spirit, but today, the majority of communication from God comes through those sources. I believe, though, that communication is definitely not limited to those sources. Refer to this verse: Isaiah 30:21.And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.I believe it’s referring to the “still small voice” God speaks to you with.

          • Right! But my point is, it wouldn’t be contradictory to His nature if He communicated with us through means other than the written Word.

          • Agreed. Hey I’ve gotta a question for you. Are you Holiness? ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Just curious. All your comments agree beautifully with Holiness doctrine…more importantly, what’s in the Bible. ๐Ÿ™‚ So what denomination are from?

          • I’m from the Mennonite denomination. But like I said in a comment elsewhere, I don’t like being defined as “Mennonite.” I don’t follow Menno Simon. I follow Christ! ๐Ÿ™‚ It seems like all these different denominations produce unneeded stereotypes of people and beliefs. I think, to an extent, it is tearing down unity within the church!

          • Awesome! I know a lot of Mennonites. I’m from PA. Yeah agreed. 90 percent of denominations are representations of enmity. Seeing how so many of them come from breaks in Churches.

          • I see! ๐Ÿ™‚ What are some of your denomination’s core beliefs (if you don’t mind my asking)?

          • Sure! ๐Ÿ™‚ Well we believe in sanctification. We believe that humans have the ability, at a certain level of maturity spiritually, to live above sin. We believe in living Holy lives, living like Christ, and living a life that is attuned with Him and His will. We believe in baptism. We don’t believe in “Once saved always saved” like the Baptists and Calvinists. We believe that humans are born with a “carnal or sinful” nature that is ingrained in us from the beginning. But we believe that the second work of grace called Sanctification takes that bent to sin and reverses it, giving us a bent to God and takes away the carnal traits, like pride and anger etc. @Sadie Thompson Here it is!! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Hi, I don’t mean to butt in on the conversation, I’m just interested in these kinds of things and like to have a better understanding of different doctrines.
            I’m merely curious, how do you attain this level of spiritual maturity to live above sin? Is it by works? And if you believe you can lose your salvation, how are you saved?
            Again, I’m sorry for just butting in like this, I know that was probably pretty random!

          • You’re fine man! Glad you asked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Okay. Ephesians 2:8,9 Says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” That’s what I believe about Salvation. And you “lose” it by choosing that you don’t want to live for God. Or that it’s too hard or whatever. God doesn’t force us to be saved once we are. It’s a day-to-day choice that we make by living for Him. Now about Sanctification. Another word you could use would be “purification”. It’s not just us who can find this, there are people that I know of who have a doctrine that doesn’t include sanctification. But that doesn’t matter. They have still noted a distinct change in their lives. Though they didn’t know what it was because they looked for it in their doctrine, and it wasn’t there. ๐Ÿ™‚ That tells me that it’s not just a made-up idea. It’s just something that happens eventually to a real Christian that’s serving God in every way they know how to. Does this answer your question?

        • Actually… since the Bible is the infallible Word of GOD… He will never and has never stepped outside of “His own Word.” He is the same yesterday, today, and FOREVER! He does have limits… He never changes! He’s been speaking in the same ways since the beginning…

          • Yeah, your absolutely right! When I say “His Word,” I’m meaning His written Word. The Bible. There are many aspects of Himself that He has not chosen to reveal to us through the Bible, and He might show us something through other means of communication that’s not directly written in the Bible. That’s what I mean when I say He uses more than “Just the Bible”. Yes, when He communicates with us, He never contradicts Himself or His Word (The Bible), so yes, in that sense, He only uses His Word to communicate with us. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word WAS God. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • I understand your point… ๐Ÿ™‚ however I believe that “all means of communication between us and GOD” can be found in the written Word of GOD. As I stated above… GOD communicates His will through His Spirit, His Son, and His Word… all of which are written in His Word… of course, His Spirit can communicate through godly advice from others, your conscience, the Bible, etc. But you’re right in saying that even these things will not contradict His Word. They will, in fact, affirm His Word! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Ok guys, I’ll admit it. I’m in WAY over my head here. I’m going to respond to one more comment and then be done. Y’all have definitely made me reconsider my views. =)

        Thanks for keeping it civil!

        -Josh =)

          • Hey Josh! I just wanted to pop back here and check if had in any way hurt or offended you. I know I was very blunt, and I feel strongly about this, so I wanted to ask whether you felt at all attacked by me, or if I was too harsh. I hope I wasn’t, but if I was, tell me honestly.
            Also wanted to say, I respect you and your opinions, and appreciate how you conducted yourself in the debate, especially how you didn’t get all defensive. ๐Ÿ™‚ I thoroughly enjoyed how you made me (and a lot of other people) think.
            Thanks brother. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • No, you’re totally fine! =) The only reason I didn’t answer is because if I knew I answered one more, I would try to answer all of them and any new ones that got posted. You didn’t offend me at all! And I also appreciate how you and everyone else was civil. No harm done. =) I just knew I would get overwhelmed trying to answer everyone’s responses.

          • *sigh of relief* That’s good to know there’s no harm done. I totally understand you not replying too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • By the way @josh_whatshislastname:disqus I forgot to mention this:
        You have to learn to distinguish God’s voice from thoughts, other peoples voices, the enemy etc. He says “My sheep know my voice” (John 10:27) Just like sheep to a shepherd, we need to grow to understand and know his voice from all the rest.

        If you’re in a crowded place and everyone’s talking and you hear someone you know very well (say a parent or a close friend) call your name, you would KNOW it was them because you can recognize their voice from experience.
        Hearing God works the same way. It takes practice but it can be done. You can start learning by going to a quiet place with no distractions and start praying. Go ahead and rant about your day or whatever is on your mind. Then listen. Keep doing this and try to hear God’s voice. He WILL speak to you… in fact he’s always speaking to us, we just don’t hear it all the time.

        Eventually you’ll be able to tell the difference because of what he’s saying. And you can always grab a bible to back it up if you want to, thats a great way to learn HOW he speaks.
        But at the same time he speaks to us all differently, our God is a very personal God and he speaks YOUR language. It won’t sound like the King James Version… it’ll be specific to you.

        Remember, the devil can speak too. And although thats all he can do, he can twist words. Something that helped me discern his voice from God’s is always listen to the first one. God always speaks first. He doesn’t wait for to take turns after the devil.

        Sorry this is so long but I wanted to mention it. God wants to speak to each of us and have good relationship with us.


      • I believe that God speaks to us all the time, through His messenger who is the Holy Ghost and he speaks to us more as we speak to Him more. John 14:26 says “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John tells us that God will send the Holy Ghost to teach us all things. The other reason I know God speaks to us today is because He has spoken to me, he speaks to me all the time, every day, week and month. He doesn’t usually speak to us as extravagantly as we read about. There’s no burning bushes or anything like that; most often it comes in a still small voice or afeeling.

      • Okay, I’m up for a friendly debate! What makes you think that God only speaks through the Bible?
        And I think she’s talking about where basically you have a running conversation with God (no, that’s not another way to talk to yourself) throughout the day. If I’m not making sense let me know and I’ll try to clarify ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Which would you like to do? College or military? Pick one and do it, do it hard, and do it to the glory of God.

  • These are just a sampling for helping us with knowing God’s will.

    If we have been born again, we have been given a seal of ownership by God. We cannot be snatched out of Christ’s hand. If we are being obedient to scripture and following Christ’s commandments for eternal life, we are always in God’s will. God’s will is not a far off destiny. God’s will is now.

    Isaiah 1:16-17 โ€œWash yourselves, make yourselves clean;Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.Cease to do evil, Learn to do good;Seek justice,Reprove the ruthless,Defend the orphan,Plead for the widow.

    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good;And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

    Blessings on this Easter!


  • Does it glorify God? If the answer is yes to all options then pick one and stick with it. I know this might not sound helpful but I’ve been there before and I’m pretty convinced that no matter which choice I had made at the time, it was the right one. From what I’ve experienced, I’m sure that sometimes God gives us the choice. In which case, pick one and stick with it and do all that lies in that choice to the glory of God.

    I shouldn’t really say this but to be honest, not going to uni or not finishing school isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of ways of either getting an education later (say you join the army then do a degree later or go do an apprenticeship) or having a good career (if that’s what you want) so don’t worry too much. It can be a much harder path though, be warned.

  • I think I agree with @disqus_0EPlfBsVWj:disqus and @disqus_BVvgpvrfkF:disqus , that sometimes THERE IS NO right choice or wrong choice…in the everyday choices like whether to eat cereal or toaster waffles for breakfast (oooohhh, toaster waffles sound SO good right now XD), and then the less obvious but still neutral decisions, like which college I should go to. Yes, I understand that choosing a college is a VERY important decision (and a decision I’m starting to stress about), but God doesn’t always give a crystal clear answer. After you’ve dived into His Word, prayed about it, discussed it with your parents and mentors etc., and you STILL haven’t “heard God’s voice”, then the best thing you can do is just make a decision, and see where God leads. I don’t think it’s His will for us (haha, no pun intended ;)) to constantly stress and be anxious over a decision just because we haven’t found the answer – instead it’s best to sometimes just move ahead. I believe He can use each and every situation for His good in the lives of His children, whether or not we made the right decision initially. Because even when we make the wrong decisions, we can move on and learn from our mistakes and even grow spiritually as a result of it.

    Just my thoughts. I’d be open to any feedback.

    • Oh, I guess I’m also in agreement with @josh_whatshislastname:disqus and a whole bunch of other people…XD

    • Exactly! We don’t serve a “Wack-a-mole” GOD… (does anyone else remember that game? …good times!)

    • Oh, I solved the problem of deciding which college to go to. It’s a really simple solution actually. An option that hardly anyone considers anymore.

          • By the way -this has nothing to do with anything, but oh well- is that a cape buffalo in your profile picture? They’re one of the big 5, right?

          • Yeah, I’ve gotten that question a few times…Haha, well I didn’t know what “the big 5” was at first, but I looked it up and now I know! xD (handy internet, lol). I honestly have no idea what breed it is, I always said it was a water buffalo…but those cape buffaloes look cool! They’re massive! Anyway, it’s just a pen drawing I did randomly. His name is Larry, btw :D.

          • Good to know. =) And yeah, cape buffalo are pretty impressive. I saw quite a few of them when my family went to Botswana, Africa. Between those, the elephants (which I was in uncomfortably close proximity to on multiple occasions), hippos and crocodiles, I must say I was rather intimidated…

          • Yes, I have, and it’s a very valid option. I’ve also considered doing a gap year program to kinda help me decide what I want to do, cuz I’m sorta at a loss at this point. ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Yeah, it seems like most people I know that are my age are stressing about which college to go to at this point in their lives. I figure I can further my education without having to pay an arm and a leg. =) Besides, why would I voluntarily do any more math than is absolutely necessary? Haha.

          • Yep. It’s a good option for some, and not for others. There’s tons of alternatives for sure. And about the math…amen, sister!! =D

          • Someone else agrees with me!! I’m not planning to go to college either. It makes decisions about the future a little simpler, but it isn’t simple to convince people that you can survive without a college education!

          • Yeah, I mean really, what if I feel like God is calling me to get married and raise a family? What if I don’t feel like a career is what he wants me to pursue? I’m all for further education, but I don’t belive college is the only, or even the best place to get that. I’m glad I’m not the only one with “different” views. I’m definitely NOT against college. I believe if you feel like that’s what God wants for you, you should go for it. All I’m saying is that it isn’t for me. Not right now anyway. Most people only go to college because that’s what everybody else does anyway. Not saying that’s true in every case, but in most, it is.

          • Yes!!!! I feel that God is calling me to be a stay at home wife and mother. I don’t need a college education for that! The world just doesn’t understand, but that shouldn’t matter. What matters is that we are following God’s calling for our lives! I’m not against college for everyone, I just don’t feel like that is what God wants me to do.

  • I would definitely say to talk to your parents and/or other trusted adults in your life. When I was trying to decide what to do after college the thing that helped me make my decision the most, was other people telling me their story and what they regretted and wished they had done differently. Between praying, diving into God’s word, and listenting to advice and stories from older people I trusted, I have so far been really happy with my decison!

  • Here’s something I wrote last year in response to this question:

    Discerning the Will of God

    A friend of mine asked me this week about how one may
    discern the will of God and listen to Him on hard-to-understand matters to
    which I prayerfully replied:

    God leads people in many ways and in all kinds of
    circumstances. I figure: the closer you are to God the easier you will discern
    His will. It’s been said that a radio tower sends out signals 24/7, but you
    only hear the message if your radio is tuned in. We must be tuned in to God’s
    Holy Spirit. It may be easier said than done, but it’s surely possible. That
    said, I believe that there is a “false Holy Spirit,” or many of them,
    a.k.a. demons, and when Christians have an unhealthy desire for supernatural
    experiences and begin to hear a voice which they believe is THE Holy Spirit,
    then it causes me to doubt the authenticity of their statement, until I first
    test what they say with the Word. That’s the other thing: reading the Word. How
    does God speak to us? Through His Word, first and foremost. Many times God has
    led me in small matters and larger ones through my quiet time. Don’t go looking
    for an answer which suits you, just pray beforehand that the Lord will speak to
    you through His Word by His Holy Spirit and pray that He keeps you from being
    misled by the enemy, and then read. You won’t always get an answer soon,
    quickly or easily. Here are some steps which different pastors and Bible
    teachers have taught meโ€”and I found that they always worked as good guidelines
    to follow:

    1. Is this thing you are considering in line with God’s
    Word? (He won’t bless it otherwise).

    2. The Lord uses other born-again Christians who know us
    as well, but well-meaning Christians can also give wrong advice. (In your case,
    consult your parents because they know things about you that you may not know,
    they have more life experience, and they have known the Lord longer, too).

    3. And, are the circumstances truly the Lordโ€™s?
    Circumstances can be VERY tricky, because the enemy uses them as well.

    4. Is the timing right yet? It could be the right thing
    but the wrong time. We must guard against the impatience of the flesh, and our
    motives have to be pure and honest.

    5. Do you have the peace of God about it (no more
    uncertainty)? This peace, I have found, always comes last (or not at all, and
    then thatโ€™s also an answer). Followed by this peace are fearful doubts sent by
    satan. Don’t worry about them; they are just another confirmation that you are
    acting in faith and obedience to God’s call. When you realize this, they
    quickly subside. (It happened to me when God showed me I could go to Mozambique
    and when He led me to stay in South Africa after the Bible School training). If
    you donโ€™t have Godโ€™s peace yet, then pray, and be patient. And, in the
    meantime, do the things you know God wants you to do. That would includeโ€”but
    not limited toโ€””pray for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18), “pray
    without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), do the good things you know you
    ought to do (James 4:17), “obey your parents” (Ephesians 6:1,
    Colossians 3:20), “work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11), etc.

    Also, will the things which you are considering cause
    your faith to grow? Is it a God-sized thing which you can only accomplish if
    God helps you? This would build your faith and glorify God. And get you out of
    your comfort zone.

    You shouldn’t make an emotional decision. Also: not one
    which is rushed or made under pressure. You want to have God’s assurance before
    making a big decision; most young people just use their own reasoning or
    interests, but if I had done that, I would have never found the Mission I’m
    with now, yet God has brought me here and I feel it’s a perfect fit, a divine
    calling and appointment.

    “He who trusts in himself is a fool …”
    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own
    understanding” -Proverbs 28:26a & Proverbs 3:5 NIV

    S. M. Lockridge once said, โ€œLet God have His way, in your life, now.โ€

    “The sweetest part … is the rest which full
    identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I
    realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is
    mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how.” -Hudson Taylor

    And know and rest in the fact that God is quite capable
    of communicating with you in whichever way He pleases, in His good time, and
    that’s enough.

    When someone graduated, I told them: “Make extra
    sure youโ€™re in the true will of God, and then go full-speed ahead! Read the
    Bible until the Scriptures flood your thoughts and flow from your lips! Pray
    faithfully, intensely, and continuously!”

    โ€œEpaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ,
    saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand
    perfect and complete in all the will of God.โ€ -Colossians 4:12 KJV

    โ€œAnd be not conformed to this world: but be ye
    transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,
    and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.โ€ -Romans 12:2 KJV

    โ€œNow the God of peace, that brought again from the dead
    our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the
    everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will,
    working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ;
    to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.โ€ -Hebrews 13:20-21 KJV

    -Louis Gervais

    P.S. I can’t claim to know all the answers, but I know
    the One who does!

    Addendum: Earlier this year (when I was earnestly seeking
    the Lordโ€™s will about something) a Christian lady who has been like a mother to
    me told me that I shouldnโ€™t expect to get any answer from the Lord until I have
    totally and completely surrendered and abandoned all of my personal preferences
    concerning the answer which I want to hear from God, and then be obedient to
    whatever He saysโ€”whether I wanted to hear it or not! And, also through that
    experience, I found that in such situations I should seek the Lord more than I
    seek the answer to my question.

    • Wow. That was long. And deep. You should submit that to The Rebelution or Soldiers of God. Thanks for all the advice. You really got me thinking.

      • Yup. I’m just currently at home for two weeks for my sister’s wedding. I live outside of San Marcos, Texas (but I’m usually in South Africa for over a year at a time).

          • It’s not an easy mission field. Easier than Muslim countries, but it’s a huge adjustment for a Texan. Do you live near Central Texas? But there’s one thing that South Africa is doing better than America: we still get into the public schools with the Gospel there (during school time, not just with after school programs like CEF Good News Clubs here). But there are atheists trying to hamper that over there too.

          • What part of South Africa do you work in? My family does mission work in Uganda. It seems like the Muslim influence is steadily increasing in those parts of the country.

          • I currently work from Johannesburg until July, but if you look at a map of South Africa’s nine provinces, in the past three years I’ve been involved with ministry in the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and a little in North West, and Namibia. (South Africa is twice the size of Texas, so that’s a lot of ground to cover).

          • Yeah, I know, Africa is a huge continent. =) But wow, it sounds like you stay busy. I’ll be praying for your work there, that God will continue to bless your ministry. Thanks for being obedient to His calling on your life. =)

          • Well, what we do is street evangelism, skits and puppet shows at pre-schools/day cares, share the Gospel at elementary schools and high schools, hold house services, a lot of retirement home services, sometimes door to door, share the Gospel at businesses (with permission, with the employees before business hours), etc. And then, yeah, drive and paperwork and sleep =vD

          • And, as a side note, it was as a result of lots of prayer for God to lead me as to what His will is (as that is the subject of this article) and following the guidelines that I wrote above that helped me to discern God’s will when He sent me to a Bible School in South Africa and later led me to stay and work there =v)

          • What are some of the struggles you face there? What advice would you have for someone wanting to be a missionary to a foreign country?
            And no, I do not live near Central Texas, although I used to! I live in Houston.

          • Oh, Houston; had I only known… my flight stopped there on the way back on Friday. Anyway, there are many challenges… let’s think… the most obvious are probably the racism (black on white and white on black and so on and so forth), and then there’s the crime issue (I’m a target because I’m white), and then there’s the language barrier, but most of the population has at least a very basic understanding of English, which is very useful; so you just use small words and short sentences. Other than that… the country being twice the size of Texas, we do a lot of long distance (and short distance) traveling. God provides the funds step by step. If we had more workers we could do much more, so that’s something we pray for. The country might be engulfed in mass riots or a civil war in the near future; that’s something to pray against. There’s a lot more to be said, but there’s also a bunch of positive points, like things which make it easier to evangelize there than in the USA, like, the Afrikaners are at least religious (but most are not born-again) which makes them more open to you coming and sharing the Gospel at their school or business (whereas the godless Americans are past that stage–however, you do get a lot of born-again Christians in America, the culture strongholds and institutions are very anti-Jesus Christ). So yeah.

          • But to answer your question about what to say to someone wanting to be a missionary, my advice is this: Read your Bible (as, a lot), and pray (as in, deeply and earnestly and regularly), and do that which God wants you to do in this stage of your life (like school work, chores, etc., being faithful in the little things), and do it well, “as if to the Lord and not to men” (see Colossians 3:23-24) and see it as God’s way of preparing you for whatever task He wants you to accomplish in the future. If you feel God wants you to start doing more now, you could pray about getting involved with children’s ministry or retirement home ministry (if not involved already). These things (Bible, prayer, obedient at home, involved at church/ministry) are the best things I can think of to prepare you for missions field. Others would also suggest that you get a formal training (or learn a skill set) that you could use on the missions field, or go to a Bible School–just make sure you go to one that has good theology before you go). There’s a lot more to be said, but that’s the basics. Be faithful in doing what God wants you to be doing where you are now in preparations for the future (even if it feels boring and not like preparation–life isn’t all excitement and adventure on the mission field anyway, there’s thing called paperwork too =v)

          • Thank you so, so much, I really needed this. I have gotten weighed down by the “menial” everyday things (I’m preparing for a move, so there’s lots of cleaning to do every day without fail), and I’ve forgotten to be faithful in the little things. Thank you again.
            Are you working with a certain organization? I’ll be praying for your work there, and the people you’re trying to reach.

          • Well, praise the Lord. Yes; I’m working with the Africa Evangelistic Band, it’s a 91-year-old mission society. Since you said you’d like to pray for us, if you’d like I could send you my prayer letters, but I’d understand if you decline because for that I’d need your email address and many parents don’t want their kids giving out their email addresses online to strangers =v)

          • I have been following this conversation (defyingdepravity is a friend who referred me down here to see this). My email address is [email protected]. I would love to receive your prayer letters! Thank you for the encouragement you’ve been to me today!

          • Well, praise the Lord, Taylor! I’m thankful towards Him for all good things. I’ve added your email address to the list =vD And your welcome! My response was actually mostly a summary of what I read in ‘Do Hard Things’ XvD so I have to give credit where credit is due =v)

          • That’s great! I also didn’t really want to put my email address out online, so Taylor’s going to forward them to me, but I look forward to reading them, and thank you!

  • Man, I’m really late to the party here, but i’m not sure if anyone has said this or not.

    Know the author of the bible. The Bible is great, but it doesn’t give us exact instructions for day to day life. But, if you get to know God, and learn his voice. He will guide you, and show you what you are to do.

    • Exactly, Grant! It’s just like knowing our earthly parents. We usually know what they would want us to do in any given situation, because we know them better than almost any other human being on earth! So if we know God that well, we will have wisdom to make decisions and know what He wants for us.

    • Thank you for this comment @gbingo:disqus. It is so important that we get to know God, and know Him intimately. He will guide us, we just have to wait on Him, and spend time getting to know Him, and His will for our lives.

  • Life with God is more of an art than a science. That is to say, walk with God knowing that it’s a proccess. In which he continues to reveal Himself as we work alongside Him. You are ONE with Christ; and your value is found in Him ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Joy, great question! This has always been a tough one for me, knowing how to choose the thing that God wants us to do out of so many good options. Just a couple days ago, a friend of mine gave me this illustration: Our life is like a house- full of doors and windows. God opens the doors or windows, but he doesn’t push us through them. So sometimes, when you can’t decide the best door…try one. I mean give it your best! If it is the right door, it will stay open. One thing is certain: when we follow the Lord, seek Him with all our heart through prayer, and strive to live up to what we already know- He will guide us! In Philippians 3, Paul encourages us to “live up to the truth we have attained”. If we are willing, He will guide. Hope this helps shed some light on it.
    Press on!

  • I think one of the best ways to find God’s will for you is to decide for yourself and then ask God if that is the right choice. If it is right God will “cause your bosom to burn within you” but if it is wrong He will cause you to have a “stupor of thought.” And you have to learn to listen to the voice of the spirit of God.

  • By our skills. God made us all individually, and we’re better at some things than others. But you might not have the resources to do what you’re good at, so you end up having a boring job. But God has a plan for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Even if it means working at an office. But you could turn the job around and you could turn another employee to God. Or you could work at a gas station, and show the holy spirit to others. Everything is in Gods plan. He loves you.

  • Yes. cara d, I know from experience, that you should always trust God, and know that he has a plan for you.

  • I’m not sure we’re supposed to know the will of God for our lives. It’s all up to him and we’re supposed to put it all in the hands of the Father and leave it to him.

  • Wow, that’s amazing! Absolutely right that we need to listen to God ’cause He will lead us down the path that we are to take.

  • How do you know what God’s will for your life is? That is a question that I’ve had multiple times and still wander about, but little by little I’m coming to realize that God’s will for all of y’all and for me will be different but ultimately the same. It’s like this, God will lead us all down different paths to new places or faces or jobs or whatever He has in mind for us, but His ultimate will for our lives is to bring glory and honor to Him and to reach people for Him. And all of His children will bring Him honor and glory and reach people for Him by following the God’s will for their individual lives. So in a sense God’s will can be divided in two, Specific Will and General Will. Specific will, meaning His will for your individual life and General will, meaning His ultimate will for all of His children’s lives. If you’re more concerned with His Specific will for you right now, just know that He has an awesome plan for you and purpose for your life. God won’t show us all that He has in store for us; He just shows us a glimpse of the horizon and shows us which steps to take to get there. Pray and dig deep into His Word. Consult Him with every decision that comes up in your life and listen for His leading. Meditate on Jeremiah 29:11. Jesus came to give a hope and future to us so that we might have a life that is full. Also Proverbs 3:6 is a good one to meditate on : ” In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
    I hope this made sense and wasn’t confusing. Just know that the best is yet to come as you follow the path God has for you.

    • I agree, it is very important to “Pray and dig deep into His Word.”

      It sounds like you are hinting toward a similar idea mentioned in a
      comment (on another post) by Rachel I found really helpful…

      She mentioned, “SCRIPTURAL DISCERNMENT, we’re constantly reminded to “search the scriptures daily”, that “all scripture is given by inspiration of
      God and is profitable”,

      We had a Missionary share with us at a conference how the Holy Spirit will
      never contradict God’s written Word…Visions & dreams from God will never tell us to do something contra to His Word (God can never contradict Himself). You have explained well how I understand Romans 8:28 to cover “Specific Will and General Will”. All things work together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose”. As we seek God’s Specific Will and General Will it is good to “test everything” (Romans 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1 )

      Thanks for that great explanation & reminder- we can easily be distracted without checking it against God’s Word.

      • Yes, praying and reading His Word is some I’m trying to do more of every day. Actually I hadn’t seen Rachel’s comment ,but I agree with what she says. The scriptures are indeed inspired by God and are very profitable. Yes , the Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s written Word; I love there is always perfect harmony there. I’m glad my comment wasn’t confusing as I thought it might be, and I really can’t take all the credit as my pastor recently preached on this subject. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am struggling with that question right now. Do You want me in college do You want me here. What do You want?
    I believe God’s answer is all throughout the Bible (Matthew 6:25-34, Micah 6:8, Deuteronomy 4:29,5;33,6:2,10:12, Matthew 22:37) and from these passages He has been showing me that it is not so much the direct choices but the way we live our lives in the every day life. In Proverbs 16:9 He says ‘a man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps. How I take it is if I am effectively serving God every day His overall plan will follow. I just need to be faithful.

  • Isaiah 24:
    1 Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
    2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
    3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsโ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More โ†’