So often we toss and turn over decisions, wondering if we are making a choice in (or out of) line with God’s will and plan for us. I have done this time and time again in my life, from little everyday choices to big life purpose kind of questions.
Is this job your will for me, Lord, or should I work here instead? Am I living in the place you have for me, or should I go to that place? Is it your will for me to serve in this ministry or to go on this trip or to reach out to this person or take this class or go to this school?
Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pray over little decisions, jobs, schools, life callings, how you educate your children, where you live, what you buy, what you don’t buy, where you go to church, or how much you give. Nor am I saying that God hasn’t uniquely gifted you and called you to a plan uniquely yours, for unquestionably, “we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6).
What I am saying is that we often get so entangled in our own thoughts about whether or not we’re living out His purpose that we, in effect, don’t do some of the very things He has so clearly laid out before us as His will. Do you know what I mean?
I take heart to know that the Word very clearly gives us directives on God’s will and purpose for our lives. I know I regularly need to get away from my own questions and doubts about whether this choice or that is within His will, and be grounded back to the truth of what the Word says is His will.
These verses are less a list of commands (although most definitely some are commands for every believer) and more of a “when you’re in doubt about what to do in your life, or whether you’re living out your purpose, do these things, and you can know that you are doing His will.”
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:1618
This is my command: Love each other. John 15:17
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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 God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men… Col.3:23
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
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. Matthew 28:19-20
The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. Romans 12:20
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. John 6:40
…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thes.4:11
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail…” Isaiah 58:9-11
As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col.3:12
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
This is definitely not an exhaustive list. For every verse here, there are at least ten more that speak of His plans, purpose, and commands for how to live. But I pray these verses will steady you and anchor you; that you will be able to turn your mind and heart from your thoughts/questions/feelings/doubts about your purpose, to His truth about His will and purpose for you (like I so desperately need to do!).
As I finished up this post, I asked my husband if there were any verses that really spoke to Him about God’s will. Right away he shared Jeremiah 29:12-13 “…You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
I hope to continue adding more verses, so please feel free to leave a favorite will-of-God kind of Bible verse in the comments.
Join the conversation: Do you get caught up in the “what’s my purpose, God?!” thinking cycle? What other verses have anchored you as you live out your life?