Aligning with Purpose: Discovering God’s Will for Your Life

1 John 5:14-15: “…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.



The Bible details God’s will for our lives, including being saved, filled with the Spirit, sanctified, submissive, suffering, and thankful. In addition to this general will, God also has a specific will for our life choices, which can be revealed through our desires. God does not need perfection in order for us to grasp His will; rather, He cherishes and rewards faithfulness. Even in salvation, perfection is through the substitution of Christ’s perfection. Ultimately, living according to God’s will means aligning our will with His.


What is God’s will for your life?

Have you ever questioned God’s will for your life? Can it be known? If so, how would you determine His will? God genuinely cares about you, and He wants your life to be meaningful and productive.

But how do you discover that purpose?


God’s general will for us

The Bible lists several principles concerning God’s “general will” for individuals, which is usually indicated by phrases such as, “This is God’s will for you, that you be…

Saved – As a very first step, God desires your salvation, as Paul confirms in 1 Timothy 2:3-4,This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Also, 2 Peter 3:9 adds, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

Spirit-Filled Galatians 5:22–23 discusses how we are to be filled with the Spirit: “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

Sanctified 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7  talks about our lifestyle and Christian growth, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.”

Submissive Ephesians 5:21 instructs us to be “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” This also applies to governmental authority according to 1 Peter 2:13-15, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God…”

Suffering 1 Peter 3:17 discusses the cost of a life dedicated to Christ when it forewarns, “For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”

Thankful – Finally, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instills a dominant attitude: “… in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”


God’s specific will for us

The above details God’s general will, which is explicitly commanded in the Bible, but what about His specific will for our lives, our choices such as a career or spouse?

The answer may be found in Psalm 37:4, which reveals, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Is that it? Is His specific will for us revealed through our desires? It almost seems too easy.

Although saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering, and thankful are easy to list in a post, they are not easy to live out in real life. Think about it. Where are you in the above list of God’s written commands? How, then, can we expect to discover His specific will for us?

But God doesn’t demand perfection. In Matthew 25:21, 23, and 25, Christ shows His standard of judgment by parable, declaring, “…Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

Notice that God rewards us according to our faithfulness, not perfection. Whereas perfection refers to being without flaws, errors, or faults and implies a state of completeness that lacks nothing, faithfulness points to being loyal, steadfast, and committed and implies a consistent dedication to a belief.

God, however, does judge us by a standard of perfection regarding salvation. Fortunately, we have a substitute in Christ Jesus, who is that perfection. This truth is in 2 Corinthians 5:21, where Paul declares, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Ephesians 1:4 confirms this, stating, “even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”



God graciously offers us the best of both worlds. His rewards and will for us are determined by our faithfulness, while our salvation is determined by the perfection of Christ, who is given as a substitute for our imperfections. The truth is, the more we are faithful to His general will, the more our lives are innately conformed to His specific will.

This is precisely what the 19th-century English preacher Charles Spurgeon declared: “When your will is God’s will, you will have your will.”



Note:  John MacArthur wrote a small book entitled “Found God’s Will.” That classic book was used to develop portions of the above post.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email