Anonymous – How do we know when we are doing the will of God in our lives? My question pertains to all areas of our lives, i.e., job change, exercise, schooling relationship with our children and disconnecting from former relationships. How can we sharpen our awareness towards God’s voice?

Dave – Great question and thanks for sending it. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 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.”

These two verses contain many powerful truths. First, it is the mercy of God toward us that reveals His will (or anything for that matter). This keeps us humble (James 4:6).

Second, we must be willing to surrender our wills and lives over to the Lord continually. This means we are open and willing to do whatever He wants us to do. We do not cling to selfish desires, motives, or agendas. A surrendered heart to the Holy Spirit is very precious to God because it reflects perfect love and He can accomplish much through that person.

Third, we must not be like this world with its perverted priorities. We need to be ever mindful that our citizenship is in heaven so we conduct ourselves accordingly, no matter what the cost.

Fourth, we must allow the Word of God (The Holy Scriptures) to wash our minds from the contaminants of this fallen world (Ephesians 5:26). This can only be achieved by reading the Bible often and meditating (Joshua 1:8) on what it means and how He wants us to apply it to our lives. If these four pieces are in place, then God will let us know what His will is for those things you’ve mentioned in your question.

God has also even given us “checks and balances” to help and protect us. For example, pastors and bishops hold important spiritual offices within the local church and can advise and confirm things to us if we pray for them and seek their input. The bottom line is that the more sanctified (set apart for His service) we are, the better we will hear His voice.

I realize that these spiritual disciplines seem difficult to achieve and practice in this life, but the fact is that the more we practice them (even if not perfect each day), the more we are aware of what God wants us to do. These things do not come naturally to us, therefore we must practice them to improve them. It’s kind of like training a baseball player to become a good shortstop. The only way to get him to stay low when fielding a hard hit ground ball, is to start with slowly hit balls and gradually increase their speed and have him repeat that experience multiple times so that the skill becomes natural. Spiritual assets also emerge with repeated practice. If we do these things, God will do the rest!

Now, in order that we never become a robotic formulator and “boss God around” when we’ve done all of the above, every once in a while He will have us just step out in faith and do something (as long as it is not against His Word). We just cannot whittle God down to human formulas. As C.S. Lewis put it, “He’s not a tame lion.” Still, if we have time to do the above “mandates,” we should do them.


Gary R. – WOW, that was special. Many thanks for all the study, thought, and writing that went into this answer. GOD REVEALS Himself in so many ways and we take that for granted at times I think.

Nels F. – Excellent advice!

Cindi L. – You’re right. It is a struggle to keep excited about the fact that God’s Kingdom, and what He’s doing in the supernatural side by side and intertwined with the natural (that we SEE), is sailing along with power and might and purpose. Here are the thoughts that Penn Clark taught about KNOWING GOD’S VOICE. Scripture does say we can know God’s voice. John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” He spoke about the three possibilities of the origin of our thoughts – demonic, God, or the Flesh. Most of the time we are battling with our Flesh. Our spirit always is seeking God, loves God, wants to hear and spend time with Him, serves Him, etc. It is our flesh that is weak-meaning it doesn’t serve God – we end up “serving ourselves”.

God’s voice will always be ENCOURAGING, COMFORTING, AND JOY & PEACE & HOPE- FILLED…the words I speak to are spirit and LIFE.

Response to Cindi’s last comments:

Anon – A very encouraging comment…thanks for sharing.

Nels F. – so very true here.