A photo of a person kneeling in a sunlit church, hands clasped in prayer, their face illuminated with a serene expression, seeking guidance from a higher power on what path to follow in life.

How Do I Know What God Wants Me To Do?

Have you ever found yourself struggling to figure out God’s plan for your life? If so, you’re not alone. Many believers wrestle with discerning God’s will and knowing the path He has laid out for them. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through several keys to understanding God’s direction for your life.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The main ways to discern God’s will are developing a relationship with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, getting involved in a church community, and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

God will make His will clear as you seek Him.

Cultivate Your Relationship with God

Prioritize Daily Prayer

Prayer is vital for cultivating an intimate relationship with God. Set aside time each day to speak with Him, listen for His voice, and align your heart with His will. Even just 5-10 minutes of focused prayer time can make a big difference.

Find a quiet place, silence distractions, and pour out your heart to the Lord. Tell Him your desires, fears, and struggles. Ask for His wisdom and guidance. Read scripture and meditate on His truth. Effective prayer requires consistency and discipline, but the rewards are eternal.

As you walk and talk with God daily, your love and trust in Him will deepen in amazing ways.

Study the Scriptures

God reveals Himself to us through His word, so studying the Bible is crucial for knowing His heart and discerning His will. Set aside time regularly to read and reflect on scripture. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate His truth and show you how to apply it.

Meditate on passages that speak to your current circumstances. Memorize key verses and hide God’s word in your heart. The more scripture saturates your mind, the more it will transform your thoughts and behavior. Joining a Bible study group can also enhance your understanding and motivation.

As you devote yourself to scripture, your mind will be renewed and your life aligned with God’s purposes.

Participate in Christian Community

Fellowship with other believers provides invaluable support and accountability for your spiritual journey. Attend church regularly to worship God with other Christians. Join a small group or Bible study to discuss scripture and pray together.

Find a trustworthy mentor who can provide wisdom and guidance. Serve your church family by using your gifts and talents. Relationships with mature Christians can sharpen your faith and equip you to fulfill God’s calling. Guard against isolation – you need the body of Christ!

God often speaks through fellow believers, and nowhere is His presence more powerful than when His people gather in His name. Plugging into Christian community helps nurture intimacy with God.

Listen for God’s Voice

Discerning God’s will can seem confusing at times. However, as Christians, we can listen for God’s voice to guide us. Here are some tips on how to know what God wants you to do:

Pay Attention to the Holy Spirit’s Leading

The Holy Spirit guides believers into truth and wisdom (John 16:13). Pay attention to promptings in your spirit, which may come through thoughts, feelings, dreams or conversations. For example, you may suddenly feel compelled to call a friend, only to discover they really needed encouragement at that moment.

However, test every prompting against Scripture to ensure alignment with biblical values (1 John 4:1). Ask God for clarity and document when you believe the Spirit is speaking. Over time, this will build understanding of how God uniquely communicates with you.

Look for Confirmation

God often confirms guidance in various ways. For important decisions, look for confirmation through Scripture, wise counselors, circumstances and your spiritual gifts and passions. For example, a dream about teaching may confirm a growing sense that God is calling you to instruct others.

When confirmation aligns, it builds confidence in the direction you are heading.

Consider Your Spiritual Gifts and Passions

How has God uniquely wired you? Pay attention to your spiritual gifts as well as your natural talents and interests. For instance, if you love researching complex topics to help others understand them more simply, you may have the gifts of wisdom and teaching.

God also gives believers a passion to fuel the use of their gifts. When you get excited about helping struggling kids learn to read, it may indicate God is leading you to mentor literacy students. Listen for when your gifts and passion converge – it’s often God’s voice guiding your path.

Discerning God’s voice takes time and practice. Stay patient with yourself, pay attention and test what you hear. As you walk closely with God, He promises to guide and direct you (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Seek Wise Counsel

Talk to Mentors and Leaders

Seeking wise counsel from mentors and spiritual leaders is crucial when looking to discern God’s will. These individuals have more life experience and spiritual maturity that can provide invaluable perspective and advice. Here are some tips for getting the most out of these conversations:

  • Approach mentors who know you well and can provide specific, tailored guidance based on your personality, gifts, and past experiences.
  • Come prepared with specific questions and concerns instead of vague generalities.
  • Ask open-ended questions that create space for rich discussion instead of questions with yes/no answers.
  • Listen carefully without interrupting. Take notes if needed.
  • Consider their counsel prayerfully. Just because someone is mature does not mean they are always right.
  • Talk to several mentors to get a diversity of thoughts and perspectives.

Some great questions to ask mentors about discerning God’s will include:

  • What do you see as my spiritual gifts and abilities?
  • Does this choice align with my gifts and personality?
  • What potential issues or blindspots should I consider?
  • How have you discerned major life decisions in your journey?

Leveraging the hard-earned wisdom of key mentors provides clarity and confidence in hearing God’s leading. Their objectivity and experience are invaluable.

Discuss Plans with Godly Friends

In addition to mentors, discussing plans with trusted godly friends is another wise way to discern God’s guiding hand. Friends know us well and can provide perspective mentors may not have. Here are some benefits of including them in decision-making:

  • They may notice strengths, motivations and tendencies about us that we do not see. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
  • They can provide insight on how potential choices may impact relationships.
  • They may challenge our assumptions or spot important considerations we overlooked.
  • They can pray for us and with us through the decision process.
  • They can walk with us in implementing the choice we prayerfully make.

To gain the most from friend input:

  • Ask both wise and trusted friends who will be honest but loving.
  • Share openly about thought processes and any concerns weighing on you.
  • Listen humbly without rushing to justify initial preferences.
  • Consider perspectives prayerfully before the Lord.

Including supportive community creates space for iron to sharpen iron. Humility and prayerfulness allow friendship to refine direction. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV) says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

gemeinsam sind zwei besser dran als allein. Denn sie haben einen guten Lohn für ihre Mühe. Fällt einer von ihnen, so hilft ihm sein Gefährte auf. Wehe dem, der allein ist, wenn er fällt! Dann ist kein anderer da, um ihm aufzuhelfen. Auch wenn zwei beieinander liegen, wärmen sie sich gegenseitig.

Wie kann ein Einzelner warm werden? Einer mag überwältigt werden, aber zwei können widerstehen. Und eine dreifache Schnur reißt nicht leicht entzwei.

Evaluate Your Circumstances

Look at the Doors God Opens and Closes

When trying to discern God’s will for your life, it’s important to look at the opportunities and circumstances He’s placing before you. Pay attention to the doors He is opening as well as the ones He closes.

For example, if you’ve been praying about a job change and a new position suddenly becomes available that’s a great fit for your skills and interests, that likely is God opening a door for you. On the other hand, if you’ve been considering a move or relationship that’s not wise and circumstances continually prevent it from happening, that’s probably God closing a door to protect you.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). God promises to guide those who seek Him.

Therefore, we can trust that if we commit our plans to the Lord and seek His wisdom, He will direct our steps one way or another. Watch for those open and closed doors – they are clues to knowing what God wants for your life right now.

Consider Your Current Life Situation

In addition to looking at new opportunities, also evaluate your current circumstances. Does your daily life and routine line up with God’s principles and priorities? Are you regularly spending time in prayer and God’s Word? Are you plugged into a Bible-believing church and involved in ministry?

Are there any relationships or habits He’s calling you to change? Examining these aspects of your life can shed light on what God may be trying to do.

For example, if you’ve been convicted about not having enough time to serve at your church, then perhaps God is calling you to rearrange your schedule and make ministry a higher priority. Or if a friendship has become unhealthy, God may want you to set better boundaries or even let go of that relationship for now.

Assessing your lifestyle and relationships can reveal areas God wants to work on and guide you toward His purposes.

“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)

Wait on God’s Timing

Don’t Rush Important Decisions

Life often feels like a race against time, but when it comes to major life decisions, it’s important not to let impatience drive our choices. As the old saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.”

When we try to force God’s hand or rush into decisions, we risk missing out on God’s perfect timing.

God sees the full picture while we only see a small part. He knows what lies ahead. Rather than relying on our limited human understanding, we can trust God to open and close doors at the right time (Proverbs 3:5-6).

He promises to guide those who acknowledge Him, if they are willing to wait patiently (Psalm 27:14).

Trust God Even When His Timing Seems Slow

Human nature makes us anxious for rapid results. But God often uses waiting to shape our character and deepen our trust in His perfect plan. When we fret over God’s timing, we demonstrate a lack of faith in His sovereignty and doubt His goodness.

Yet Scripture reminds us that His timing is flawless (Habakkuk 2:3).

The next time you feel discouraged by an unanswered prayer or a delayed promise from God, remember that His timing is not slow, but perfect. He works all things for our good (Romans 8:28). He remains at work even when we can’t yet see the outcome (John 5:17).

Submitting to God’s timing requires faith, but it allows us to exchange our anxiety for His peace as we rest in His sovereign plan (Philippians 4:6-7).


Discerning God’s will takes patience, wisdom, and seeking Him wholeheartedly. But take heart – our loving Father desires to make His plans for us clear. As you commit to developing an intimate relationship with God through prayer, studying the Bible, Christian fellowship, and listening to the Spirit’s guidance, you’ll begin recognizing His direction more and more.

Trust that He will illuminate the path He has for you as you faithfully follow Him each day.

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