We have this promise: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears, WHATEVER we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
But HOW do we know, in a given situation, what God’s Will is for us? Is it God’s Will to marry our fiancée? Is it God’s Will to sever our marriage? Is it God’s Will to accept a particular job? Is it God’s Will to quit our current job? Is it God’s Will to end our studies in college or university? Is it God’s Will to move? Is it God’s Will to be healed of a particular sickness? Is it God’s Will to buy or sell a house or a certain car; to spend our vacation at an exotic location; to engage in a particular activity? The list may be endless…
How DO we know?
The answer is, in many cases, we may NOT know right away!
In our free booklet, “Teach Us to Pray,” we state the following:
“We have to ask God for His help and intervention ‘according to His will’ (1 John 5:14). This requires that we understand what His will is (Ephesians 5:17). In other words, God needs to REVEAL His will to us (Ephesians 1:9)…
“When we pray to the Father that His will be done, we ask Him… to give us the right kind of discernment to prove or test what His will is in a given situation; to permit Him to work in our lives… We should always ask ourselves when contemplating a major decision in our lives: Is this God’s will? We should not approach the issue with the attitude of: I know it is God’s will, because that is what I want to do. James 4:15 tells us, instead: ‘… you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”’…
“When we pray: ‘Your Will be done,’ we pray for understanding from God to determine what His Will is; for the ability to accept His Will and agree with His Will for our lives; and the strength and desire to do His Will, even though it might not be easy. When we are facing difficult situations in our lives, we are asking God to help us not to make hasty decisions out of impatience or frustration, but to reveal His Will to us and give us the will-power to accept His Will, agree with it, submit to it wholeheartedly, and DO whatever God may require of us, knowing that God will help us. We are saying with Jesus, when He was facing the most difficult situation in His life: ‘Not My will, but Your Will be done.’”
We need to prove or test to find out what God’s Will may be for us in a given situation. This may not be as difficult as it sounds. We pray by asking, seeking and knocking, having the faith that God hears and that He will answer. Circumstances in our lives may reveal His Will for us. If we pray to God for His direction, BELIEVING that He will see to it that a certain plan of ours is or is not going to come to fruition, He IS GOING to answer our prayer. If the car is a “lemon,” He will show us. If it is not His Will to heal us right away, He will make this very clear (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). If a particular job is not the best choice for us, it will become manifest.
Sometimes, we must knock at several doors, not knowing at first which, if any, will open. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2, 6 tells us: “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do NOT KNOW what evil will be on the earth… In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do NOT KNOW which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.”
The key is, whatever we do, and as long as we do it, we must do with all our might (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
We must not quit, if God has not made it obvious that a certain course of action is against His Will. Some become disappointed and discouraged if a planned action does not show results right away, and they contemplate giving up. Some are far too quick in changing jobs. They never seem to settle down or stick to a given task. They lack perseverance in trials, concluding erroneously that a trial at the job shows them that God wants them to quit their job. Quite the opposite might be true. Maybe God wants them to stick it out so that they can learn how to conduct themselves properly in a difficult situation. But they quit too early. In fact, if it is God’s Will that we ought to change our job or a given course of conduct, then we don’t need to worry about whether or not to quit, because God will answer our prayers for the revelation and manifestation of His Will by making an end to our plans and our work (compare Acts 5:38-39).
In the famous inspirational poem by an unknown author, “Don’t Quit,” these memorable words are uttered:
“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit — Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
“Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a fellow turns about When he might have won had he stuck it out. Don’t give up though the pace seems slow — You may succeed with another blow.
“Often the goal is nearer than It seems to a faint and faltering man; Often the struggler has given up When he might have captured the victor’s cup; And he learned too late when the night came down — How close he was to the golden crown.
“Success is failure turned inside out — The silver tint in the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It might be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit — It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”
If you are considering whether you should do, continue to do or abrogate a certain task, ask yourself: Is it AGAINST God’s Will? It is NEVER God’s Will that we sin! But do we or would we sin? You need to carefully evaluate your situation based on your knowledge of the facts and circumstances—not based on hearsay, gossip, misstatements, accusations or opinions of others. Jesus did not care about man’s opinions… He healed the sick on the Sabbath, even though the Pharisees condemned Him for it; He spoke in public with a Samaritan woman even though the Jews did not “allow” it; He associated with “sinners” and “tax collectors,” even though the establishment rejected Him for this conduct.
If you cannot say, after careful and honest analysis of your situation, that your (contemplated) conduct or current condition are against God’s Will, then allow God to show you His Will through clear circumstances in your life. He will make it obvious to you! Have patience and faith that He will show you… and He will… in His good time—but in the meantime, until the answer is clear, don’t quit!