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How God Reveals His Will


The Father always wants the best for His children. So when we begin to wander from the center of His will, He acts to recapture our attention and protect us from harm. If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will . He speaks directly to our hearts through the Holy Spirit, but also has other ways to get our attention:

1. A restless spirit

If you experience inner restlessness—connected to dissatisfaction with the status quo—first make sure you aren’t ignoring an area of sin. Then ask the Lord if He’s trying to say something to you.

  • Think about the last time you experienced a major life change—for instance, changing jobs, moving to a new area of Christian service, or entering a season of rest. Did God speak to you through restlessness?

2. A spoken word

God also gets our attention through the wisdom of others.

  • From what two sources did Eli learn that his sons would die (1 Sam. 2:22-36; 3:1-18)? Why were they cut down in the prime of life?

If several people in a short span of time tell you the same thing, ask the Lord if He’s speaking through them. For example, sometimes a message at church, a radio sermon, and a friend’s advice will be similar.

  • Why do you think God often gives the same message in multiple ways?
  • What has He been saying to you lately?

3. An unusual blessing

To get our attention, God may show His favor in unexpected ways.

  • What prompted one Roman jailer to ask how he could be saved (Acts 16:16-34)?

The jailer recognized that supernatural power was at work, and his experience prepared him to become a follower of Christ. God can also use things such as financial provision, the beauty of nature, or the birth of a child to awaken people spiritually.

  • What types of blessings renew your desire to seek the Lord wholeheartedly?

4. Unanswered prayer

Sometimes God will answer a prayer with “No.” He may want to deal with sin or misplaced priorities. Or He may have something more important in store for us.

  • What did the Lord eventually reveal to Paul about why God did not remove his “thorn” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)?
  • Think of an unanswered prayer from your life—either one that was eventually fulfilled or one that remains unanswered. What has the Father done in you as a result?

5. Disappointment

When the nation of Israel refused God’s command to take possession of the Promised Land, they were judged for unbelief. Through disappointment, the Lord got their attention.

  • How were they punished for failing to trust God (Num. 14:27-32)?
  • Describe the people’s reaction when they heard what their punishment would be (Num. 14:39-40).

In a similar way, God may use setbacks to keep us from charting our own course.

  • Give an example of how the Father has used a disappointment to draw you closer to Himself.

6. Extraordinary circumstances

The Creator can use unusual phenomena to get our attention.

  • To attract Moses, God used a burning bush that was not consumed by fire (Ex. 3:1-22). Based on the future leader’s reaction to the Lord’s command, why do you think God chose to get his attention this way instead of simply speaking to him (Ex. 4:1-16)?

We must learn to look for the presence of God in our daily lives. He leaves his footprints and handiwork all around us.

  • What types of extraordinary circumstances has the Lord used in your life?

7. Defeat

God may use defeat to show us the truth.

  • Why did the Israelite army lose the battle at Ai (Josh. 7:7-12)?

Even defeat can be a steppingstone to success when we pray, “Lord, what are You saying? Help me see where I have taken a wrong turn.” (See Romans 8:28-29.)

  • Choose a time when you failed—lost a job, made a mistake, ruined a relationship, etc. How did the Father use that experience for your spiritual growth?

8. Tragedy, sickness, and financial troubles

We should regard our afflictions as reasons to ask the Lord, “What are You trying to tell me?”

  • Why did the Father allow the Midianites to devastate His people’s land (Judg. 6:3-6)?

God wants to speak to us in the midst of hardship—even if our troubles have no connection to sin. He will impart new wisdom, show how to overcome despite suffering, or give fresh revelations about Himself.

  • If you are facing adversity right now, ask the Lord what He wants you to learn in this season.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You much for capturing my attention when my devotion wanders from You or when I need to change direction. Help me to be sensitive to the various ways You speak to me—and obedient to follow what You reveal. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


(Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.)