I .Prayer is always the first thing we should do.

There is nothing that can substitute for prayer. Simple heartfelt communication with God is the most important key in knowing God’s will in our life. When it seems like all of Hell is against us and there is nobody to help, we must pray like we have never prayed before.

James 1:5-7 →When we pray, pray for God’s will to be revealed in our life. Jesus said to pray, “Thy will be done.” If we are praying because of our own desires, we are asking for the wrong things. But when we have reached the place when we are willing to accept God’s will over our own, we have reached a turning point in prayer. God will see that we have surrendered our will to His and He will begin to reveal His plan to us. It may not seem like it, but God wants us know His will for our life more than we want to know it ourself. We have to learn to trust that God has our best interest at heart no matter how bad it might appear at the time. When we pray, pray in the Spirit. Paul said that the Spirit will pray for us ‘with groanings that cannot be uttered.’ God knows what we have need of more than we do. Rom 8:26-27 →The Spirit intercedes on our behalf, but God is really moved through the power of intercessory prayer. When your brothers and sisters join with you to pray for God’s will in your life, it multiplies the power of that prayer.

Col 4:12 ,Col 1:9 →When Paul observed the church at Colosse, he saw their faith, he saw their love and their hope, yet he noted that they lacked in knowledge of what to do and how to move on in Christ. They were different than the church at Corinth who had a lot of talent and were enriched with knowledge. So Paul began to pray this prayer for them because he knew that ignorance of God’s will is a constant source of error and heartache. If our mind is not full of God’s will it could be that it is full of things not of God, it could be that there are empty places in our mind that would invite Satan to come and fill. Colosse would go through much tribulation without the knowledge of God’s will in their minds, whether it be by their own thinking or by the attack of the enemy, Paul understood that he had to do something about this. He could not stay with them forever, so he did what he could; He prayed, and he invited others to pray with him! God is moved by intercessory prayer! When we find ourselves surrounded on every side by the enemy, don’t hesitate to ask those who really love us to pray for the knowledge of God’s will in our life. God will reveal it to us.

It is one thing to have full knowledge of God’s will and another to be filled with knowledge. The scripture gives us knowledge of God’s will in a corporate fashion. We know what the will of God is for every man and woman. The scripture also states that God is able to do more than we can even think, therefore His will involves more than our minds can comprehend. Our finite minds cannot handle the full knowledge of God’s will, only God knows that. Still, God can fill our minds with enough knowledge of His will to do what He specifically desires each of us to do. Through intercessory prayer God can fill your mind with those specific tasks that He has called and enabled us to perform. {I encourage you to find those men and women in your life who have your best interests at heart. Join together with them in intercession for God to saturate your mind with the knowledge of His perfect will}.

II. We will be uncomfortable and miserable doing anything else.

The calling of God is precious and a serious thing. Some, who are unsure of their calling finally realize they are called because of the burden it places on them. Like Jonah of the Old Testament, some may try and run from their calling, yet they will not be able to hide from it. Jonah found out that it was a very miserable life indeed, to ignore the call of god. Until we begin to respond to the call of God on our life we will feel very, very, empty. Once we are called, we are forever called, our calling is without repentance. God will take our life before He removes the calling from our life. Romans 11:29

Peter found this out. The calling on his life was very clear. Jesus spoke it directly to him. There was no confusion about it. →Matt 16:18-19

It is difficult to walk in our calling when it seems like all of Hell is against us. Peter was totally committed to Jesus and to the calling on His life. He really didn’t have any clue of how tough it was going to get. Jesus even tried to explain it to him… →Luke 22:31-34 .Peter was so sure of the will of God in his life that he told Jesus he was willing to die for Him. Little did he know that he would be tested on that statement within hours of making it. Beginning at the garden when the soldiers came to take Jesus away, Peter began to act differently. This wasn’t supposed to happen, this wasn’t what Peter had signed on for. This was the beginning of a very confusing time for Peter. The bible states that he began to follow them from afar off. Peter was not one to do that, he was the one who was always at the center of the action. As the day progresses, things go from bad to worse. In the space of about two hours, Peter denies the Lord three times. It was a horrible day for all of the disciples, but Peter reacted differently than some of the others.

After the crucifixion, Peter became more confused than ever. Jesus was dead, Peter had denied Him three times and he figured he was done with following Jesus. It seemed like all of Hell was against him. Peter began to run from God. He even gathered some of the disciples together and they went back to their old life, fishing. Peter was trying to find some comfort and peace in his life, so he went back to what he knew. We can find the story in John chapter 21, verse seven states that Peter was naked in the boat. This fact reveals to us his mental state. Things were not okay, Peter wasn’t thinking rationally. Peter was miserable, he was not himself, in fact they fished all night and caught no fish. Going back to his old life was not the answer, Peter was called of God, and he would be miserable doing anything else.

Those who give up on the calling of God will live a life without comfort and without success. Peter’s problem began in his own thinking, he talked himself out of his calling. Fortunately, Jesus found him, and taught Peter to trust in Him like he never had before. Jesus met Peter on the shores of Galilee and walked him back through his denials and Peter turned back to following Chris. A few weeks later Peter preached the first message of the Church at Pentecost. Had Peter continued running from God, he would have lived a very miserable life. We must learn to trust in God and His call on our lives, despite our circumstances. Jesus is not going to show up in person on the shores of your life, but we have something far better than that.

2 Peter 1:16-20 →Peter was stating, “we were eyewitnesses of His majesty, we saw Him transfigured on the mountain, we saw Him raise the dead, we were with Him at Galilee, but we have something better than that, we have a sure word of prophecy.” It is very interesting to me that Peter was the one who wrote this because Peter did not turn back to Jesus until he saw Him in person on the shores of Galilee. Peter, better than anybody else, would understand how to know God’s will while being attacked by the enemy. The scripture is our sure word of prophecy, it is better than what Peter had because we can read it every day of our lives, and we can be sure of what the Lord wants us to do.

III. God may be renewing our thinking. God may be asking us to re-evaluate our priorities and motivations in life.

David said… Psalms 143:10 →…to be in the will of God requires some learning. There are some things that have to be taught to us. There is a transformation that has to take place in the mind.

Paul stated in… Romans 12:1-2 →We cannot know the will of God if we are not first submitted to His plan and His will. We do that by presenting ourself and our life as a sacrifice to Him, ready and willing to do whatever He asks of us. Not everybody is willing to do that.

Some people want God to put the handwriting on the wall in black and white, and then they will say yes or no depending on whether or not they agree with Him. It doesn’t work that way. (God actually did one better than that, He put His handwriting in a book called the Bible) When we present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice ready to do His service whatever it might be, then God sees that and responds to that. There is a renewing of the mind that takes place. The things of this world are no longer important to us. We are primarily concerned about pleasing God and doing His will. The more we sacrifice our life, the closer we become to God. Eventually we tune in to God’s frequency, God begins to speak to us through His Spirit and His Word, and we can know and understand what He is saying to us. It becomes crystal clear.

It is easy to know we are in the will of God when He is blessing all of our efforts. But when the enemy has us surrounded on every side, it seems so much harder to see His will because we have become blinded by the enemy. David knew this better than anybody, he had a lot of enemies.

Don’t be like Job and say that God has abandoned us, that is not the case. If we feel like the enemy is gaining the upper hand, read the 27th Psalm, it is an amazing proclamation of how God lifted David up above his enemies in the midst of the battle. One of the verses from this Psalm states… Psalms 27:11. God will lead us down a path that is clear to us if we only ask Him to. It is a learning process, ask God to teach us His will, if we really want to know it, He will reveal it to us!

IV. Listen to the still small voice of God.

Elijah was one of the most powerful prophets of God. Nobody doubted his calling, his prayers brought results. When Elijah prayed, fire fell from heaven. When Elijah prayed, rain fell from the sky. Through his prayers, Elijah altered the course of an entire nation. He was one of only two men in scripture who did not see death. There is no doubt that Elijah was in the perfect will of God.

Having said that, the book of 1 Kings reveals a time in Elijah’s life when it seemed like all of Hell was rising up against him. Israel had forsaken the ways of God, the altars had been destroyed, the prophets of God had been slaughtered. Elijah found himself all alone and began to wonder if God was still with him. He decided to run for his life, in fact, it got so bad, he asked the Lord to take his life.

1 Kings 19:1-4 →The wicked queen Jezebel had been threatening Elijah’s life for some time. Now it was heating up. Jezebel had just informed Elijah by way of messenger that he would be dead by the same time tomorrow! This was a man hunt, she had people looking for him everywhere, he was a wanted man, dead or alive. Elijah could feel the heat and he couldn’t take it anymore. It is hard to picture the most powerful of all of the prophets backed into a corner by the enemy and running for his life. Often times that is where we find ourselves. Yet, in the midst of running, God sends an angel to feed him. “That ought to be enough to confirm that God is with you Elijah.” I know if an angel visited me, I would be ready to do whatever God asked of me. Still, Elijah kept running. The meat the angel brought to Elijah sustained his life for forty days and nights. That might be a hint that God is with him. Finally he finds a cave to hide in and the Word of God came to him there, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” God wasn’t asking about Elijah’s physical location, He was asking about Elijah’s spiritual condition. God wanted to know why Elijah had given up. Listen to Elijah’s response… →1 Kings 19:10

God responded by asking Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain. God wanted to teach Elijah a powerful lesson that we all need to understand.

1 Kings 19:11-12 →In each of these spectacular displays, I am sure that Elijah felt God would reveal Himself to him, but God was not in any of them. Finally, after the fire there comes a still small voice, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah repeats his previous answer, “God everybody else has forsaken you, they have destroyed the altars and killed your prophets, I am the only one left, surely you don’t want me to minister to these people now?”

God responds… →1 Kings 19:15-16 .God’s response was simple, “Return to what I have called you to do!” The still small voice of God was all that was needed to confirm to Elijah that he was still called of God and he still had a work to do. If we find ourselves surrounded by the enemy, and we feel like throwing in the towel, don’t wait for an angel, and don’t wait for some spectacular sign from heaven. God has given us His Word and His Spirit. Get rooted in the Word of God and stay in tune with His Spirit so we can hear the still small voice of God. His plan will become perfectly clear to us. When we stay in the will of God, what we fear the most will likely never come to pass. God has already defeated our enemy. Jezebel never succeeded in taking the life of Elijah, God took care of her, and God took care of Elijah. God will surely take care of our life as well.

V. We know we are called by the feelings that God places in our hearts and minds through His Spirit.

The story of Nehemiah illustrates this very effectively. After Israel was taken captive by Babylon, the Persian Empire defeated the Babylonians and a Jewish man named Nehemiah became the cupbearer of the King of Persia. This was a high ranking position to hold in the ancients courts of kings. This person had to be regarded as very trustworthy to hold this position. He was guarding the life of the king, and his close proximity to the king endeared him to a very close relationship with the king and all of the high ranking officials of the king’s court. Nehemiah was visited by his brother Hanani who told him that the city of Jerusalem was nothing but heaps of stones. This upset Nehemiah so much that he sat down and wept. He began to pray and fast before God about this news. There were people who had survived the exile who didn’t have a place to live, and the city of Jerusalem was their home. Nehemiah didn’t know what the will of God was for his life, all he knew was that Jerusalem was still in ruins and was surrounded by enemies on every side. Yet he saw that he was in a very unique position of power where he could do something to help. He began to pray and fast and seek God’s will. Listen to what happened;

Nehemiah 2:12 →God placed a desire and a burden in Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. Once the desire was there, Nehemiah began to see and understand that he was in the unique position to accomplish it. He had the King of Persia’s support. At that time the king of Persia was the most powerful man in the world. Nehemiah might have been the only person in the world at this time who could have accomplished this great feat. Nehemiah recognized that he had an open door. He had the burden, he had the desire, and when the door opened he went. He didn’t have to tell anybody, he didn’t need anybody to confirm it to him, he just knew in his heart that it was right.

Nehemiah 2:16 ,Nehemiah 7:5 →Sometimes we just know beyond a shadow of a doubt what God wants. God puts it in our heart and in our mind! I don’t know how to describe it other than to say you just know it is right in your heart, the Spirit confirms it.

Paul somehow knew that he had to go to Jerusalem→Acts 20:22-23.Paul didn’t know why he was to go, he just felt compelled to go. Not only did he go, but he knew that he would face some very hard times when he got there. He knew they would throw him in prison, but he still went. How many of us would do that? To compound the situation, along his journey Paul met several disciples who told him not to go to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:4 →They were in the Spirit when they told him, still Paul continued on to Jerusalem. He knew in his heart it was right.

Acts 21:10-12 →It got to the point that in every town Paul stopped, there were disciples and all kinds of people begging him not to go to Jerusalem. On two occasions, prophets came and spoke to him. One prophet even bound his own hands and feet with Paul’s belt, and said, “this is what the Jews are going to do to you in Jerusalem. When the people heard the prophet Agabus say that, they all began to plead and beg Paul to stay with them. Still Paul knew that it was right to go→Acts 21:13-14.