The Will of God Concerning Specific Situations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

Texts: Proverbs 3:5-6; John 10:27; Romans 8:14, 16

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverb 3:5-6, KJV).

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (John 10:27, KJV).

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Romans 8:14, KJV).
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Romans 8:16, KJV).

The Holy Spirit—always in agreement with the Bible—reveals the will of God to us in specific situations.


We have covered some areas where the Bible clearly states what God’s will is. What about those situations in life where one does not know what is right? How can we pray in line with the Father's will if we don't know what God wants?

1. Prerequisites

Before we can expect to be led by the Holy Spirit, He must be inside. After the new birth, he takes up his residence in the heart of the believer:

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {again: or, from above}
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
(John 3:6-8, KJV).

(For a more complete treatment of the indwelling Holy Spirit, read "The Indwelling Holy Spirit," Chapter 16 of my ebook, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem Using Proven Biblical Principles. Download this book free at

Then we must walk in obedience to God. Jesus said,

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).

It stands to reason that we must know Jesus' teaching in order to be obedient to him. As we walk in the light (truth) that we have, God gives more light for us in which to walk.

2. Promises

See the texts above. God has promised that he would indwell us and lead us individually. There may be times when we hear so many different "voices" that our minds are confused. This is the time we must rest on the promises of God and remain in peace, knowing that God will always keep his Word.

3. Promptings

   3.1 Internal Promptings

There is the prompting or voice of reason. The intellect, mind or brain of man is like a computer in that it functions on the information fed into it. We are a product of our past experience and conditioning. Hopefully, our minds are being fed more and more correct information:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God
(Romans 12:1-2, KJV).

As we read and meditate on the Word of God, our human reason becomes more reliable.

There are the promptings or voices of human desires. Freud called the primitive, pushing unregulated human urges the Id. This includes hunger, thirst, aggression, and the strong sex drive. There is also the motivation for self-actualization. There is also the fleshly drive to control that Nietzsche called "The will to Power." Also, everyone needs to be accepted and to feel self-worth. The need for love is very strong. The instinct of self-preservation is very strong. The maternal instinct is also a strong motivation.

There is the prompting or voice of conscience. God made man with a conscience. Conscience is good, but it must be educated with the moral principles of God’s Word. Conscience becomes more and more reliable as more of God’s Word is assimilated. We must choose to accept God's Word as binding on us and obey God as a lifestyle. We must not rationalize away sinful behavior. We must not reject parts of the Bible or add to the Bible:

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path
(Proverb 30:5-6, KJV).
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book
(Revelation 22:18-19, KJV).

(For a more complete treatment of Conscience, see "Conscience," Chapter 3 of my ebook, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem Using Proven Biblical Principles. Download this book free at

There can be pathological promptings or voices. We can also experience touch, auditory and visual hallucinations. Drugs or mental illness could cause this. Again, always check internal "messages" with the Bible. Hopefully, if mental illness should occur, friends could help us.

   3.2 External Promptings

There are the promptings or voices of other people. Parents, grandparents and significant others have both a conscious and unconscious effect on us. We value certain people and have confidence in their counsel.

The phenomenon less understood is the unconscious human internalization of the values of certain individuals and groups of which they are a part. Grandma and Grandpa may be dead, but they will probably still be speaking to us when we face decisions. Both the living and the dead whose values we have Internalized are ever with us until we accept some transcending values such as biblical values.

Advice from mature Christians and Christian leaders can be a valuable asset. Again, advice must agree with the Bible.

There are the promptings or voices of evil supernatural beings. Satan and his demons can inspire wrong beliefs (doctrines of demons) and tempt us in the areas of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Jesus was tempted in these areas by Satan:

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him
(Matthew 4:1-11, KJV).

Jesus overcame his temptation by Satan. Adam (and Eve) were tempted by Satan, but did not overcome:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat
(Genesis 3:1-6, KJV).

Satan and demons can also "appear as angels of light," that is, appear to be a good angel or speak through human beings giving wrong directions. Demons can "channel" through people and bring false guidance. Demons can masquerade as deceased loved ones and bring false messages. Generally, demons drive and coerce, impressing us to "do it right now."

The Holy Spirit is gentle and generally leads us with a "small still voice" and a calm, steady impression over period of time.

It is important to try all "messages" with the objective teaching of the Bible!

There are the promptings or voices of holy angels. It is biblical to be visited by God-sent angels. Angels are the messengers of God. They are also sent to do the work of God and protect and minister to believers:

13 but to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
(Hebrews 1:13-14, KJV).

Again, it is important to know the Bible in order to verify all messages.

God prompts or motivates us by his love that he has placed within us. How do we distinguish agape—the love of God—from other promptings or motivations? Paul describes the love of God:

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited—arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude (unmannerly), and does not act unbecomingly. Love [God's love in us] does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it—pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without weakening]
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7, AMP).

God’s love is sometimes tough, for it seeks the best for the beloved. For a more complete treatment of Love, see "Love," Chapter 13 of my ebook, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem Using Proven Biblical Principles. Download this book free at

Most important, there is the prompting or voice of God. The Holy Spirit is the primary agent of leading believers in specific situations. He generally leads by an inner witness—usually a gentle, steady impression over a period of time. Of course he can speak in a personal prophecy within a person. He can speak in an audible voice. He can speak in visions and dreams. He can speak through circumstances and "fleeces." We must trust God to lead us by his Spirit. Experience will help us recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never lead contrary to the Bible—he is the one who inspired it!

Do not trust circumstances. Satan and his evil followers can manipulate people and happenings. Suppose there are several "open doors" (opportunities)? Circumstances are not always reliable guides.

Fleeces are not always reliable. God allowed them in the Old Testament, but today he primarily leads us by his Spirit within. Satan and even people can manipulate our environment.

In the Old Testament, God would sometimes lead Kings by a message through his prophets. Today, the Holy Spirit leads each believer directly. However, a personal prophecy can confirm the will of God in a given situation.

God speaks through Jesus, the Living Word. Every thing Jesus is, thinks, speaks and does is the will of God. Who Jesus is and what He thinks is manifest in his speech and actions, which reveal the will of God.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1, KJV).
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
(Hebrews 1:1-3, KJV).

Jesus himself is the clearest communication of the will of God to mankind. (See my booklet, Jesus the Master Teacher, for more on this subject. Download this ebooklet free at

God speaks through the Bible, the written Word. Research the Bible to see if the answer is clearly stated in the Bible. The Bible is the most important written document in human history:

31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31, KJV).
12 Then said the LORD unto me...I will hasten my word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12, KJV).

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19, KJV).

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name (Psalm 138:2, KJV).

Conclusion:Before making decisions, there are four questions we could ask ourselves.

1. Will it bother our conscience?
2. Will the contemplated action bring glory to God?
3. What is our motive? Is it God's love within us?
4. Does it agree with the Bible? If inward impression and/or external advice agree with the Bible, then the will of God is confirmed.

In the final analysis, we must individually ascertain the will of God and we alone stand responsible before God for our decisions.


Chapter 14 of my eBook, How to Get Your Prayers Answered. (Note: Chapters 9-14 deal with the will of God.) Download this book free at

© John E. Russell 1994-2004.

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.


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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2011 18:12