There are two kinds of God’s will that you need to concern yourself with - His direct will and His indirect will in your life.
FOR DISCERNING GOD’S DIRECT WILL:
Whenever the Scripture speaks to a subject directly, you are able to know God’s direct will because you can see it directly in the Scripture. An example would be the “Ten Commandments.” Exodus 20:14, Thou shalt not commit adultery. God’s will is directly stated and very clear: we are not to commit adultery.
FOR DISCERNING GOD’S INDIRECT WILL:
Whenever the Scripture does not speak directly to a particular situation, you are able to make your decision based on indirect evidence given by the Scripture. You can ask yourself the following questions when you are trying to discern God’s will on something that is not directly stated in God’s word. These questions, as you answer them, can help you to know God’s will:
- Is what I am about to do in my best interest? “...all things are not expedient (best interest).” (1 Cor. 6:12).
- Is what I am about to do going to control me? “...but I will not be brought under the power (control) of any.” (1 Cor. 6:12). No person or thing should have control over you but Christ.
- Is what I am about to do going to cause my brother to stumble? “...if meat make my brother to off end (stumble), I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to off end.” (1 Cor. 8:13).
- Is what I am about to do going to build me up? “...all things edify not (build up)” (1 Cor. 10:23).
- Is what I am about to do going to glorify God? “...do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31).
- Is what I am about to do able to be done with a clear conscience? “...Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” (Rom. 14:22).