Asking “What does God want me to do?” is normal — especially if you’re trying to decide what to do about a troubled relationship, job, family situation, health challenge or other major life issue. Here’s the good news: figuring what God wants you to do may be easier than you think.
More good news: you are free to choose, decide, act and move. God has given you so many choices and possibilities and opportunities. That’s why you feel stuck and confused. You don’t know what God wants you to do because there are too many options.
But wait, I have bad news, too! Figuring what God wants you to do is hard because of the same abundance of options and freedom to choose. With freedom comes the difficult task of making a decision, accepting responsibility, facing the consequences and then making even more decisions about what God wants you to do next.
It’s both easy and hard to figure out what God wants you to do with your life. If you’re an optimist like me, you embrace the easiness of abundant choices and freedom to decide. If you’re a pessimist or cynic, you clearly see the problems of freedom and the difficult of discerning God’s will for your life.
In What God Wants for You – Genesis 9 I said “God wants you to thrive, grow, flourish, and blossom into who He created you to be! He wants good things for you and your loved ones. He wants you to be healthy and happy, to reflect His glory, light, and joy. He wants you to be free from the pain and grief.”
That’s too vague. In this article I want to be more specific in answering the “What does God want me to do?” question that plagues us all.
What God Wants You to Do
This blog post is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project; I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture.
Today in Exodus 20 God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. I’ve read them before, but they never really registered in my heart or brain. I thought it was a list of things God wanted the Israelites to do — and not to do — but now I see them differently. I see them as a list of ways to be spiritually, emotionally, socially, professionally, mentally and physically healthy. It’s not just a list of things God wants people to do…it’s a way of life that helps us be healthier women of faith.
1. Embrace what God puts and allows in your life
In Exodus 20 (and most of the earlier chapters, such as Exodus 7 – How to Stop Resisting God’s Will for Your Life), Moses and the Israelites do not reject, question or argue with God’s Ten Commandments. They simply accept his rules because “all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke.” – Exodus 20:18. The Israelites were trembling and standing at a distance because they were overwhelmed with God’s glory, power, strength and presence. They didn’t know God the way we do today through Jesus the Christ; the little taste they had was enough to make the Israelites accept what God wanted them to do.
God wants you to embrace what He allows into your life. Maybe you’re like many of my She Blossoms readers, grieving a husband’s death or recovering from the heartbreak of a divorce or breakup. Maybe you found out you’ll never have biological children because of infertility, or you’ve been diagnosed with schizophrenia or breast cancer. Maybe your daughter is in jail, your nephew struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, your sister dying in hospice, your best friend moving to Guam. Your life is unique, but your struggles are universal. We’re all dealing with grief, pain, disappointment, loss, and sorrow for this world. If you’re serious about learning what God wants you to do, you’ll start with accepting your life as it is right now.
2. Learn what God wants for you
I read Exodus 20 in The Message Bible last night, and re-read it in both the Jewish and the CSB Bibles this morning. What struck me last night and resonated even more today is how much God cares about our health! God wants us to be spiritually, mentally, physically, socially, professionally and emotionally healthy. That’s why He gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments: to protect them from themselves and each other. To teach them how to live good, healthy, happy lives. Every commandment improved the health of an Israelite’s body, mind, spirit, community and city. Even more importantly, each commandment points back to God. He began Exodus 20 by saying “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.”
How are you living in freedom (which is what God wants for you)? God brought you out of slavery and bondage. Honor Him by living in freedom and making decisions with a sense of joy, spirit, peace and love! How do you do this, you ask? By taking the next commonsense step forward. You will learn what God wants you to do if you take a small step forward in faith. He will reveal His will for your life, relationships, health and family if you take action. Do the next thing that makes the most sense, whether it’s researching your options, applying for a job, seeking counseling, or sitting in silence with Jesus.
3. Take a step forward in faith
“Moses responded to the people, ‘Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.’” – Exodus 20:20. Why does God want us to fear Him? Because that healthy fear (awe, reverence) leads to praise, adoration, worship, and humility. Because He created us and the world, because He is awesome, mighty, and glorious! Why does God not want us to sin? Because it doesn’t just separate us from Him, it separates us from ourselves. Sin is simply turning away from God and harming ourselves and others. Breaking the commandments — sinning — is an offense against God above all and everyone else. Moses and the Israelites took step after step forward in faith (with lots of mistakes, wandering, sins, brokenness). And God loved them through it all.
How are you moving forward in faith? The Israelites accepted the Ten Commandments on faith. Whether they actually lived each commandment is a different story! It’s just like us accepting Jesus and vowing to die to ourselves and follow Him. We say, we believe, we vow and we try…but we can’t do it perfectly. And what does God want us to do? Turn back. That’s all. He loves and accepts us as we are. One step of faith is learning how to accept and love ourselves for who we are. Another is to accept and love others for who they are.
Spend time in silence. Just five minutes. Sit with Jesus, maybe curl up on His lap. Lean into Him. Maybe ask God what He wants you to do…or maybe just relax into His presence. Spend enough time with Him, and your next step will be clear.
With His love,
Are you struggling to make a decision or find the right path in your life? Read an Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will for Your Life.