How to Know God’s Will from Scripture
by Adam Wittenberg
(This is part 2 of a series on God’s will for your life from Scripture.)
As believers, we all want to know, what’s God’s will for my life?
It sounds huge, but the answer can be more obvious than you think.
Open your Bible—or Bible app—to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7).
Here, Jesus gives us many core truths that we are to follow.
Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base, describes the Sermon on the Mount as “the Constitution of the kingdom.”
A constitution gives the laws and rules for living in a society. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to follow these commands.
But there is a catch—God’s rules are difficult, if not impossible, to do apart from having a relationship with Him. That’s why Jesus starts the sermon with the Beatitudes, a list of eight heart attitudes that God blesses (Matthew 5:3–10).
The first beatitude is key to unlocking them all: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
Poor in spirit means that you recognize your need for God (it doesn’t mean poor in terms of money). Instead of thinking we can do life on our own, God blesses those who say they need Him—continually.
This is important for believers. We cannot walk out the Christian life apart from God. By confessing this to Him, we will receive more of His help (Hebrews 4:16).
Our need is so great that Jesus tells us we’re blessed to mourn over how lost we are without God (Matthew 5:4). This shows total dependence, which He desires (John 15:5).
We are also called to be meek, which is strength under control, rather than laboring in our own power to perfect ourselves (Matthew 5:5). God rewards people who do this (1 Peter 5:10).
Fasting is a form of meekness—literally hungering and thirsting for more of God—and the Lord will fill those that make Him their primary delight (Matthew 5:6).
We are called to be merciful to others who are weak and struggling just like us, which assures us that we’ll receive God’s mercy (Matthew 5:7).
Such wholehearted obedience reveals God, who has promised to come near to His friends (Matthew 5:8; John 14:23).
The closer we are to God, the more we will be able to bring His peace to people who need it (Matthew 5:9). This will bring honor to the Father (Matthew 5:16).
And those who walk this road, enduring persecution and trial, will receive a kingdom that will never end—eternal life with God (Matthew 5:10; 7:14).
What It Means
The Lord commands us to follow Him, not our human desires and flesh. Meekness, fasting, and being poor in spirit look foolish in a world that tells us to “be strong,” “eat heartily,” and “take care of yourself.”
But God’s kingdom is for those who are willing to live differently—for those who want Him more than the comforts and customs of the culture.
The Sermon on the Mount will actually free us. Instead of trying to earn righteousness by following laws and rules, we come to God admitting that we don’t have what it takes apart from Him (poor in Spirit), that we’re grieved over our own inability (mourning), and that we won’t do it in our own strength (meekness).
From this place we fast (hunger for righteousness), show mercy to others and ourselves, and seek God with our whole heart.
The peace that fills us will allow us to bring peace to others, and even if the world (or, sadly, sometimes the Church) persecutes us for our faith, we are confident in the unshakeable kingdom we will receive.
Walking It Out
Jesus calls all believers to this lifestyle, and wants us to start walking it out right away (Matthew 7:24–25).
But remember, it all starts with acknowledging our own weakness before Him.
You could pray something like, “God, I’m poor in spirit. I don’t have what it takes, so would you come and fill me? I’m willing to fast, be meek, and show mercy, confident that You will purify me from the inside out. Make me an agent of Your peace, willing to endure persecution for Your sake, that I may live in the everlasting kingdom of Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Pray a prayer like this daily, asking God to change you from within. Present yourself continually to Him and to His Word, seeking to live in full obedience.
The good news is that as we are transformed, Scripture says we will know God and His will for our lives—His “good, acceptable, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
Watch Mike Bickle teach on the eight Beatitudes »
Disclaimer: Fasting is always voluntary. Consult with your doctor if you have any health issues or concerns. Minors are discouraged from fasting food, and should only fast with their parents’ approval and supervision. Learn more about fasting »
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.