I’ve been struggling with making some major decisions in my life ie: move, withdraw my son from college etc. I want to do God’s will in any decision I make. It’s been hard for me to know what God’s will is. My friend directed me to Romans 12:1-2 but I still don’t have clarity. What I get from this scripture is that renewing my mind is what will cause me to be transformed in order not to conform. How do I renew my mind? It also says that when I am transformed I will test God’s will and agree with it. It doesn’t say though how I will know what god’s will is. Is it saying then that when I am transformed the decision I will make will be in line with God’s will? therefore it’s not the knowing what God’s will that comes first but is it’s the action that comes first and it will agree with God’s will?
Your predicament and question are a very common thing in Christianity.
I have some news for you. It might be good news, or it might be bad news–depending on where you are at spiritually right now. What is needed to fill in the gaps here is faith on your part. Bottom line, I think you understand the question intellectually, but you are seeking “clarity” where God does not offer clarity. What he offers is assurances. To me, a key is Hebrews 11:1. Faith is being certain of things we cannot see. Among the things you cannot “see” is God’s exact will for your life. There is a sense in which you cannot “see” that Romans 12:1-2 is being fulfilled.[a side note: I believe your friend gave you the best passage on this topic]
How do you renew your mind? By presenting your body (life) as a living sacrifice!!! Even then, it is God who renews your mind.
What will be the result of you making this personal, living sacrifice of your life to God? Not only will your mind be renewed (giving you more spiritual insight), but you will be more able to wisely and correctly know what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. What is the proof of this? That is the problem. That is where faith comes in. I believe that, in the long run (ie. many years) you will have confirmation that God has fulfilled this promise, but in the short term, what is needed is not “clarity” but faith.
Let me add another passage. It really says the same thing, so may not exactly “solve” your problem! It is Colossians 1:9. Again, we have a promise that God will give us spiritual insight and knowledge and understanding of his will. This is not like a mathematical formula. Again, faith on our part is required (as well as prayer, acc to Colossians)
Let me give you one or two “practicals” on this, for what it is worth.
First, there are a number of ways to know God’s will. They include the wisdom he provides us, as described above. There is also use of scripture and advice from spiritual friends.
Second, remember that there is good, better, best. God’s will is not usually some sort of Yes to this, no to all the other possibilities. God’s will may be multifaceted. There may be several choices that fit within God’s will. Some are better and others are acceptable, but not as wise. Many Christians have a very simplistic idea of what God’s will is. This is a mistake. For example, some people think that there is a single, exact person in the entire universe who is God’s chosen spouse–God’s “will” for marriage. This idea is silly, in my opinion.
Third, if you are stuck between two choices which seem virtually exactly as wise, based on your own wisdom, the scripture and the advice of others, then do not sweat it. Make a choice, and live with it, knowing that surely your choice was within God’s will, even if it turns out in the end that it was not the absolutely best option. Faith comes in here. If you are stuck between two almost exactly equally good choices, then just choose one and trust God to make it work somehow.
I hope this helps.