Creflo Dollar - Knowing God's Will for Your Life
If you have your Bibles this morning, if you would go with me to the book of Proverbs chapter 3 and verse 5. I've been talking to you about clarity versus spiritual blindness and how important it is for us to understand that when we can see through the lens of God's grace, then we're going to be able to receive, but it's very difficult for you to receive anything from the Lord and you can't see it. So, when I talk about clarity, I'm talking about being able to see what Jesus has done, being able to see through the lens of Jesus Christ.
And like I said last week in closing, God is very concerned about you knowing and fulfilling the will of God for your life, and I believe that this year is gonna be a year of clarity where you're concerned. You should know what it is I'm supposed to be doing and yet, it's one of the most asked questions in the body of Christ. How do I find the will of God for my life? Am I doing what I was born to do? Boy, it's something when you discover the will of God for your life, but it is a very frustrating thing to live life every single day and not be sure that you're doing what you were put here to do.
Over the years, I've attempted to teach this subject and I've never, I've never been quite satisfied with how it was articulated but I believe I'm gonna share some things with you today on how to know God's will for your life. How many of you want to know God's will for your life? I do know one thing, that there's nobody here by mistake. I do know one thing, that everybody in here has a purpose and you have been equipped by God to carry that purpose out and so with clarity, it's time to enter into that purpose.
No more wrestling with doing his will for your life. No more wrestling with understanding what you're supposed to do, or not even any more going around and fumbling and stumbling all over the place trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. Until you know the will of God for your life, you will never be operating in God's best for your life. You might be operating, but is it God's best for your life? And I'm sure that you want to know God's best for your life.
So, because of time, if you don't mind, I want to move right into this right now so I'm gonna give you about eight steps, or eight keys, so that you can know, "I know that this is the will of God for my life". And the first one, number one, is to walk with God. You gotta walk with God. What do I mean by that? You know, if you're interested in knowing God's plan for your life, then you must learn to walk with God. If you're interested in knowing God's plan for your life, then you need to develop a relationship with him.
You know, Christianity is all about, like I said before, about the relationship and it's not just religion. It's about the relationship. Christianity is about relationship. And so, you need to understand how important it is to cultivate your relationship with God and you must seek to know him, not just to know about him. If anybody knows what you're supposed to be doing, he does, but, you know, how are you ever gonna find out what he knows until you are committed to a relationship with him. You will cultivate that relationship by spending time in his Word. You cultivate that relationship by spending time in prayer. You cultivate that relationship by taking every opportunity that you can to get involved in church, to get involved in small Bible study opportunities.
Somebody says, "Well, why do I have to do that"? But I'm saying if you want to know the will of God for your life, then you've got to get to know the one that knows that and to get to know him, you know, you get to know him by talking to him. You get to know him by getting into the Word. You get to know him by praying, you know, going to God and developing a relationship. You get to know him by coming to church. You know, in this generation it's like nobody wants to come church anymore. But if I want to get to know him, I want to get to know him, then these are just some things you do to accomplish that in your life.
So, God will begin, if we'll do that, when you see these disciplines in your life, prayer, and studying the Word, and coming to church, then God will begin the first steps to revealing his plan to you when you begin to do that. Look at again Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 and 6 and look what he says here. He says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding". Verse 6, "In all thy ways acknowledge him", and what will he do? He will direct your path. Just by simply involving him in every area of your life, by simply going to God and say, "Lord, I want to acknowledge you in this, I want to acknowledge you in that", and he says he'll start directing your path. What is that? That's a relationship, that's a relationship. And when you begin to walk in that relationship, you'll begin to see things. We're trusting in God.
Number two, I believe one of the second ways you begin to position yourself to understand what God has called you to do and the will of God for your life, surrender your will to God's will. Surrender your will and what you want to do to God's will and what he wants for you. You know, many times we say we're seeking God's will, but what we're really saying is we really want God to say that certain things are okay. "You know, God, here's what I'm planning on doing and I need you to rubber stamp this. I need you to say that this is okay". I gotta tell you that this is, this is a really big thing.
People are going to God and saying, "God, this is what I want you to do, anoint it". And God's not gonna do that. And we continue to come up with, "This is what I want to do. This is what I will to do. God, I need you to say it's okay and anoint it", rather than taking the time and get it from God and it's already anointed. So, before God will begin to reveal his will to you, you must be committed to doing whatever it is that he desires for you to do. You want to know God's will for your life? Get committed to his desires, get committed to what he wants for your life. God will likely be pretty slow to show you his plan for your life if he knows you will likely not do that plan anyway. If he knows, and you know God knows everything, right? If he knows that you're just likely not to do that plan, it's gonna be real slow unfolding to find out what you're supposed to be doing.
So, if you're really interested in knowing what you were born to do, if you're really interested in knowing God's plan for your life, then make your mind up that "I'm gonna surrender my will to God's will", and he'll begin to reveal what the plan is for your life. Look at Romans chapter 12, verses 1 and 2. Notice what he says in verse 1 and 2. He says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies", what? "A living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed". How, how? "By renewing your mind that you can prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God".
See, if you want to get involved in the things you're supposed to be doing, the Bible says the most important thing you can do is to renew your mind and when you renew your mind, what are you doing? You're renewing the mind, you're exchanging your will for his will, your opinion for his opinion because you're saying, "God, now that I know what your will is, I want to do it. I'm gonna renew my mind so I'm gonna surrender my will to God's will".
Number three, obey what you already know to be God's will. There's some things you already know is God's will, and we're asking God to show us, you know, his will for our life, and think about it, you won't even do the little that he shows you. Many people seem to want to know what God's plan is for their lives, but they overlook the fact that I would say about 98% of his will is already carefully given through his Word. God is so very, very, very clear about many aspects of his will; for example, it is clearly his plan that we abstain from sexual immorality. If you keep sleeping around and asking God to show me, "Show me, Lord, the will for my life", you ain't even doing that. Can I get a witness?
Look at 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and 3. What I'm saying is, I mean, you're asking him to show you his will for your life and he shows you a lot of his will for your life through his Word, and you won't even do that, what makes you think you're going to do the will of God for your life when he shows it to you? He says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication".
You know, that's still in the Bible and yet, people think it's a norm because you've gone to the world, and you've checked out the norms and values of the world and if the world says it's okay to have sex before marriage, then you say it's okay to have sex before marriage. But this is not norms and values. This is the will of God, and you want to know the perfect will of God for your life, then check out the will of God that's already been perfectly expressed in the Bible for your life. And yet, you're still gonna sleep around. I'm talking about church folks sleeping around, making dates out in the parking lot.
I'm talking about church folks that talk in tongues, People who pray in the Lord, "Set that up for me". Because we, we're letting the world guide us, and we're asking God to give us what we need and you don't even know what bed you're supposed to be laying in. Gotta talk about it 'cause somewhere in your mind, you think that, that Scripture changed. "Well, brother, what about grace"? Grace is not a cover up. Grace is what's gonna help you to abstain. If we do not obey the things that God has shown us clearly to be his will, why would we think he would reveal any further information regarding his plan for our lives? That's all I'm saying. God will love you, God will forgive you, but maybe you'll still be walking in darkness with what you're supposed to be doing.
Number four, seek godly input. Seek godly input. You know, one of the key components to finding God's will is to seek the input of godly advisors in your life. Now, I'm gonna say this, it's so important to have some godly advisors in your life. I said, it's so important to have some godly, three or four godly mentors. If you don't, I'd highly recommend that you seek them out. Think of it this way, each of my daughters when they graduated, I said this to them, that you should understand that you are basically a composite of the five people you spend the most time with. The five people you spend the most time with will determine a whole lot of things in your life.
So, it's vital that you choose those five people well. If you choose to surround yourself with godly advisors, they will be instrumental in helping you to discern God's plan in your life, but if you surround yourself with people who are far from God, your hope of finding his best for your life will greatly be diminished. The question is, who are you hanging around? Because God can use godly people that hang around you. God can use those godly influences that are around your life. If you're hanging around some idiot because you think that's the only person I got to hang around with, that's why you come to church.
"God, help me to surround myself by godly mentors, and godly advisers", and God uses those godly mentors and advisors and he speaks to them, and then they speak into your life because you have a relationship and you know one another. This little thing about, "I don't want to have nothing to do with nobody", honey, relationships, it can be a bridge to get you from one side of the water to the other side. It's a bridge. Relationships are important in the kingdom of God. And this thing about, "I've been hurt so bad that I'm just gonna give up on our relationship", no, just ask God to help you to find better people and people with better character. It doesn't take much, just look at, listen to what people say and look at what they do, and you'll determine their character. And be very, very, very committed to looking at who you hang around.
If you hang around four or five thugs, that's the influence you're gonna have come to your life. If you hang around people who are, you know, full of lust and look forward to that being a part of your life, you hang around people who don't think nothing wrong with getting high, you're gonna eventually gravitate towards what you hang around, and I'm talking about older people too. Don't hang around an old fool. Number four, okay, okay, I was gonna say like number four, repeating it like seek godly input and then share Scripture, but since you want to go and preach this thing.
So, like number four, seek godly input. And I want you to turn to Proverbs chapter 11, verse 14. Proverbs chapter 11:14. To kind of add a Scripture to what I was saying he was saying, "Where no counsel is", in verse 14, "the people fall, but in the multitude of counsels", there's what? "There's safety in the multitude of counsellors". And I would encourage you to be in church every single time the doors open, why? The more you involve yourself with a community of believers, the greater your chances will be of finding godly men and women who can help you discern, you know, God's will.
Now, I can't promise you that everybody you meet in church will be godly but because you have a relationship with God, he'll let you know. And I can't promise that you won't meet some weirdoes in church but God will let you know, okay? And just use a little common sense that he gave you. If a man walks up to you and say, "Hey, baby, I think the Lord want us to be together, why don't you come over to my house"? You don't go over nobody's house. First several dates are in public somewhere, and you have a phone with you and just pretend somebody's calling you and walk out if it ain't working right. Say, "Praise the Lord, I got to go".
Number five real quickly, now said this to you before. You want to know God's plan for your life and God's will for your life, pay attention to how God wired you. Pay attention to how God wired you. God has created you to fulfill a specific role in this world. I believe everybody in here has been created to fulfill a specific role. And there's no one else who can achieve completely what God has purposely created you to do. You have been, on purpose, created by God to do something very specific.
You know, the Apostle Peter said something in 1 Peter 4:10, turn there, 1 Peter chapter 4 and 10 and in verse 10 he says, "As each one has received a gift, as each one, as every man has received the gift", he says, "even so ministered the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God". As each one has received the gift, minister it to one another. Every one of you have received the gift, he says what to do with it. Minister that gift to one another. And he says when you minister the gift that God gave you, he says, you show yourself to be a good steward of the manifold grace of God. That gift on your life that you didn't do anything to get was graced to you. That gift that's on your life that you probably didn't deserve and you didn't work for, God gave it to you, graced you with that gift.
Every one of you have a gift, every one of you have a grace on your life to be used to minister, or to serve. That word "minister" is serve so each of us have a gift to be used to serve. So, God has gifted every one of us to perform a special mission for which we alone were created, and that's awesome that, that means that everybody in here is so special because everybody in here has been given a gift for a special mission for you to operate in. And so, when you seek to discover God's will for your life, pay attention to how he has gifted you. Pay attention to the gift that you have, that you didn't have to work for, you didn't have to train for, you just got it.
Some people are mathematicians. I mean, they just got it. Some people just know how to fix stuff, they just got it. Some people can, they can just like Tremaine sing, but, you know, it wasn't they were trained all their life to do that, they just they were born with it, they just got it. Pay attention to how he's gifted you. Just pause for a moment. Look at your life. What is the thing you can do sweatlessly? What is the gift that you possess? His plan for you will always be directly related to the gifts that he has already bestowed upon you.
So, it's like, he's got a call and a plan for your life so he went ahead and equipped you for that call and for that plan. How are you wired? He equipped you for it. I mean, if you're wired for construction, you're probably gonna be a, you know, some huge real estate person, but you just gotta realize that's what you can do. That's what gift you have. You don't know how, you just know you have it. So, you connect the gift you have, how you're wired, and eventually it'll bring you to the purpose for your life.
So, the great news is that you will automatically be good at whatever it is that he has called you to do as a result of that gift that he's bestowed upon you. You already got the gift. So, you already got the gift so you're already gonna be good 'cause you're gifted to be good. See, if you got to join a choir and wonder if you can sing, maybe you ought to usher. And if you back there ushering and you lose your temper every time somebody won't sit where you tell them to sit, maybe that's just not your gift. Quit trying to make something happen that you're not gifted to make happen. Stop it. "Well, the Lord called me to preach", and can't preach, stop.
Number six, listen to God's Spirit. How many of you know we have the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide us into all truth? A major turning point in my life was when I was spending time praying in the Spirit, and I was on the floor and carpet fibers got in my mouth and I got choked up. And then I heard God. A major turning point was prayer is not just a monologue where you do all the talking. Prayer is a dialogue where in that time of fellowship, I call it the spirit of shut up, be quiet, and hear from the Lord.
Now, I want to give you something here that I think will really, really bless you. You know, I used to do all the talking when I prayed to God, but I've learned that my most powerful guidance came when I got before the presence of God and I would be quiet. I thought about, how do I make this practical enough for you to be able to do this? I want you to take questions, and this is just for an example. Take questions with you when you go to prayer and meditate on those questions. Now, what kind of questions? "What's my next step in my career? What's my next step in my family? What's my next step in my ministry? What's my next step in my finances? What's my next step in my business"?
Sometimes by taking those questions and meditating on them while you're in the presence of God, he'll begin to start flooding your spirit with ideas and insights, maybe one or two of those questions that's on the list. If you haven't done this, try it and just put them on your mind. And as you're before God and you're meditating on those questions, maybe you've got five of them, and maybe he starts ministering to you heavily with ideas and insights on one or two of those, and you write them down. That's what God is speaking to you on. The Holy Spirit will show you that. He'll show you that. Somebody says, "Well, why do I need to do that"?
Well, you say you want to know God's will for your life, but you got to learn how to hear the Holy Spirit. The Bible says something about us being able to hear from him. John chapter 10, I believe, verse 27, that we're supposed to hear from him, and we need to be barefooted priests so we can hear from him. You know, everything's going to be better in your life when you have discovered the plan for your life. And in John 10:27, he says that my sheep hear my voice. He says, "I know them, and they follow me". Now, I got to believe that that's just more than a Scripture. I believe that we're the sheep of God and I believe that we can hear his voice.
I want to say this to you this morning. God wants to speak to you. And it's not that he's not speaking, we're not picking up the transmission. I think when you go before God and get away from this religious activity that says you got to do all the talking, you go before God, "Oh, Father, I thank you for this. And oh, God, I", And you look at the clock. It ain't an hour yet. Shut up and meditate on what you want to know. Meditate means to ponder, means to roll it over. "Lord, what's the next step in my business? Lord, what's the next step in my life as a father? What's the next step in my life as a mentor? What's my next step"? And you'll begin to hear from him, how? He'll speak to you in your heart.
Wednesday night, I told people to write the word heart down, and I told them that God is even speaking in that word heart. If you write the word heart down, you will see that, write it down. H-E-A-R-T. You see the word hear. Amen? But what do you see in the middle of the word heart? Ear. Yeah. He put the ear in the center of your heart so you can hear him, and that's the art of a Christian. And he wants you to hear him. That's a huge deal. That's the wisdom from above, to be able to yield to the Holy Spirit and to listen to him. And he wants to hear from you. Because of our not understanding the grace of God, we thought, well, we had to be flawless in order for God to talk to us. We thought we had to be perfect in order for God to talk to us.
Oh, if we just wouldn't get in trouble, then God'll talk to us. I don't know about you, but it's when I was in trouble that I heard God the clearest. Amen? "Get up. Run". You'll hear him very clearly. First, I believe that through experiences like this that God can really take you to a place where you need to be and you will be on this journey with him.
Let's look at number seven. Listen to your heart. He will speak to your heart. Listen to your heart. In addition into listening to the Spirit, listen to your heart. Understand what God wants you to do. Look at Psalms 37. This is so good. Psalms 37, verse 4 through 5. I remember years ago, there would be no way I would be able to stand flatfooted and just dish out information like this 'cause I was so in bondage to the congregation that if they were not shouting back at me, I thought, well, something was wrong until I understood the importance of understanding. If people can get a clear understanding of how to practically do something and then they go home and do it and their lives change, oh, they gon' come back for some more. "Give me something that's going to help me do better in my life".
And certainly, if you can find the will of God for your life, good things are going to begin to happen, amen? Look at what he says here about the heart. He said, "Delight yourself also in the Lord". And what will happen? He'll give you the desires of your heart. "Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass". So what happens now when I delight myself in the Lord? He will give me the desires of my heart. In other words, basically what this Scripture says is that God will begin to change your want-tos. He'll begin to shape your desires. By spending time with him, he will shape your desire. He shows me that when I'm walking with the Lord, he'll actually let me know and let me do many amazing things that I love to do.
Think about it, he'll allow me to do the things that I love to do. Because when I found the will of my life, he shaped my heart, he shaped my desire, he shaped my want-to. And then when I found what I'm supposed to do, I'm gonna want to do it, and I'm going to love doing what I do. When you're close to him, he actually begins to shape your desires, so that you can desire the things that he already wants you to do. Think about that, he's shaping my desire to give me the desire to want to do what pleases him. It's not going to be like, "Oh my God, he's going to call me to do that. I sure hope he don't call me to do that 'cause I don't want to do that".
When you find the will of God for your life, you're gonna want to. You're gonna enjoy it. I enjoy what I do. Praise God. I have to calm down sometimes 'cause I'll do it all day. I enjoy it 'cause he put the desire in my heart. Now, I can remember a time where I never wanted to do this. I can remember a time where I didn't like preachers because I'll never forget we were in my big mama's house. I don't know what that preacher name, who used to come over to the house to eat. Granddad is a preacher. He come over there one time, and I was a little boy and I just noticed I couldn't believe the amount of chicken that guy eat. And I didn't have, there was, you know, big mama always cooked enough, but, "I mean, God dog, you're a guest". "Big mama, can I have some chicken"? "No, baby, you can't do it, reverend got to, let reverend eat". "The reverend? The reverend don't live here. Why is he here"?
So I had no desire at all to do that. God knows how to shape your desire. He knows how to shape your desire. He used a gospel choir to shape my desire. He used the fascination of me joining a Baptist Church and seeing those choir members up there when that director moved to the right, they did. He moved to the left, they did. He pushed back, I say, "Oh, shoot now, we finna, I got, oh Lord, have mercy". He knows how to build the desire on the inside of you.
And I am telling you all that whatever it is that God has called you to do, you are going to want to do it. His plan actually becomes so exciting. It becomes an exciting adventure in your life, and God is the one that's going to shape your wanter to want to do the things for which he has actually created you to do. So if you're doing something that you say God called you to do and you hate it, you get sick every time you got to do it, you start cussing every time you got to do it, that's probably not what God wants you to do in your life, and you need to resign with a quickness.
Number eight, the last point I want to share, take a look at your circumstances. You want to find the plan of God for your life, take a look at your circumstances. God often clearly demonstrates his plan for our lives by lining up circumstances in obvious ways. He also shows us what he wants us not to do sometimes by doing the same thing. For example, you know, if you are 5' 6" and 120 pounds, it's probably not likely that God has purposed for you to play professional football, all right? Not saying that, well, I don't, no. 125 pounds, that's almost dangerous.
I've discovered that, over these years, God is pretty good at opening doors and closing doors. He knows how to open doors. He knows how to close doors. And so we got to pay attention to that. Sometimes when the door is closed, it's a clear indication he don't want you to do that. Sometimes when it's open, it may be that he wants you to do that. Not all the time, not 100% of the time, but I'm saying if you can just kind of pay attention to the circumstances. If there's something happening with that closing and you just can't ever seem to close on that particular house, God is trying to tell you something.
Don't knock the door down. Go find another one. That's not always, but I'm saying if you'll begin to just pay attention to your circumstances. If the door is open, you might want to peek in there, the peace of God is on you to do it, that may be a way that you can find out what you're supposed to do. If not, you walk in there, there's nothing wrong with putting it in reverse and backing out. If the door is closed, you know, and if it's constantly closed and it's constantly closed, I mean, come on, man. That's probably not what you're supposed to do.
I'll never forget, I graduated from college. I was excited about my career. I was ready to stay involved in athletics. And so, you know, the football portion didn't go well. So I'm going to go into coaching just like my uncle and other relatives, and I was perfectly qualified for this job. I knew the guy who was the head coach. I was going to have the opportunity to be the defensive coordinator, which was a dream. And I got in there and they said, "Well, we actually need somebody with a English degree". I said, "Well, I have a minor in that. I can do that". And he says, "No, we need somebody". And I'm thinking, "Are you kidding me? Dear God it's football, not grammar". And every door closed.
And I remember Taffi and I, we weren't married then, we were dating at the time, and I came over to her and I said, "I don't get it". I went interview after interview and I'm trying to figure out what in the world, because I knew what I was going to do. If I would've gotten that job and became a coach, that was going to be my obsession. That was going to be something that was going to possess me. I would've never gotten here. I would've been at all the coaching clinics. I would have been studying the film till I memorize them. My goal was be one of the first black coaches in the NFL, and I was going to be fully qualified and fully ready. And I was willing to put in whatever number of hours I needed to put in to be able to accomplish that, and God knew that, and those doors weren't out there. They were not there at all.
And I told Taffi, I said, "You know, what are we going to do"? And I don't know how it came up. We filled out some applications, and I think right there when I was with you I got a phone call, and it was an opportunity for me to pursue another passion of mine in psychology. And so I'm like, "Well, I might as well do it, you know, to get some money". And then one thing led to another and one thing led to another and then went into private practice and one thing led to another and I'm like, "Oh man, this is it". And then God spoke to me. He says, "I'm calling you to pastor". It's a long story of how that happened, but all of that led me to the destination where I was supposed to be, and I am so glad that God knows how to shut doors. Amen?
My prayer for you today is that you will come to a place where you can begin to actively pursue the will of God for your life. Not just sitting down waiting to see what hits you, but to actively pursue it now. You're here. This is a new year. "I'm going to actively pursue what God wants me to do. What does God want me to do? Where does God want me to be? Who's God want to spend the rest of my life with"? I was not looking just for any girl to marry, I was looking for the one that I can't live without.
I'm looking for the one that, you know, actually, you know, Taffi and I were, I don't know, were we engaged and we broke the engagement off or we were just dating? We were engaged? We were engaged and I was sitting in my office, and I don't know what happened. Some stupid thing came across me and that was it. We hung up the phone and it was over. And I sat down like, "All right, I'm fine. I'mma be all right. I'mma be all right". I wasn't all right. Was it the same day? It wasn't even an hour, right? Man, I got on that telephone. I said, "It's all my fault. I take full responsibility. I don't want to live without you. I got to have you. I can't see myself living this life without you. So whatever I need to do, please forgive me, but I got to have you". And she forgave me.
Thank you, Jesus. I thought I had messed that up, but God knew what needed to happen. I'll never forget, and I'll close when I say this. We were married and I had a dream that for some reason she passed, and I was at the graveyard standing over her grave, and I could not take it. I was freaking out. And then she came to me in her heavenly body and she said something like, "You know, live on, my sweet love", or something. And I just broke down crying. And it was a dream and I'm holding her crying. She like, "Wake up. What's going on with you"?
And I realized, man, I don't want, I would drive another woman crazy. This is the only one for me. This is the will of God for my life. Now, I believe there are ten other ones. Uh-uh, I don't want no ten other ones, I want her, I want her. "Well, baby, what would you do if I go before you"? I don't got a problem, I can't get married again. I will drive her crazy. "That ain't the way Taffi used to do that. What are you doing"? No, she got to be here as long as I'm gonna be here. We are going to be like Rock and Betty.
If I hang around with Rock, she got to be here as long as I'mma be here 'cause there ain't nowhere in the world, and this is what you pursue. When you find the will of God for your life, it's the greatest, most peaceful adventure that you'll ever have, having God's plan operating in your life and those gifts being used correctly in the very way that God intended for them to be used and the very thing he gave it to you for. You get anything out of it this morning? Amen.