Can You Miss God’s Will For Your Life?

Decision making can be a paralyzing experience.

Say, for example, that you have been offered a new job in a different state? Should you take it? Well, it depends. What are the schools like in the area? What is the traffic like? Are there any nuclear power plants nearby? Is the increased salary worth the emotional cost of moving your family? Will you be forced to root for the Dallas Cowboys? All these different factors can make it difficult to decide.

Now throw the whole issue of God’s will into the mix? Is it really God’s will for you to move? It seems like it’s God’s will, but maybe it’s not. What if you make a terrible mistake and somehow miss the will of God? Are you going to end up in some purgatorial situation because you accidentally missed God’s will?

The fear of missing God’s will is enough to paralyze any Christian. But here’s the question: can a Christian miss the will of God for their life? Could you somehow go your entire life being outside of God’s good plan for you?

It seems that the Bible teaches that, yes, you can miss God’s will. It also teaches that no, you can’t miss God’s will.

You Can Miss God’s Will If…

The way to miss God’s will is really simple: ignore the Bible. In the Bible God has told us exactly what we should do when it comes to making decisions. First, we should determine if our decision goes against anything clearly spelled out in the Bible. The Bible is clear that fellowship with other believers is necessary for our Christian growth. If taking a job will cut you off from fellowship with others, it’s not God’s will for you to take the job.

Second, we should ask God to give us wisdom. James 1:5-6 says:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

Getting wisdom from God isn’t a mystical, super spiritual experience. It means asking God to help us think clearly and biblically about the decision in front of us. When we ask for wisdom we should believe God is going to give it to us. God isn’t trying to hide his good will from us. He wants to help us understand the right way to walk.

Third, we should ask the opinion of others. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail,?but with many advisers they succeed.” This is so gloriously simple. Finding God’s will for your life is as simple as asking the opinion of other, godly Christians. Lay the situation out before them, and then let God speak to you through their counsel.

You Can’t Miss God’s Will If…

If we heed the counsel of scripture, we won’t miss God’s will. God isn’t hiding his will, or trying to trick us into making a bad decision. If we evaluate our decision by scripture, ask for wisdom, and then ask the opinion of others, we are doing what God requires of us. He promises to guide us through that process.

We don’t need to seek a subjective, mystical, spiritual feeling when it comes to decision making. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes God gives us peace about a decision, and that’s a blessing. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes we might not feel one way or another about a decision. In general, feelings are a very bad barometer of the truth. A feeling of peace can come from God, but it can also come from a lot of other things, like a glass of wine or a good nap. Plus, what exactly constitutes the “right” feeling when it comes to a decision? Is it peace? Or maybe joy? Or a sense of rightness?

The Bible doesn’t tell us what we’re supposed to feel about our decisions. Instead, it tells us how to make biblical, God-honoring decisions. So if you have a big decision to make, don’t freak out. Instead, go to the Word, ask for wisdom, and get others involved.

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I’m married to Jen, and I have three kids. I know a lot about Star Wars, and I live in a van down by the river. I’ve also written a number of books, which people seem to like.


  1. says

    Thanks for posting this. Quite encouraging as I'm currently waiting to find out the outcome of a job I interviewed for. If I get offered a position, it will most likely be one in another state. It is a rather scary prospect!

  2. Louis says

    Such a great post Stephen! When we put the Word first it naturally flows that we will seek God through prayer, the counsel of spiritually mature believers and live life with an attitude worship. God gave us His Word to steer our lives, yet it doesn't necessarily always have clearcut answers for each decision. That's where prayer and getting others involved comes in to play, like you said. I love that God fashioned us for community and not to live rouge lives. :)

  3. William Dicks says

    Good and concise post on this subject Stephen.

    I did a series of posts back in 2007 as a review of Garry Friesen's book, Decision Making and the Will of God. It very much says what you are saying and in it Friesen does a good bit of exegesis to show the differences between the way of wisdom (Biblical decision making) and the traditional way (more mystical approach). I would recommend the book to any Christian with this issues on their minds.

  4. john says

    I just found this article. after reading it, my feeling is that it was ok. keep in mind that a wrong decision about work I made years ago has costed my family everything. Our lives would have been drastically different and we have suffered ever since. I know see what god had planned for our lives and there is no way in heaven or earth to get back to that plan. so the rest of the time of living is going to be filled with suffering. Its enough that I don't plan on living the rest of it out. It would be just better that way

    • Kathy says

      Goodness .. i am not sure what you mean by this but i hope you are ok and doing well…… I understand.. I think that at one time in my life I missed Gods best for me and now I struggle everyday because it made a difference in my kids life…… my heart breaks for the mistake I made.. and now I can see how God was bringing it all together for me but at the time I was not sure and did not want to miss Him…… but I still have my family and everyone is doing well and I would not want to leave them… so I suffer in silence.. no one but God and I know… I just have to trust God that He has another plan and I will be open to receive it……. Its hard…..

      I will pray for you and and I am hoping you were able to get free and realize your family would be devastated without you in their lives… God Bless you John


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