A Christian Teen’s Guide to Knowing God’s Will for Your Life
Get all the details on what God has planned for your future.
A lot of Christian teens wonder what God has in store for their lives.
Teenagers tend to spend a lot of time looking to the future, and when you’re thinking so much about what’s ahead, it’s important to consider what God wants for you.
So how can we find out what God wants for us? Are there some specific plans he has for each and every one of us, and other more generic plans he has for everyone?
Let’s take a look at the Bible and see!
What does the Bible say about God’s will?
God is in control
If we’re going to ask if God has a will for us, first we need to ask: what gives him the right to make plans on our behalf?
Well, Nicky Gangemi explains in this article, “God’s sovereignty is a concept that refers to the fact that God is ALWAYS in control of everything that happens. Check out this verse where God is speaking about His will being done:
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (Isaiah 46:10)
Here God is speaking saying that whatever He wills to happen will come to be, and because He is God with unlimited power and authority over the universe He created, it WILL happen.”
God’s will for all people
As Sean McDowell explains in this article, God has one particular thing he wants for all people: "God’s will is that, by believing in His son, Jesus Christ, people be saved. 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God, “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
If you are stumbling through life trying to know God’s will, but have never asked God to forgive your sins, then you are not even in the beginning of God’s will. Qualification number one for God’s will is your salvation. If you have never committed your life to being a disciple of Jesus, then God has no reason to reveal anything further to you regarding the pattern of your life.”
God’s will for all Christians
So what if you are a Christian? What next? Nick Gangemi explains this brilliantly in this article for Fervr:
In James 1:2-4, the author outlines what one of God’s goals for our life is, saying...
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Did you see it there? God wants us to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
Does this mean that he wants us to lacking nothing in this world, to have the perfect life, family, house and job? No! God wants us to be lacking nothing of spiritual value.
As we live out our lives for Jesus and wait for His return, God gives us “every spiritual blessing” (Eph 1:3) and he makes sure that we are “not lacking any spiritual gift” (1 Cor 1:7). And it is He who helps us to mature into the men and women of faith that He wants us to be, becoming more and more “conformed into the likeness of His Son” (Rom 8:29).”
God’s will for you, specifically
Ok but hold on… does the Bible say anything about what God wants for me specifically?
Some people talk about having a specific ‘calling’, but this isn’t actually language that the Bible uses. God may give you a particular passion or interest, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you should do with your life
Instead, Sean McDowell explains that if you follow Jesus, “you are free to make choices based on your wisdom.
And if you are living a godly life, God will give you the right desires. This is why the Psalmist says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). In other words, if we first give control of our lives to God, then we have the freedom to make choices because He is truly guiding our lives.
- God’s will is not so much about what you do, but about who you are.
- God’s will is not so much about where you go to college, but about the type of student you are.
- God’s will is not so much about who you date, but how you treat people of the opposite sex.
- God has dignified you with the freedom of making choices and living with the consequences.”
If we make wise decisions, when we start moving in a direction based on what we believe God wants for us, Proverbs 16:9 reassures us with these words: “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (16:9).
Let’s get practical
Now that we know what the Bible says about God’s will, let’s turn to some practical applications.
Making wise plans
If God gives us the freedom to make plans for our lives wisely, how do we do that? How do we choose between all the options we have before us?
How do we choose things like…
- University or apprenticeship?
- Marry that person or not?
- Bible college or secular work?
- Live at home or move out?
Well there are four steps you can take, which Michael Dicker outlines in this article:
- Work out which decisions are important – is it a question of righteousness or prudence?
- Reflect God’s purpose for your life – to be more like Jesus
- Ask ‘what does Jesus value’? – so your choices make you more like Jesus!
- If there’s more than one godly option, flip a coin! – the disciples do it to express trust in God when picking a new apostle after the betrayal of Judas
What are you good at?
Thinking about how God has gifted you if a great way to learn more about what God might like you to do with your life!
You might be a great singer, writer, mathematician, or football player – and all of these might play a part in how you serve God.
And remember – you don’t have to be a full-time minister to serve God with your gifts!
As Candice Colgan explains in this article, “Not every person is called to be a church planter or leader. The Bible is clear that God bestows a different gift on every person, and not every gift is made for church leadership. Jesus' disciples were chosen because they displayed different skills and different talents. Each disciple picked up their cross and followed Him, yet not all of them were called to lead a church.
While we are called to serve and support the body of Christ, it is not necessary to be a preacher or a missionary to make serving God your number one job. You can serve Jesus in a multitude of ways.
Scripture assures us that there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. So whether you are great in music, or you have the ability to read and decipher contracts, be confident that there are different kinds of service but the same Lord receives them. Be confident that there are different kinds of working, but in all of them it is the same God at work.”
Questions to think about
- Based on this article, can you identify what God’s will is for your life?
- What misconceptions have you previously had about God’s will?
- Take a moment to think through the suggested decision-making framework. Can you apply it to a decision you need to make about the future?
- What are you good at? How has God gifted you? How might you use this to serve him?