Today’s devotional: should you look inside or outside to find God’s will?

“How can I know God’s will for my life?” Every Christian has asked that question at some point. Prayer, Bible reading, and conversation with fellow believers can often help us understand the general direction in which God is leading us… but even then, the answers aren’t always as clear-cut as we’d like.

In the most recent Nehemiah Notes devotional essay, Blaine Smith narrows this issue down even further and asks if Christians should look inside or outside to identify God’s will for their lives. In other words, when trying to discern God’s will for our life and vocation, do we interpret our existing interests, talents, and gifts as divine hints as to our ideal vocation? Or should we identify the areas of greatest need in the community and world around us, and shape our interests and talents toward meeting that… even if it’s not a great fit for our abilities? Smith words it more eloquently:

The dilemma we face so often boils down to this: At one extreme is an option that appears to be a golden opportunity to help people and have a ministry. At the other is an opportunity more in line with our abilities and natural interests. And there seems to be a frustrating distance between these two extremes.

We confront this inward-outward issue not only in our career choices, but in many other areas. Opportunities to serve in our churches frequently seem to pit one option, where the needs are gaping, against another that better fits our talents and temperament, but where the needs are less pressing. We face this issue in some of our avocational choices as well.

Read his full thoughts at Nehemiah Notes.

Have you been through this crisis, and if so, how did you settle on the answer? Have you ever been in a situation where a ministry opportunity seemed to call to you, but it seemed in conflict with your own interests and talents?

Share your thoughts!

5 Responses to “Today’s devotional: should you look inside or outside to find God’s will?”

  • Olabisi says:

    Our first priority in life is to serve God. And if we look inward we will always find a platform which God has given us to serve Him on. But we have responsibility to our world. there is always a place we can fill in the world when we thoroughly look outward. So i hold that we have service to God ourselves and other people around us.

  • Andres Hernandez says:

    Looking inward or outward to find the area where you can be the most effective is defitnely a subject where wisdom and experience play a role. I think that more we look into our selves and the way God uses us is very important because a true son of God is not meerly wanting to let our talents impact the world but the gifts of God. With this in mind the spirit of God is the one that will give us revelation and guidence to this issue. In the end is not what we want but what God wants, Christ before his death said something very important in John 16:12-15 The Spirit of Truth came to us and now is guiding is to the truth. The only reason we may have to look outward is only to see the beuty of the creation but i think the most important of these is looking inward because this way the spirit will unleash your full potential, so if you have a talent use it or else it would be what it says in matthew 25:14-30 let us not be unworthy and useless as too not use what he has intrusted us with. Let he who has ears listen .. God Bless much love my Brothers and Sisters

  • Stephanie Downer says:

    I am still in a crisis. All my adult life I have just wanted to know what the Lord wanted me to do. I wanted my career choice to be in His perfect will. I , however, have never had an answer and what I am doing now just does not feel right. I just choose a career. I am an Attorney-at-Law and I am not convinced that this is what the Lord has in store for me. I am not happy in my career, but I can’t seem to recognize what direction the Lord wants my life to go in. I keep praying and asking Him but I have not got an answer to date.

    • Praying for Direction Too says:

      Stephanie, Your response sounds as if I could write it. I, too, am unsatisfied practicing law, and I pray daily for God to show me what it is I should be doing. Meanwhile, I keep plugging away. I will pray for you, Stephanie, and ask that you pray for me, too.

  • Alikoka says:

    Yes, and my understanding came down to this GOD made me wired me and gave me my gifts to use for HIS glory,so hes not going to give me the gifts of being a hammer and then want to use me as a screwdriver. Just as GOD said in tithing He only wants “Hilarious giving” in work also I want to believe this is true. Now that being I know of a missionary who hated bugs and was needed in New Guina she was beside herself at first now you cannot get her to leave the place.