Often, I am asked, “How can I know if my plan is in line with God’s will?”, or “How do I know the will of God in my life?” When an airplane comes in to land during the night, the pilot has to line up with the runway lights. When the lights are kept in a straight line, the pilot can be sure that they are landing straight onto the runway.
When we make decision “in the dark,” we also can line up to the “runway lights” that assure us our decision is in the center of God’s will. The four “runway lights” that I have learned are…
1. The confirmation of God’s Word. (Acts 11:4-10)
2. My inner conviction from the Holy Spirit. (Acts 11:12)
3. Practical circumstances. (Acts 11:11, 13-17)
4. The counsel of godly, mature Christian friends. (Acts 10:23, 11:12)
In order to be confident that your decision is in God’s will, you should at least have 3 of the 4 runway lights in place.
Sometimes you may not have peace with your inner conviction, or you do not know which direction to go. For example, you just graduated from college, and you do not know where to go next. But if the other runway lights line up, and you begin to walk by faith, increasingly you should have a deep inner confidence that your decision is of God.
At other times, the circumstances do not line up. For example, you are called for a mission, but the funding needed for that mission is not there yet. Some doors might be closed for now, but that is God’s way to test you. You have to take a step of faith in accordance with the other runway lights before things work out.
It may be that your Christian friends disagree with your decision. For example, you are called into a full-time ministry, but you have to be uprooted from your current church and give up your lifestyle. As you begin to follow through on your decision, mature Christians brothers and sisters should confirm it.
Even if 1 of the other 3 runway lights is missing, it is still possible to step out in faith. However, the one runway light that is indispensable is the confirmation of God’s Word. You must have it – no exceptions. God’s word can come to you in various ways: through your daily devotions, Bible study, sermon, verse that comes to mind while praying, or through searching the Scriptures specifically for it. In order to be assured that your decision is God’s will, you must have His Word to confirm it.
(Adapted from Into the Word by Ann Graham Lotz, a 52-week study)