How to Figure Out God's Will: ESPPP


Paula Hendricks outlines five points that can help us realize what God wants for our lives.

How do you know if you should date that guy? Take that class? Join that team?

This might help. A while ago, I attended a small group where the leader, Roger Cabe, introduced an acronym I'll always remember: ESPPP. Each letter represents a specific key to unlocking the will of God. These five keys shouldn't be isolated, but used together, like fingers on a hand. I hope you'll find ESPPP as practical and helpful as I have. First:

Empty Yourself. Of all the keys, this one is definitely the hardest and usually the most overlooked. About 85 to 90 percent of your time will be spent on this one thing alone. In order to figure out God's best, we need to have no will of our own and be willing to be content in any situation or decision the Lord reveals. Whether we join or sit out, buy or save, date or stay single, our biggest concern is doing things God's way.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).

Scripture. In order to understand God's will, we've got to be reading and studying the Bible regularly, because the primary way He speaks to us is through His Word. As Nancy Leigh DeMoss often says, "When God's Word speaks, God speaks." Don't wait until a crisis to begin reading God's Word; start now! Then ask yourself, What has God been showing me along the way?

Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors (Ps. 119: 24).

Prayer. Talk to God often. Give your decision to Him over and over. Wait . . . and listen. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Prov. 3:5–6).

Providential Circumstances. God uses everyday situations to point us toward His direction. Look for God in your daily life. Are there circumstances that would prevent or point you to a specific decision?

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (Prov. 16:33).

Peace. The Bible says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." Does God's peace flood your life as a result of your decision? Where the will of God is, the peace of God will follow.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6–7).

While there may be other ways to discover the will of God, these five principles are easy to remember and will help you out as you try to stay connected to Him and live life His way.

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