Have you observed a believer who claims to follow God’s will make a decision that you greatly wondered how that could be ever be God’s will? Or, maybe you are wrestling with a decision currently. Here are some thoughts.
Jesus gave a clear, unambiguous command concerning following Him in Matthew 16:24. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
If any man will come after me: would your desire, your love, your resolve, your delight be to follow Jesus? (Not begrudging or a legalistic “do I have to?”) Is the deep desire of your heart to please Him?
Deny himself: forget yourself, your interests and desires. This can be summarized as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The flesh desires pleasure, fun, ease, attention, money, power, and gratification. Jesus’ will is guaranteed to go against the cry of our flesh. Otherwise we wouldn’t have to deny ourselves. I have to wonder if what is often claimed to be “God’s will” might be self-gratification.
Take up his cross: it will (or is assumed to) be painful for not only the flesh but the soul. Jesus’ greatest suffering was taking on our sins, which exceeded His physical suffering.
Another test might be to observe what the world thinks about your choice. If it is popular with the world, you can expect it not to be Jesus’ will. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).