Question: "What does God want me to do?"

Answer: We ask the question what does God want me to do? for a variety of reasons. We may be facing a big life decision and truly want to follow God’s plan. Or we may be searching for God and believe that there are steps to follow or rules to keep in order to find Him. Or we may ask, “What does God want me to do?” because we can’t find purpose or meaning in our lives and suspect that God is keeping it from us. Whatever motivates the question, the Bible has answers when we are wondering what God wants us to do.

When asking what God wants me to do, remember that we are not human doings. We were created in God’s image as human beings to communicate and walk in harmony with Him (Genesis 1:27). Doing is the result of being. Birds sing because they are birds; they do not sing in order to become birds. They sing, fly, and feather their nests because of who they are. So what God really wants is for all our doings to emanate from our being. He has no interest in grudging actions that have no connection with our hearts (Psalm 51:16–17; 1 Samuel 15:22; Micah 6:6–8). Whatever we do for God must come from a place of overflowing love, worship, and surrender (Hosea 6:6; 12:6).

The first thing God wants us to do is to accept His offer of salvation. We are hopeless in our sin and cannot be good enough to overcome our sin and enter His presence. That’s why Jesus came into the world to take the punishment we deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we put our faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, we can fulfill our purpose of knowing and glorifying God (Romans 6:1–6). God takes on the job of transforming us so that we become more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). So the first answer to the question what does God want me to do? is to receive His Son, Jesus, as Lord and begin the journey of faith.

After we are saved, what God wants us to do is “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). When God adopts us into His family (Romans 8:15), we begin a new relationship with Him that affects every aspect of our lives. Rather than making decisions to please ourselves, we make decisions that will please the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31). Those decisions will be supported by the Bible, affirmed through godly counsel, and acted on through the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25).

A quick checklist of things God wants us to do is found in Micah 6:8, which says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Acting justly requires that we live with a sense of right and wrong and deal honestly and fairly with those around us. Jesus said we should not judge by appearances, “but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24). To do what God wants us to do, we must give everyone what is due them, we must live truthfully, and we must never oppress or exploit anyone. We should treat other people as fairly as we like to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

Loving mercy means we offer another chance to someone who does not deserve it. To do what God wants us to do, we must follow Jesus’ example in mercy; He was eager to show mercy toward anyone who repented (John 8:10–11; Luke 23:42–43). Like Jesus, we must forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 18:23–35). We should rejoice when someone is shown mercy, remembering how much mercy God has shown us (Luke 6:35–36).

We walk humbly with our God by seeking His blessing and approval on our life decisions. God does not become merely a part of our lives, He IS our life (Galatians 2:20). To do what God wants us to do, we grow in our faith, continuing to surrender more and more areas of our lives to His control. We daily deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Only when we keep our sins confessed (1 John 1:9) and our lives free from idolatry, worldliness, and compromise (1 John 5:21) can we walk humbly with our God.

God wants us to impact our world with His message, the gospel. Jesus answered the question what does God want me to do? just before He ascended back into heaven. We call His words the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). We make disciples by investing all that God has given us in the lives of other people so that they, too, become all they were created to be. When we focus on who we are in Christ and study the Scriptures, we will know what God wants us to do.