How to Know God's Will, by Watchman Nee


I do not like to hear people asking how to know God’s will. Every one of us should already be clear about this. God’s will is revealed only to those who have consecrated their will to Him. He does not force us. He is always waiting for us to become willing. It does not matter much if a person knows God’s will; it is more important that a person be willing to choose God’s will. We have to say to the Lord, "Not according to my will, but according to Your will." When we lay down our selves, we will know God’s will. Once in a sisters’ meeting in Hangchow, two sisters asked me if God’s will is based upon circumstance, upon the Bible, or upon other principles. When I heard this, my heart sank, and I answered in a harsh way (although my heart was not harsh), saying, "Knowing God’s will is not a matter of method. You may have the right methods, and you may act faithfully according to these methods step by step, but you will still not know God’s will." As I was speaking, my eyes were fixed on the two sisters. I then asked, "What kind of persons are you? Who are you? A person’s knowledge of God’s will has to do with that person himself. If a person is not right, no method will work. Can God reveal His will to persons like you? You do not have to ask many questions, and you do not have to ask God for methods. God can reveal His will in many ways; He can reveal it through the wind, the thunder, a child, or a donkey. You only need to ask whether persons like you are qualified to know God’s will."

In Genesis 18 when God was about to destroy the city of Sodom, He came to Abraham because He could not hide this matter from him. Abraham was a friend of God (James 2:23). He was not a slave of God, because a slave does not know the mind of the master; only a friend knows the mind of a friend (John 15:15). There was no barrier between Abraham and God. This is why God could not hide what He was about to do. Lot was Abraham’s relative; he might have had a great deal of spiritual knowledge, but God did not speak with Lot. He only told Abraham. It would be a joke if Lot came to me and asked, "How can I know God’s will?" Abraham was qualified to know God’s will, but Lot was not qualified. It would be useless even if Lot had all the knowledge. Lot was still Lot. Who are you? Are you Abraham or are you Lot? Many people today pay attention to the method of knowing God’s will. There is a need of learning the methods, but one must be an Abraham to learn the methods. If a Lot is learning them, the best methods will not work because he is a person living in the world. He has not dealt with the world and his position. Today we must apply God’s light to see if there are sins in us, great or small. Have we committed any unrighteousnesses? Do we owe anyone anything? Have we been loose in our conduct or wrong in our words, gestures, and attitudes? Are we still holding on to something? All of these big and small sins affect our ability to know God’s will.

(How to Know God's Will, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)