How May I Find Out the Will of God? -- By: William M. Anderson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:409 (Jan 1946)
Article: How May I Find Out the Will of God?
Author: William M. Anderson

How May I Find Out the Will of God?

William M. Anderson

[Editor’s Note: The following sermon was delivered by the brilliant pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, January 8, 1928. During his pastorate Dr. Anderson served Dallas Seminary as vice president.]

You noticed on the leaflet, perhaps, that the subject tonight is stated in the form of a question: “How may I find out the will of God in any matter?” It is a right interesting question. There are a good many people in the world who would like to know what the will of God is for their lives. There are not many people in the world who have any consciousness of their relation to God but who sometime or other reach a place and face a position where they would like to know how to find out God’s will. In casual conversation I have just noticed it this past week, for eight people in the past week have indicated to me that they would like to know what God’s will is, and two people have telephoned me this past week whom I did not know, and have said to me: “I am facing a great crisis in my life, and I am asking you, although you do not know me, if you will pray for God to lead me to the right decision.” I had already this subject in mind and had announced it some weeks before. I do not know whether they saw the subject and that made them think of calling on me, or whether it just chanced, if things chance, that they called me this particular week, but it impressed my mind all the more with the fact that people who feel some relationship to God and some obligation to God would like to know how to find His will, if it is possible.

I suppose there are a dozen, or a score of things, that will occur to any one’s mind who might undertake to speak in answer to this subject. I have tried to limit the reply I

make, both as to time and parts, so that it might not be too tedious and complicated. How can you find out what God’s will is? There are all sorts of ways which might be taken into consideration, surely, but I believe, and I have backed it with some little experience of my own and with wide experience of others, there are about five essential things, and at least I am going to recommend them to you tonight, not at all insisting that I am completely answering the question, not thinking that I am, nor at all imagining for a moment I am completely exhausting the subject. I told you not long ago that they told us down in the Seminary we would occasionally exhaust ourselves, often exhaust the congregation, but never exhaust the text; so I know I cannot exhaust the text tonight, even if I exhaust the congregation and the preacher.

How may I know the will of God about some problem in my life—whether it is a...

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