God desires that every believer walks according to His will and perfect plan. He longs to see us always on track and aligned with His original plan for our lives.
Micah 6:8 (NIV) 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.”
We need to walk with God and in His will. But this is not always easy as it may sound. Sometimes challenges and frustrations can make us stray from the will of God. Pleasures, passions, and desires of this world can make us forget about God’s will.
How Do People Stray from the Will of God?
It is difficult to tell if you are not walking in God’s will. We realize this when we are already facing the side effects. A perfect example of someone who strayed from the will of God in the Bible was Jonah.
God had called him to go and preach in Nineveh. But Jonah did not want to heed the voice of the Lord. He tried to run away from the will of God, (Jonah 1:1-3).
Jonah thought that he was doing the right thing by running away. He only came to realize that he was going against the will of God when the consequence of his action arose.
God tried to make Jonah’s journey to Tarshish difficult by sending a great wind, (Jonah 1:4). It was until Jonah was in the stomach of the fish that he chose to get back on track to the will of God.
Christians stray from the will of God when they choose to follow their own selfish desires. The moment you start gratifying the desires of the flesh, you are straying from the will of God.
Signs You Are Not in God’s Will.
There are various signs that can indicate you are not in God’s will. It is important to examine our lives regularly to ensure we are aligned to His plans for us. Highlighted below are 13 signs that can indicate you are not in God’s will:
1. When You Experience No Peace in Whatever You Are Doing.
The Bible says that God gives peace that transcends the understanding of men. This is the kind of peace that is experienced in good and in bad times. However, this will not be the case if you are not in God’s will.
If you are constantly anxious, stressed, and worried, it may indicate that you are not in God’s will. We are called to cast our fears, worries, and anxiety to God through prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving.
This means that when we pray, we should feel a sense of calmness in our minds. If this doesn’t happen, it could be that we have strayed from the will of God.
2. When You Experience No Joy.
If you are not experiencing joy in your life, it may indicate that you are not in God’s will. A life that doesn’t align with the will of God is always full of frustrations.
Jonah’s journey to Tarshish was filled with frustrations. He experienced no joy until when he called on God while in the stomach of the fish.
3. When You Feel Lost and Unsure.
You lose a sense of direction when you start walking against the will of God. If you feel lost and unsure of what you are supposed to do in life, it may indicate that you are not in God’s will. God has a purpose and plan for your life, and when you are in His will, you will have a clear direction.
Psalms 37:23-24 (NIV) says, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” God directs the paths of those who walk according to His will. He talks to us in a still voice to show us the way.
Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”” When you are not in His will, He automatically stops to guide your footsteps.
4. When You Feel Like You Are Not Growing Spiritually.
If you are not growing in your relationship with God, it may indicate that you are not in His will. When you are in God’s will, you will experience spiritual growth and maturity.
He is the one who grants us the grace to grow to spiritual maturity. It is His Spirit that helps us do things that are significant for our growth and development. The Spirit of God leaves us when we start straying from the will of God.
5. When You Are Not Experiencing Growth in Your Endeavors.
God promises to bring us to growth and prosperity.Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
He is the one who brings our plans and efforts to fruition. When God establishes our plans, we experience growth in our careers, businesses, families and ministries. But, before He establishes our plans, we must have committed them to Him.
Committing our plans to God is one way of walking in His will. When we fail to do this, we will experience stagnation. We cannot see any progress or growth if we do things our way. God limits our growth, and at times makes us go through losses so that we may stop doing things our way and obey His will.
6. When You Are Not Experiencing Happiness in Your Relationships.
If you are not experiencing fulfillment in your relationships with others, it may be a sign that you are not in God’s will. God wants us to have healthy relationships with others. But, when we force Him to accept relationships that He did not intend for us, we will never experience true joy.
When the Israelites insisted on having a king rule over them, God heeded their plea. Despite all the warnings that God gave them, they still wanted to be ruled by a king like other nations. Later on, the king oppressed them.
They experienced no happiness during the reign of their first king. They went back to God crying. God’s blessings add no sorrow, but wealth, prosperity, and happiness. Relationships are part of God’s blessings for us. If we find no happiness, but sorrow in them, then it is clear that we are not in God’s will.
7. When You Are Not Experiencing Provision.
God may use lack, starvation, and hardship to make you realize that you are not in His will. When the people of Israel sinned against God, he used drought and famine to make them come back to their senses. They suffered hunger, thirst, and starvation to remind them that they were straying from His will.
Psalms 37:19 (NIV) says, “In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.” As Christians, we are assured of God’s provision in abundance even when it is a season of famine. However, when we are not in His will, He withdraws His hand and stops providing for us.
Ezekiel 14:13-14 (NIV) – “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals,
even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
If you are struggling financially or not experiencing provision in other areas of your life, it may indicate that you are not in God’s will. God provides for His children; the righteous.
8. You Are Not Experiencing God’s Protection.
The Bible is filled with many verses that assure us of the protection of God. It mentions 365 times that we should not fear because He watches over us all the time.
Joshua 1:9 (NIV) says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
However, this only happens to those who walk according to His will. He protects His children from harm, evil, and tribulation. If you are constantly facing attacks or feeling vulnerable, it could be that you are not in God’s will. Feelings of fear, insecurity, worry, and anxiety are clear signs that you are not in God’s will.
9. When You Start Losing Small Battles.
Joshua 7:1-5 (NIV) – “But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.
Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.”
So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.”
The Israelites had been warned against taking the devoted things when they invaded Jericho. But, they strayed from the will of God by disobeying this instruction. When they went to war with Ai, a very small town with a few people, they were defeated.
The inhabitants of Ai killed some of them and chased the rest. This forced them to turn back to God. Whenever you notice that you are losing every small battle to the enemy, it could mean that you are not in God’s will. God fights for His people, but doesn’t do so to those who are not in His will.
10. When Your Prayer Life Becomes Dry.
Prayer is essential for a perfect relationship with God. It is a discipline through which we communicate with Him.
God, through His word, instructs us to pray without ceasing. If you are finding it hard to pray, it may be a sign that you are not in God’s will.
11. When You Don’t Experience God’s Blessings for a Long Time.
God is a loving Father who blesses His children with every good thing from heaven. Sometimes, He blesses us even when we haven’t asked Him to do so. But, as we read the scriptures in Deuteronomy 28, we find that He blesses those who obey Him.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (NIV) – “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.”
If you have not seen any blessing in your life for a long time, check if you are in God’s will.
12. When You Experience Frequent Burnouts.
It is normal to burn out after doing a heavy workload or after long hours of work. But, it is not normal to wear out after every two minutes of trying to do something.
Frequent burnouts indicate that the grace of God is not upon you. It indicates that what you are trying to do does not align with the will of God.
13. When Too Much Effort Yields Minimal Results.
There are times when we force ourselves to do something that God has not called us to do. We experience difficulties from the beginning, but we choose to ignore them and push on.
At the end of it all, what we gain is very little compared to what we have invested in it. This happens when we are not in God’s will.
If you are experiencing any of the above signs, take time to examine your life and seek God’s guidance. Ask Him to reveal His will for your life, and make the necessary changes to align yourself with it.
God wants the best for you; when you are in His will, you will experience His blessings and favor.