In my years of service as a pastor, many people have come to me with questions concerning knowing the will of God for their lives. You may have questions about this as well.
You may ask, "Well, pastor, how do I really know whether this is my will or God's will?" What I always tell people is that the will of God is following the desires of your heart.
You may respond to that by saying: "Well, pastor, how do I know whether it is my desire or God's desire? How can I tell the difference between the desires I have and those that God gives me?" My answer to that is, "If your heart is pure and you really desire to do the will of God, you don't have to worry about your desires being wrong."
Titus 1:15 says, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" (KJV).
The only time you have to be concerned about your desires being wrong is when you are in rebellion, disobedience, lust, or some other type of sin. Then you have to be careful that you don't confuse your desires with God's desires. People in a sinful spiritual state will twist or pervert God's desires. But as long as you are pure, sincere and open before God, you can trust your desires because your heart is open to receive the desires of God rather than your own.
One of the primary ways God will lead you is by the desires of your heart. For example. If you are supposed to have a teaching ministry, God will give you the desire to teach. You will have a burning desire to teach. Jeremiah had a prophetic ministry. He was called to give the word of the Lord, and when he tried to suppress it, the desire to prophesy became like fire shut up in his bones.
You need to judge your own heart. If it is found to be pure and you are sincere, then follow the desires of your heart because God will lead you by dropping things into your spirit (that is, your heart). I believe it is the same for getting a rhema word from God.
As long as your heart is right and your motives are pure, you don't need to fear deception. God will always answer those who are pure in heart. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matt. 5:8). God will give you revelation, and He will show you things to come.
Ask God to keep you pure of heart and able to discern a false prophet. You will often know them by their fruits (see Matt. 7:16,20; Luke 6:44). Do not let the existence of counterfeit prophecy deter you from receiving the real thing. That would be like deciding not to pay for purchases with dollar bills because you have heard that people manufacture counterfeit ones.
There have been many times when I went to a meeting confused about the specifics concerning the will of God for my life. I just did not know how to accomplish what I felt He was telling me to do. I needed to hear God speak to my situation. But because the sermon was "general" in nature, an all-purpose good message, I would leave in the same state in which I came, and I would not have an opportunity to receive prophetic ministry, which is what I needed most.
It wasn't until I started seeking a rhema word from God that I got the direction I needed for my life. You will also get the direction you need for your life if you open up your heart to the word of the Lord through personal prophecy and go to local assemblies where the believers flow accurately in the prophetic gift. Thank God for the gift of prophecy.
Adapted from God Still Speaks by John Eckhardt, copyright 2009, published by Charisma House. Building from a biblical foundation, Eckhardt incorporates his own experiences and those from people in his church to help you understand how to hear and receive the prophetic word of the Lord for you, your family, church and community. To order a copy click on this link: