Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7
I think it might be helpful for some if I were to use a little acrostic, PEACE, on how to know the will of God. None of us want to be deceived when we are open. How may we know we are not being deceived?
First, is it Providential? In other words, if you are praying whether to do this or that, does it fall in place? Do you have to nudge the arm of providence, or does it just happen?
Second, Enemy. Always put this in the computer when you are wanting to know the will of God: What will the devil think? Would it please or displease him?
Third, Authority. What does the Bible say? Is it biblical, in other words. The Holy Spirit will never lead us to embrace what is contrary to Holy Scripture.
Fourth, Confidence. What does this do for your own confidence? Your own assurance? Sense of well-being? Because whenever you are in the will of God, it will increase your sense of confidence. It always does that. When you are lacking in confidence, there is something wrong. If what you are about to do diminishes your confidence, there is something wrong.
Fifth, Ease. Does this decision give you a feeling of ease? "To thine own self be true," as Shakespeare put it.
So PEACE. That is how to know the will of God. Now this acrostic can be a kind of guide, and yet, if you develop the godly habit, you will not necessarily need this. I do not say it will not be helpful, but that it will simply confirm what you have found to be true anyway.
Excerpted from Are You Stone Deaf to the Spirit or Rediscovering God? (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1994, 1999).