I received a message from a friend who is facing a big decision. And so the person asked, "How do you know if something is or isn't God's will?"
I hope my answer will help you...
Honestly, it's hard to know sometimes...but here are some simple steps.
Obviously #1 is does Scripture tell you not to... no brainer right?
Then, does it complement or complicate your life? Will moving forward or saying yes to the opportunity complement your walk with Christ? If you are married will it complement your relationship with each other... and your children? Or does it complicate or conflict with your priorities... ex: if a new job will take you away from family more or for longer periods of time then you would need to be very careful. [This would be a great conversation starter for a couple as they consider a new opportunity.]
And then, is there a sense of peace or a check in your spirit. This is different than fear or uncertainty. Sometimes you can be scared to do what you should... but if there is a check in your spirit that something is wrong, you should slow stop. I have faced many life-changing decisions in my life. Sometimes it was really scary. But while there was a level of fear of the unknown, there was peace that this was the right move for us.
For example, over thirty years ago my wife and I decided to move to Memphis TN to attend Seminary. Neither of us had jobs lined up. We had just enough money to make it a couple of months, but we had an overwhelming sense of peace that this was exactly what we should do. We did and it was the most awesome move we could have ever made. It moved us out of our comfort zones at every level. We left all family connections 800 miles behind. We had each other and Jesus! And it was the best thing we could have ever done, period!
Two things: If you make a move that turns out to have been a mistake. There is more than enough grace and mercy to help you grow through the difficulty. There is no place you can't choose to fall deeper in love with Jesus and with each other. There is no place like a hard place to help you prioritize your life.
However, I must warn you, if you have ignored God's word and deceived yourself or your mate,there will be consequences. If you have ignored every warning and every check in your spirit, no amount of regret or even repentance can remove the consequences.
Listen! If we have a habit in our life of ignoring or disobeing God's direction in the simple areas of our life, it is very likely we will ignore and disobey God's directions in the complex decisions. Be careful.