Like most of you, I really want to know and do God’s will for my life. So, I pray for wisdom, I stay in fellowship with him, I seek guidance through his Word, and I trust him to keep me on the right path. That’s how I know God’s will for my life.

But sometimes I miss the path. I seek God’s will and ask for wisdom, but I just don’t make the best decision and, looking back on it, I think, “I should have done something else.” However, this doesn’t mean I’m out of God’s will for my life!

When your child is twelve years old, she will not be equipped to make decisions as wise as you. But as an obedient child, based on what she’s been taught for twelve years and on what she’s observed of you, she will try to make good choices. When she fails, as a good parent, you bail her out. You teach her the error of her decision so she will learn and grow, but you don’t hold her accountable for a 25-year-old decision when she is only twelve.

We are God’s children. He deals with us as a perfect Father. As you grow in his grace and knowledge, you are more and more equipped to know his mind, make better decisions, and stay in his way more perfectly. But even when you miss it, your life is not ruined. He puts you back on the right path and guides you.

In your day-to-day environment as you’re faced with all kinds of decisions—large and small—you don’t have to go into panic mode over every decision, worried as to what is God’s will. Many times you must make immediate decisions but, if you’ve consistently prayed for God’s wisdom and you’re living in obedience to his word, the mind of Christ in you will guide your decisions and keep you in God’s will.

You don’t need to live in fear of missing God’s will, nor in confusion as to what it is. God does not give us a spirit of fear, as we read in James 1:5-8.

Knowing God’s will is primarily a function of your relationship with Jesus. Just as an obedient child knows what her parents would want her to do because she knows her parents—she’s lived with them, talked with them, and listened to them many times—so as God’s child, you can go through your life without fear of missing God’s will because you know God. The longer you know him and the better you know him, the easier it is to know his will.