Lewis: On Knowing God’s Will

Life lived outside of the will of God is not really life at all. That’s something I’ve learned from experience. C. S. Lewis, in a pithy comment in his science fiction book Perelandra, puts it this way: “To walk out of His will is to walk into nowhere.” That goes beyond truth; would it be permissible to call it “true truth”?

God's WillChristians should always be examining themselves to ensure they are not wandering around in “nowhere” territory. One of the most commonly asked questions is “How do I know if I’m in God’s will?” All too often, we want to rely on what we “feel” inside. In a letter to a correspondent who apparently was asking that common question, Lewis offers a caution:

I don’t doubt that the Holy Spirit guides your decisions from within when you make them with the intention of pleasing God. The error wd. be to think that He speaks only within, whereas in reality He speaks also through Scripture, the Church, Christian friends, books, etc.

Wise advice, I believe. If we are in a place where we’re not sure what the Lord wants us to do, we should avail ourselves of all the ways He makes his purposes known to us. I do believe that the inner witness of the Spirit is usually the final piece of the puzzle that must fall into place, but we must be wary of making it the first and only piece.