How do I know if I’m doing what God wants?

“If you’re doing the right thing, “you’ll like it and it’ll be for you to do,” says Victoria, 8. Lots of people today would agree. They say, “If it feels good, do it.”

What if a bank robber has fun stealing money? Does that make it right?

“If nothing bad happens to you then you know it’s OK to do,” says Jeremy, 9.

Hey Jeremy! Some murderers and robbers never get caught.

“If you don’t want to tell your parents, it’s not what God wants you to do,” says Lacey, 12. Does this include the time my friend Deb wrote her brother’s name in the dust on her dad’s new car?

Deb was sick when she heard her dad yell at her brother for messing up the car, but not sick enough to tell Dad the truth right away.

“If you’re doing something wrong, the Holy Spirit will convict you,” says Jannae, 9.

How does the Holy Spirit convict us? “He tells us in our sleep,” says Morgan, 7. Ummm. Do I have to wait until bedtime and listen for a big voice saying, “Noooo” in my dreams?

The Holy Spirit is more than a mystical feeling. He is a person. The earthly life of Jesus Christ is described as being led or filled with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1). In this, Jesus set the example for all who believe in him. “If you have Jesus in your heart, the Holy Spirit will tell you what God’s will is,” says Shelby, 10.

Often this kind of assurance only comes from spending time alone with God, says Grace, 8: “I can hear him in my mind when nobody is around me.” In the midst of Jesus’ ministry, he often sought solitude to pray.

Spending time alone with God is good, but don’t overlook the obvious, says Brad, 6: “I read the Bible.”

Sometimes we make divine guidance too complex. About the only thing I remember from high school algebra is that there’s an unknown “X” factor. The only hope I had for discovering the unknown “X” factor was to focus on the known quantities.

The Bible is the known or revealed Word of God. By focusing on what God has revealed, the unknown often becomes known. If you’re tempted to steal a candy bar, don’t ask God about that. He already told us his will: “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).

“The Bible is God’s special instruction book for you to read and check your progress,” says Heather, 12. Madison, 7, says it’s important to read the Bible and then obey. She knows God’s will because she’s a “hearer and a doer.”

Why should God disclose his will about a career choice, a relationship, or any number of personal decisions if we aren’t acting on what he has already explained in the Scriptures? If we are doers of his revealed will, then the experience of Thomas, 12, will certainly be ours: “You can hear him in your heart saying, ‘Good job!'”

Hey Thomas! That’s the feeling Deb got when she did the right thing and told her dad she was the one who messed up his car.

Think about this: Focus on doing God’s known will before you ask God about his unknown will.

Memorize this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Ask this question: Are you doing the revealed will of God today?

— Carey Kinsolving. To access free, online “Kids Color Me Bible” books, “Mission Explorers” videos, a new children’s musical, and all columns in a Bible Lesson Archive, visit To read journey-of-faith feature stories written by Carey Kinsolving, visit



© 2017 Carey Kinsolving