I was talking to a friend today and we were discussing this great mysterious thing called God's will. Like a lot of people, I used to be guilty quite often of feeling impressed to do something and calling it God's will. Many times those projects would fail and I would look pretty stupid because I told the world it was God's will. I've come to believe that in most of life's situations, God's will cannot be known until after the fact.
I think we overly spiritualize our lives by calling everything God's will. Many times if we simply don't want to do something we will say something like "that's not God's will for my life." Many people have justified sin by calling it God's will. I've had a few people inform me that God directed them to divorce their spouse. I've also seen several guys in bible college inform young ladies that God told them it was His will that the two of them be married (when God had not yet informed the young lady of this fact.)
This is what I know based on observation and life experience. God can strongly impress on people what his will for their life is. My experience is that it is usually in the broad strokes and rarely in the details. For instance, there is only one thing in my life that I can say difinitively was God's will for me. That was God calling me to preach. I felt so strongly about that decision that it was almost as if I had no choice in the decision at all. I have never felt that strongly about anything else. How I've used that calling to preach, has not always been as clear. I've made some good career moves and a few bad ones, but I've always felt I was in His will if I was preaching.
I know some people will disagree with me, but I would even say the same thing about my decision to marry Jamie. Jamie is the girl for me and I love her very much, but I think it boiled down more to a decision based on emotion, chemistry, and compatability, than one based on whether it was God's will or not.
I believe people would be much wiser to not be so quick to label their choices as God's will. We all are presented with a series of decisions in life. Decisions about relationships, careers, purchases, and a million other things. Christians have such a strong desire to please God, that we want all our decisions to be "God's will". I think God just wants us to live our lives for him and make the best decisions we can based on guidance from the Bible and our circumstances. Sometimes we'll make the wisest decision and sometimes not so much, but it doesn't necessarily have to mean we are out of God's will. If it's not sin and it doesn't go against the one or two things you know are God's will for your life (i.e. - preaching or being a great husband and dad or reaching the lost or giving to the poor or whatever), then it's probably OK.
What are your thoughts on God's will?