The Five Main Processes for Knowing and Living God’s Plans for Your Life

The Simple (not always easy) Steps Everyone of Us Can Learn and Do

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

One of the questions I’ve asked myself over the years is “what is my part in living out God’s plans and purposes for my life?”

I know God is always faithful to do His part, but it’s obvious what we do really matters as well. God has good plans for all of us, but not everyone lives out those plans because they didn’t do their part.

How to live out all of God’s purposes for my life is something I’ve studied, experimented with, prayed about, and interacted with many dedicated people to see if I could put the many steps into a few, doable, memorable ideas.

At some point, I realized that the greatest information in the world does us no good if we don’t understand it and can’t remember it.

In over 40 years of following Jesus, pastoring churches, working with leaders, and tons of study, this is where I’ve settled as the five most important processes. (*I’m using “processes” instead of “steps” because there are many aspects to each of these.)

This is always my #1 simply because Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

The idea here is so clear and simple; it is really hard to misinterpret it.

To me, this is the #1 key to everything in living life the way God designed it. If we want to live fruitful lives, from God’s perspective, it can only happen when we stay connected to Jesus, the ONLY true vine.

Jesus is THE ONLY true source of divine life. When we stay connected to Him, His life flows into us and we can bear much fruit in every area of life He has called us to engage with..

Apart from Him, from God’s perspective, we can do NOTHING.

Abiding in Jesus is possible for every single one of us, it is God’s design for all people. The more we learn to do it, the more godly fruit we will bear.

2. How to Grow and Change.

God’s plans for our personal development is at the highest possible level.

God’s plan for every singe one of us is that we would be transformed into the image of Jesus in character, virtues, and impact.. (Romans 8:29, Ephesians 4:15).

There is no higher level of life possible outside of being God (which we are not and never will be)., that being formed in Christlikeness.

Plus, growth and transformation towards the image of Jesus will also be required to keep fulfilling God’s unique purposes for our lives..

Executive coach Marshall Goldsmith wrote a book titled, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. One of the main points of the book is that in order to keep progressing in our vocations, we’ll need to develop new skills at each progressing level.

What we have learned and developed to get us to this level of leadership and influence, won’t be enough to get to the next level.

The same is true in living God’s purposes. To keep progressing in God’s purpose plans for us, growth and transformation will be required.

Thankfully both the Bible and lots of really good science are teaching us how we can see noticeable, lasting change happen in our lives.

Oh, and researchers have proven we can keep growing and changing as long as we live, if we do the right practices consistently. Old dogs can learn new tricks. (Look up “neuroplasticity.” for really encouraging research.)

3. How to Receive God’s Guidance.

Jesus said one of the most important keys to His success in living out the plans of God was that He did what He saw the Father doing. (John 5:19).

God in the flesh, didn’t just do what He wanted, He submitted Himself to the directives of the Father and did what the Father showed Him.

None of us has as clear and on-going communication directly from the Father at the same level as Jesus. We all still deal with sin and sin has a way of partially blocking our vision or distorting God’s voice to us.

But we can all increase our percentages. The more we get God’s written word inside us, the more easily we will be able to recognize God’s guidance in areas not specifically covered in Scripture.

When the Bible is clear on an issue, we do not need any other confirmation from God. God isn’t going to change His mind on that issue.

But in decisions like, “should I take this job?” “Should I marry this person?” “Should I get involved in this ministry?”, the more we learn to abide in Jesus the higher our knowing God’s will percentage will go up.

None of us gets it right every time, but this is an area we should and can improve with practice.

4. How to Know Your Specific Purposes

I agree with Rick Warren, that there are five main purposes in life. Getting clear on those purposes is an awesome way to set up a biblical framework for our lives.

When people think of “purpose”, they typically think of the work or ministry God has planned for them. Though that is really important, that is not the only purpose.

The other 4 purposes work together with our calling or work purpose so we live complete lives or that we “grow up in ALL aspects” in Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)

Having said that, everyone steps into a new level of energy, drive, and excitement when they get clear on the main work God has called them to do.

Thankfully, there are some simple steps we can take to get clear on why we are here.

5. How to Accomplish God’s Purposes.

In John 17:4, shortly before His death Jesus prayed, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

We all want to glorify God with our lives. One of the best ways to do that is to follow Jesus’ example of accomplishing the work God has given us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 says God prepared good works ahead of time for us to do.

By learning the combinations of abiding in Jesus, following the Holy Spirit’s guidance, managing our time, talent, and treasures, teamwork, planning, etc. we can learn to turn God’ dreams into reality.

The main work/ministry God calls us to will have high percentages of fulfillment and/or enjoyment attached to them. God intentionally gave us specific gifts and passions/interests that will energize us as we keep Jesus our top priority.(Psalm 37:4)

Quick Review

Five essential processes we can all learn and implement to live God’s plans and purposes for our lives are:

These are five processes we can all learn and do. As we keep growing in them, we will increasingly live life at the highest possible level and make the greatest possible impact in our world.

If you want more resources on how to do these 5 Processes, head over to for a free book and on-going teaching and encouragement.



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Mark Furlong

Helping busy, active people know and live all of God’s purposes for their life: the complete life.,