Finding God’s will for your life is essential, but it’s just the beginning. Once you start moving in God’s direction, you have a big target painted on your back. Satan will do everything he can to stop you. If you don’t bump into the devil, it’s because you both are headed in the same direction.
You’re going to have all kinds of problems trying to follow God’s will. You can definitely learn from hard knocks. I certainly have. But I don’t recommend it. There is a better way. You can learn from somebody else’s hard knocks.
This is exactly what the Scripture has to say:
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:6-11
This is very clear that the reason all these things are listed is so that you don’t have to learn everything the hard way. See the way that God dealt with these people and their actions, and learn from their example.
I’ve made my share of mistakes as I’ve followed the Lord, but I’ve also avoided many of them through taking instruction from the Scripture. I want to share with you from the life of Moses some of the things God showed me. If you can receive this—if you can read it not only as a Bible story but take the lessons you see in Moses’ life and then apply them directly to your life—it will be a tremendous benefit. I can promise you that this lesson from Moses’ life is relevant to every single person.
Exodus 2:11-15 says,
And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.  And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.  And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?  And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.  Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.
If you only took this passage of Scripture, then you could read into it and suppose some of the things that Cecil B. DeMille depicted in The Ten Commandments. For instance, in the movie, Moses did not know he was Hebrew. So, when he went out and killed this Egyptian, he did it just because he was a nice guy who took up for the underdog. But if you have an overview of the entire Word of God, you’ll discover that’s not how it happened.
In Acts 7:23, Stephen, speaking of Moses, said,
And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.
In other words, he knew he was Jewish. God had started this whole thing by laying it on Moses’ heart to go “visit his brethren the children of Israel.”
Acts 7:24-25 reads,
And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:  For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
This totally changes everything! This means that when Moses killed this Egyptian, it wasn’t something that just happened. Moses knew God’s will for his life. He knew that God had called him to bring deliverance to the Jews. When he killed this Egyptian, he was actually trying to bring God’s will to pass. He expected the Jews to rally behind him. His purpose was to lead them out of captivity and into the Promised Land. But he totally missed God’s plan. It was an utter failure!
The significance of this to you and me is tremendous! And here’s one of the first points I want to get across. I just pray that God will open up your heart and help you receive this: Knowing God’s will for your life is a very small part of you following and fulfilling that will.
That comes as a total shock to most people. Most people think, God, just show me what You want me to do, and praise God, I can take care of it from here. But, actually, the Scripture teaches a much different attitude. Once you know God’s will for your life, the next step—and maybe even a more important step—is finding out how to follow and fulfill His will.
In our society today, a lot people believe that the end justifies the means. As long as they get from here to there, it doesn’t matter how they do it. That kind of logic has led to people making compromises. They’ll do all kinds of things—operate in dishonesty, stab other people in the back, and do just about anything—as long as they feel they’re fulfilling God’s will. Moses actually killed this Egyptian, thinking that murder would produce God’s will. That’s how far off base we can get when we lean to our own understanding (Prov. 3:5).
People often take a word from God, make a paragraph out of it, and are out there in self-will. Or, like Moses, they take the word and try to make it happen without asking God about the timing. I see this all the time. There is a right way and a wrong way to accomplish things. There is God’s way, and there is a selfish way.
It’s not enough just to know that God has called you and that He has put an anointing on your life; you need to develop the character and the maturity to accurately represent Him. How you get from never having ministered for the Lord to fulfilling that call is every bit as important as recognizing the call on your life. One of the reasons we have a Bible college and go to the effort that we do is because of this very thing. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). Preparation time is never wasted time.
I hope you’re really getting this. For you to know what God wants you to do is wonderful, and that’s powerful. It’s a great privilege to have God reveal His will to you. I’m not diminishing that. But that is just the beginning step. That’s like opening the door. You have not arrived. You are not complete. It is every bit as important to understand how to follow His will for your life as it is to know what His will is.Moses also missed God’s timing. That cost him forty years in the wilderness and the children of Israel thirty years’ extra bondage. That’s not what anyone wants.