Why do we make doing God's will so difficult? Why do we find God's will to be so confusing?
It's not God's fault! He makes his will pretty clear in scripture. In Micah (6:8), he tells us that all he requires is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with him. In 1 Thessalonians (5:16-18), Paul tells us that God's will is for us to "rejoice always; pray continually; and give thanks in all circumstances."
But if you're anything like me, God's will has always been presented to you as mysterious, something that you hope to stumble upon and then hope that you stay on.
I think the confusion comes in because we try to get ahead of God. We try to lead God instead of follow him. In Judges 10-12, Jephthah leads Israel to a great victory because he was empowered by God's Spirit. But he couldn't bring himself to simply follow God, he had to get ahead of God.
Even though he had God's Spirit leading him to victory he made a vow to God that if God would deliver Israel then Jephthah would offer a burnt sacrifice to God of the first thing that came out of his house when he returned. When he returned home, the first thing he saw was his only daughter...and he sacrificed her, becoming the pagan idolater he sought to deliver.
Instead of cooperating with God and God's Spirit to do God's will, he tried to lead God, to get ahead of God, to make God do what he thought God should do.
You also are empowered by God's Spirit to do his will (Acts 2:38-39; Eph. 1:14; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19). Cooperate with him through the spiritual disciplines of loving him and others, acting justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with him, rejoicing always, praying continually, and giving thanks in all things. God will lead you. And when he leads, follow him.
Sermon: Doing God's Will (Judges 10-12; Jephthah)