For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother. Mark 3:25
What is God’s will for you?
I don’t have any statistics to show you, but ‘What is God’s will,’ is arguably one of the most frequently asked questions by Christians, regardless if they are mature believers or young in the faith. It’s a great question to ask by the way, as it demonstrates the disciple’s desire to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, and not the ways of the world or their own flesh. Many who ask the question are looking for a specific directive from the Lord; should I go here, should I purchase that, or should I marry so-and-so. What might surprise you is that finding the answers to those questions, and many more, are found in God’s word. Perhaps I should qualify that last sentence – the answer to any specific question pertaining to the will of God, begins in the Bible.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
We could really end the post right here, with Matthew 6:33 — seek God first, and in His perfect timing, He’ll provide His response. However we might now ask what it means to seek according to the Bible.
Seeking God’s Will
Here’s a collection of passages from the Bible that are relevant to the subject. It’s not an exhaustive list, but nevertheless, by consistently putting these God-breathed principles into practice, we will situate ourselves beneath the spout where God’s blessings pour out. After all, the best place to seek water is at the water’s source — ascribing to these tenets puts us in a superior position to receive abundantly from the Lord. Simply put, the closer we are to Jesus, the better we’ll hear what He’s saying.
“Now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.” Romans 1:10
This is as good a place as any to start this quest. The Apostle Paul prefaced this [Romans 1:10] verse by telling us a little bit about his walk with Jesus Christ and what seeking looks like to him. He begins his epistle to the Romans by telling us that he is a bondservant to Christ. That’s huge. Paul is saying,
I’m all in for Jesus. He is my Master and I am his willing servant. Whatever He says, I am going to do.”
Are you all in?
If you’re not, then you need to know right now, that you’re not going to hear His voice very clearly. Being all in does not mean that you will be perfect. Paul wasn’t perfect and this side of Heaven, neither will you be. But if it is your desire to be perfect, God will pick you up each time you stumble and give you another opportunity to improve. Paul tells us what all in looks like — he was a born-again believer, separated to the gospel of God (not distracted by worldly things), obedient to God and the call He placed on his life, grateful to God, subject to God, and persistent in prayer to God. “Do these things,” Paul might say, “and you’re all in.” Truth be told, you will be doing God’s will also.”
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
Whose image are you conforming yourself to: Christ’s or the world’s?
Again, the more we’re in the world and practicing what the world does, the further away we are from the counsel and wisdom of Jesus. Obviously we’re all in the world, but the question is, how much of the world is in us? How much are we influenced by television, movies, video games, magazines, sports, fashion, food, and the like? It’s not my intent to be legalistic, but as a matter of confession I’ll tell you I removed cable TV from my home. I wasn’t watching porn, but what I was watching was not pleasing to the Lord. Furthermore, I gave up an obsession for golf, secular music and media, drinking, gossip, some acquaintances, and a bunch of other unhealthy stuff, not because I was into legalism, but because they were making me deaf. I wanted to hear Jesus better.
“Be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” Ephesians 6:5-7
This passage has much to say about our attitude towards God and to those who have authority over us, whether it be a parent, a boss or co-worker, or government official. It begins by reminding children to obey their parents because it’s right in the eyes of the Lord. We’re also reminded that honoring our parents comes with the promise of living well and living long. Additionally, parents are admonished to not purposely aggravate the kids, while at the same time raising them in accordance with God’s teaching. In regard to our employers, we’re to be obedient and sincere in the work that we do for them, not because they’ll like us, or we’ll get a raise, or maybe some extra time off, but because it’s pleasing to God. If we’re not doing these things, it’s going to interfere with what God is desiring to tell us.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Hopefully you’re already in abstinence-mode, but you need to make sure. What types of imagery do you allow to cross your eye and ear gates? For instance, do you think it’s of no consequence to watch an R-rated movie? Well, it might not keep you out of Heaven, but it will affect your hearing. Jesus wants us to take possession of our vessel and put it aside for His good purposes. If we’re lusting after anything, we’re seeking inappropriately. Christ cleansed us as a major part of His redemption process, and He wants us to stay that way. Dirty ears hinder our hearing.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10-22
This passage is the familiar portion of a larger twelve-verse section that we need to tackle. It addresses how we should live in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, comfort and edify one another, recognize each other’s efforts, warn others, esteem others, support the weak, and demonstrate patience all the while. We’re to Father-filter everything – if it smells bad (from a Biblical perspective), we aren’t to do it, and if it smells good, we’re to latch on to it. The passage continues — rejoice always, pray always, be grateful always, and above all, don’t reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t snub God! If you do that, you’re essentially sticking your fingers in your ears when He speaks.
“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:15
Yes — do the good things we’ve been talking about. The Bible teaches that in us (that is, in our flesh) nothing good dwells. That’s why we’ve died to our flesh and long to do the good things God has instructed us to do. Why do we do them? Because it’s His will that we do them and we want to please Him! When we do this, our hearing improves, and the reason for that just might be because our behavior has silenced God’s enemies.
“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17
Are you suffering any kind of persecution for actively and obediently walking with Jesus? Are you teased or mocked when you share your faith? Have you ever been told to stop? Have you ever been arrested, beaten up, stoned, or martyred? Good! Keep it up! It demonstrates that you’re doing something right. If you should ever stop ‘acting like a Christian,’ because of these things (aside from martyrdom of course), you’ll notice that your ability to hear God has diminished.
“Stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” Colossians 4:12b
Is that too much to ask for?
We’ve already established that we’re not perfect, nor are we complete. But you know what? Technically we’re not saved yet either. What I mean to say is, we are saved (that is, we’ve been pulled into the SS Salvation lifeboat), but as passengers, we haven’t been picked up yet. Does that make sense to you? The same can be said about our health – we are all healed by the stripes Christ sustained on our behalf, but we’re not all healed yet. In one sense it’s ours, we own it, but we’ve yet to catch up to it. We’re healed, we’re saved, and we’re standing perfect, because by His grace we have received it, and we will take full delivery when we cross over to be with Jesus forever.
So what is God’s will?
His will is to give to His children when they ask, to reveal Himself, to judge the secrets of men, to destroy those who defile, to bring us home, and to dry our tears. Follow Jesus closely, and when you have a specific question regarding His will for your life, you’ll hear His answer. As I said at the beginning, this is not an exhaustive list. The overall theme I was hoping to convey can be summarized in one word — obedience. If it is our desire to be obedient to God in all things, especially those directives revealed in His word, then we will be well on our way towards recognizing the voice of God when He speaks.
This is God’s will for you.
Did you enjoy the blog? I am blessed that you stopped in to read it and I pray that you were blessed as well. If you liked the post, please share it, like it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment. God bless.
Read Full Post »