But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! – John 15:7 (NLT)
Many times as Christians, we get hung up on whether something is God’s will for us or not; you hear people saying I want this but I don’t know whether its God’s will for me or Let’s say I pray for something and I didn’t get it, i immediately assume that maybe its not God’s will for me. Many times in making more serious decisions such as picking a spouse, choosing a job or deciding what career to go into we are held up at knowing whether something is the will of God or not.
We search the scriptures for the answer but of course the bible doesn’t tell us whether you should marry James or Peter or whether to become a Doctor instead of an Engineer. In these times how can we confidently go on with our decisions with the full confidence that we are in the will of God?
Lets first examine what the word will means (in this context) – According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, WILL means to express desire, choice, willingness, consent and to have a wish or desire. So essentially, when we are seeking Gods will we want to know if something is his desire for us and if we have his consent to go ahead with it.
Having established that, lets examine some of the very obvious will(s) of God stated very clearly in the Bible;
- 1 Tim 2:3-4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;”
- 1 Peter 2:15 “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”
- Ephesians 5:17-18 “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God “
So from this will(s) above, its clear – God wants us to abstain from sexual immorality, be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, give thanks always, be filled with the Holy Spirit and do good.
Only if it was as easy as that; what about his will concerning marriage partners, whether I should eat or fast today, whether I should do an MBA now or get more work experience. To help us understand what the will of God is concerning these not-so-straight-forward things lets examine this scripture;
Romans 12:1 (NIV) – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1 (NLT) – “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
A thorough examination of this verse shows us that if we let God transform us into a new person by changing the way we think, we will be able to learn how to know God’s will for us which would be good, pleasing and perfect!
Isn’t it amazing that you can learn to know the will of God (whether something is God’s will for you or not) when your mind has been renewed? Even David says in Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” He knew what God’s will was by keeping God’s law within his heart and before his eyes.
My submission is this if you would develop the habit and practice of studying and meditating on the word of God, you will get to the stage where you would know whether you should buy a red or black car because your mind would be tuned to the mind of Christ and you will know what his will is intuitively.Also we need to realize that when we put priority on God’s word and have a constant hunger for his word and knowing his ways, God will lead us through the Holy Spirit in us to his will through our thoughts and desires.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:13
God will start doing a work in you and giving you desires for things which are his will and which will please you and him. This is what is happening when you just start having a nagging desire to call someone, or visit a place or bless someone with a material blessing or when all of a sudden it appears you are just seeing that friend in a new light; you begin to notice certain features that make them more and more attractive to you though you didn’t think them attractive before. You start having a desire to go somewhere do something or say something – that is God, working on your heart, giving you the desire and power to do something which is his will. At this stage what you desire and ask for will be granted because you are in God’s will and your heart is in sync with his. (John 15:7)
Many of us don’t even want the will of God in our lives because we believe it would be harsh, ugly and all shades of unpleasant but when your mind has been renewed with the word of God, you get to a point where what he wants is what you want, his desires are your desires and they are good, pleasing and perfect to you and him.
Further study on this: Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 13:20-21, Psalm 119:105, James 1:5, John 15:7
God bless you as you seek to know and walk in the will of God always (Amen).