What is God's will for your life?
Is it really about what house to build, what car to buy? We've been hearing so much about finding the will of God especially before making big decisions, and then when you find that 'will', you need to stay in it. Like it's not hard enough to find it; now you'd have to stay holy to stay in the will of God.
Then there are those who say that there's such a thing as His 'permissive' will, and His 'perfect' will; Still there are those who talk about how God could place a group of doors in front of us, just for us to choose a door, and either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences.
But you see here how all this places people in bondage, which is actually far from the liberty upon which Christ has set us free!
So, what is God's will for your life?
God's Will Is Salvation.
- God's Will is actually obvious and clear and part of His will for us is, clearly, to be saved!
'The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.' - 2 Peter 3:9
God so loved the world, and that has never changed. There are no special groups and cadres that are saved, and there are no groups and people groups that are doomed to hell. It is God's will for everyone to come to the decision of believing in Christ and His finished work.
'This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.' - 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Again, 'ALL' is emphasized here. Take a look back at what you thought God's will was before, and compare it to what we are learning so far - If God's will is for you to be saved, isn't it nice to know that Christ's finished work guarantees your everlasting life a.k.a. your salvation? In other words, isn't it nice to know that as you have believed in Christ, that you have been placed and secured in God's will?
We're seeing that God's will is certainly not something hard to grasp or achieve.
God's will is salvation for the Gentiles and the Jews.
God was in the business of saving Jews and protecting Israel.. but, as Andrew Farley says, this is a news flash! God's salvation has been extended to the Gentiles as well as the Jews!
'He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.' - Ephesians 1:9-10
Is God's will a mystery? Yes, but He has made it known to us. It was a secret, but now it is revealed that His will is 'the summing up of all tings in Christ', not just in the heavens, but in the earth, where lives Jews AND Gentiles. Christ is the unifier that allows us to merge in spite of our diversity. God's will, in this context, is unity - unity with Him, and unity with each other, in spite of our color, our looks, our other affiliations.
'By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known... to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs.' - Ephesians 3:4-6
God's will is for the Gentiles to be made fellow heirs. Indeed, blessed are we in this generation where this is made obvious. We, Gentiles, are part of God's will.
Now, yes, there are choices we have to make, but these aren't choices such as the ideal spouse, or the best job, etc. but rather linked more to our attitudes. God's will is that we exude certain attitudes, that we take on certain mindsets... God's will relates to attitudes.
'Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Are you wondering what God's will is for you? There it is.
God's will for you is to Rejoice.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude of 'Wow! Amazing! Incredible! Awesome!' It's the attitude which comes from being absolutely overwhelmed by the Good News of Christ, the Gospel that saves and sets us free!
God's will for you is to Pray.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude which says, 'Father, I need you, and I know that we are united, and that You are alive in me, and I am alive in You.' This is the attitude of living FROM Christ, and not FOR Christ. The idea of praying without ceasing is not literally staying in prayer, but understanding that throughout your life, you would eventually comes to the attitude of talking to Dad, and letting Him know all that you see and feel, believing that He always wants to hear from you, always staying with you no matter what.
God's will for you is to Give Thanks.
God's will for us is to come to the attitude which is able to find a reasonable thing to thank God for in ALL circumstances. And because He is with us forever, in any event, this is a reason to give God thanks, and thanks in all things. It's not positive thinking, it's not faking it till we make it, but it's just that we recognize who God is and knowing He is always with us even in what the world says could be the worst that could happen.
What are we seeing here? It's not about God giving you the instructions to buy a certain camera, or to drive a certain direction at a given time, but it's about attitudes - attitudes which are, by the way, of Jesus Christ, - that are being worked in us day by day.
God's Will relates to actions.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality. - 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Paul continues by mentioning that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit , and should not be used for flippant things; it should be used in honor, knowing that you carry Christ within you.
Sanctification? You have been sanctified, set apart for a purpose. You are holy, blameless, and sanctified. You HAVE been sanctified. These are the actual daily choices - do you choose to use your body for Christ, do you set apart your temple for Him, or for sin and other purposes altogether?
Don't waste away time and energy chasing after sin, and letting your body be abused by sin, instead, waking up every day, and offering yourself to God as someone who is alive to Him, with a body that is holy and acceptable to Him, which is an act of worship! Worship isn't just music - 99% of our worship is any step taken in dependency to Christ who is alive within us.
'Now the God of peace... equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ...' - Hebrews 13:20-21
The pressure is off. Break it down: The writer of Hebrews prays that the God of peace - the God who is at peace with you, who likes you and loves you, may He equip you through the knowledge of Him - as you are equipped in your heart, may you continue to be equipped in the mind through the renewing of the mind. - in every good thing to rejoice, and to pray, and to give thanks in all things, through Jesus Christ who is alive in us.
In other words, as God is the One working through us, the pressure is off! It's no longer about the works you do, but the works that God has prepared in advance for you to walk right into them. God has designed you for good works - not just in a period of time, but in each and every day of your life! You be you, and you let Christ work in and through you! God is doing the work in you so that you can see what is pleasing in His sight!
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution... For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. - 1 Peter 2:13-15
Here, Peter talks about what it means to suffer, and how foolish it is to suffer for wrong reasons. Why suffer for a crime which goes against the rulers of the land, spending the rest of your life in bondage because you deserve it? Peter is also saying that if you are suffering for what you believe in Jesus, then so be it; it is an honor, but really, it's foolish to waste your time suffering as an evildoer.
God's will is for us to be sensible, that we walk in the wisdom of the Lord, that we do not waste time and energy doing foolish things like people who do not know Christ.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time... do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. - Ephesians 5:15-17
Before going any further, go back to what the current trend is regarding how most Christians believe regarding the Will of God; that you need to find it, and it's a tough road, and that you may need to get rid of all the sin in your life to find His will, and to get into His will, and to stay in His will.. and THEN you'll be okay with God.
Have we seen any of this funny business, this bondage? No, what we've seen so far in the Scripture is that God's will is salvation, that this salvation is for all (for Jew and Greek), that God cares about our attitudes in general (love, patience and kindness towards others), that God cares about our actions, and how we carry ourselves in a daily basis, caring for others, as temples of the Holy Spirit.
Is this hard to understand? It's not about being scared to make the next move lest you fall out of God's will, but sadly, this error has been more pervasive! No, God's will is big, it's Jesus Christ in you, and expressed through you! Don't be foolish, make the most of your time, and take time to understand what God's will really is!
God's Will Is Not Paralyzing
I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. - Romans 1:13
Paul planned to go to Rome so many times, but he wasn't able to in more than one occasion. Paul operated like a lot of us, not knowing what tomorrow would bring; he kept packing his suitcase, only to be 'prevented'.
This is saying we aren't alone in making decisions without a feeling or a knowledge of what tomorrow brings. We all walk by faith. The will of God is not about where to live, and who to marry, and if you make the right decisions, you'll be okay, and if not, you won't... Your 'okayness' does not depend on your decisions, but on the finished work of Christ.
Don't let a frantic search for getting in God's will and staying in God's will become a works-righteousness for you!
Let's not fall to the temptation of believing that we may mess up God's will for us totally because of our decisions! We are so tempted to make our choices connect to our rightness before God... that our choices would cause God to place us in some sort of lesser experience with Him.
[I've felt this way too many times. I've felt in the core how my actions in the past gave me what I suffer for today, and that I would have been in a better version of God's will if I did better in the past.]
This is clearly not a Truth that liberates! This is a worldly view of destiny and future prediction.
REMEMBER: You are righteous by NEW BIRTH, NOT by daily choices! You are right before your Father by your New Birth.
Don't get us wrong - if God gives you wisdom for specific choices, then consider it! Consider the views of others, and from your righteousness in Christ, make the decisions, without fear that what you decide would derail you from God's will!
God's will is salvation for anyone! - Jesus In You!
God's will relates to attitudes and actions! - Jesus Through You!
God's will is NOT paralyzing - God's will is JESUS in you and expressed through you!
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26