It’s a question all of us have asked ourselves at one time or another, usually when facing some challenging circumstance. We begin to ponder the future and ramifications of actions we are about to take… or not to take. We pray, “Lord, what do You want me to do? What do You want from me or for me? What is Your will for my life?”
The basis for the question is the idea that God is God indeed. He is in total control over everything, and if He’s in control, He answers to no authority other than Himself.
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” Daniel 4:35
When Job came to recognize God’s controlling will he prayed,
“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2
Implicit in Job’s prayer is the idea that God has a purpose and that He works that purpose in the lives of people like you and me. My favorite, and often quoted, verse that reveals this aspect of God’s sovereign control is Jeremiah 29:11:
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
God has a plan. So we have a desire and perhaps a pressing need to know what He wants to fulfill His plan for our lives. This is called “knowing God’s will.” We are commanded by God to know what His will is.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Colossians 1:9
I’ve often heard a fellow Christ-follower say, “I’m praying for God to reveal His will…” And, to be truthful, I’ve asked the same question. “What is God’s will for me?”
But, I’ve been thinking. If God has a sovereign will for everyone and wants us to submit to that will for our lives, would it be fair for Him to hide it from us? God doesn’t say, “Submit to My will… and, by the way, good luck figuring out what it is.”
If God wants us to know and follow His will, we must be able to find it. And find it we can. God’s word tells us plainly exactly what His will is for each of us. Is that news to you? Let’s take a look at what the Bible clearly states is God’s will for those who choose to believe and follow Him.
In the New Testament we find seven things clearly stated as God’s will. Look at each one and ask yourself if you are personally submitting to that will.
- Be a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your source of eternal life.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40
- Allow the Holy Spirit to fill and control every corner of your life.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:17–18
- Allow your body to be set aside for God’s use.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5
- Be a law-abiding Christian citizen.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:13–17
- If we suffer in life, we are to conduct ourselves as followers of Jesus.
but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name… Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:19
- Be prayerfully thankful in every situation.
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
- Be totally surrendered to God’s will (the six things mentioned above) and be willing not to get your own way.
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:15
… yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
It appears clear what God’s will is for each of us. But, we each must decide to submit to and obey God’s will for our lives. This is the essence of free will.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
What an overwhelming list. If we didn’t know what God’s will for our lives was before, we do now. And it’s scary. We could ask ourselves, “How can I ever follow these, not so simple, commands for obeying God’s will in my life?”
The answer is to walk each day in prayer surrendered to God’s perfect plan and will.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14
Think about it…