God's Will

God’s Will

Have you ever said, “I wish I knew God’s will for my life.” Many Christians have expressed prayers requesting a personal revelation of God’s will. Occasionally, God gives individual instructions for a specific instance. More commonly, God has already told us His will for our lives. He has given us a whole book on the subject, called the Bible. By reading it, we can discover God’s will for every area of our life. We don’t need a special calling to be in God’s will. We just need to read His Word and apply it to our life.

Therefore, I will mention a few things God has said about His will that pertains to all of us. If we obey these things, we will be in God’s will all of the time.

Matt 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus was leaving to go to the Father. What were the apostles to do now? What was God’s will? Jesus told them what I just read, and it was a command for all His followers. However, before the disciples could fulfill the commission Jesus gave them, Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit so they would have power to do what He commanded.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Like the disciples, we also need the Holy Spirit to do God’s will. The Holy Spirit:

1.  Empowers us to touch the entire world. Each saved person has a ripple effect that touches others.

2.  Enables us to step outside our comfort zone to reach the unlovable, even our enemies.

3.  Emboldens us to stand for Truth and righteousness in a culture that has gone astray. The believers in Acts were considered troublemakers. Nevertheless, they confronted moral issues, religious traditions of men, and they were direct, not politically correct.

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Peter and John were fishermen by trade—common people like us. We can be like them if we will spend time with Jesus and seek the Holy Spirit so we can do God’s will.

John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

God’s will is for us to be one. Unity will be achieved if we just do what Jesus said, “Love God and love your neighbor.” There is unity in Jesus, who is the Truth. He brings us together and makes us a powerful witness to the world. That is why the enemy works hard to separate us. Beware of the evil spirits of pride and arrogance that cause division in the Body of Christ. Stay humble and focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Work on the mission He gave us: to make disciples and to love one another.

Cultural differences won’t matter when people feel loved and accepted. We don’t need a diversity plan if we just love all people and welcome them into our lives. If people are genuinely loved, they will want to be here.

Luke 10:2-3 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Jesus understands what we are facing. That is why His will is for us to receive His Spirit—so we will have power to be His witnesses in the midst of wolves. How do we successfully witness for Christ?

John 12:32if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself.”

Our success should NOT be measured by the number attending church, but by the number of people we talk to about our faith in Jesus each day, and by how well we are following His Spirit, so that our words line up with our life! If we will do that, God will give the increase. He will add daily to the church those who are being saved. Growth comes from God’s love and God’s power. Are we loving God, loving people, and lifting up Christ as we “go” about our daily life? That is God’s will. We really have no other purpose on this earth.

It is God’s will that we follow Jesus. Matt 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Following Jesus is not always easy. It will bring persecution from family, friends, unbelievers, and religious people. However, following Jesus is not complicated—let Him fill you with His Spirit so you can love God and love people, even our enemies.

There will always be those opposed to the Truth, but we are not to fear them. Fear only God. We need to be prepared for opposition as we go and make disciples.

1John 3:13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.

God’s will is for us to be busy doing what Jesus told us to do while there is still time. If we are going to be part of the Church God uses in this city, we must be prepared for the trials allowed by the Holy Spirit to purify the Church. His purpose is to conform us to the image of Christ Jesus, so we become powerful and effective in Him.

God is shaking us up, and it may seem a little scary. The shaking is to get rid of the dirt that is deep down in our lives. Like a rug that must be taken outside and shaken vigorously to be thoroughly clean, God is shaking us, ridding us of all sin, dirt, and uncleanness so we may become the Bride of Jesus Christ without spot or wrinkle, who represents Him in this world.

God’s will allows trials because it shakes and purifies His Church, causing it to grow in holiness, truth, and reality. As this happens in our lives, we become more effective, because people are attracted to something tried, true, and real—something Christ-like; something worth dying for.

Being Christ-like brings persecution. However, we are not defenseless when persecution comes. God gives us power through prayer, power through the Holy Spirit, and power through love. Remember our attackers are not flesh and blood, but demonic spirits, who influence people, and the ruler of this world, Satan. That is why prayer is so important, and why the Church prayed with unity to Almighty God, who is our strength and our deliverer from the evil one.

Do not be afraid of the shaking from the Holy Spirit. We need Him. The power evidenced in the 1st Century Church should be evidenced in the 21st Century church because God has not changed. The pattern that we find in the early Church is that they prayed and prayed often! It is God’s will for our church to have this emphasis. It’s time for us to enter into the spirit of corporate prayer and forget about our fear of praying in public. Just as individuals are to pray, we are to pray as a church body. We are to pray, believing that God, who is all-powerful, hears and answers our prayers. Doing this will shake us and change us; bringing the life of the Spirit, who is God, into our midst.

Acts 5:40-42They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Christians should expect persecution from this world that hates Jesus. Our need for love and acceptance will not be met by the unbelieving world, but through the body of Christ, as we love one another.

Furthermore, we should refuse to be silenced by persecution. Christians must continue to lift up Jesus and be a witness of God’s love by the power of the Holy Spirit.

For most of us, the great hazard is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted, rushed, and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre relationship with Jesus, leaving us with little to tell others about and little for them to desire.

Rom. 12:2 Do not conform any longer 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.

God’s will is for us to put down all the things that distract us from Him. If we are not spending time in prayer and reading the Bible, our minds won’t get renewed. We won’t have the Word saturating our spirit. Then, when trials come into our life, the Holy Spirit has nothing to bring to our remembrance. We won’t know what to do or what to say according to God’s will and we will give a fleshly, worldly response. However, if we are into the Word, prayer, and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we will have power and the right response to any persecution or trial that comes our way.

No matter our age or how long we have been a Christian, God’s will is for us to live holy, sanctified lives, filled with the Holy Spirit, which will bring us closer to God each day.

Heb 2:1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

If we do not pay attention “to what we have heard”, if we relax the standards of God’s Word, quit obeying the Word, quit seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit, we will drift away from God.

In spite of the persecution and resistance to the truth, Jesus and the disciples did not drift, but went against worldliness, sin, and false religion. It is God’s will for us to stay filled with His Spirit and never stop following Jesus regardless of the difficulty. With Jesus, we will suffer, but we will not be overcome by troubles, trials, or temptations. On the contrary, we will be victorious!

Therefore, God’s will for us is to remain thankful and joyful in all circumstances.

Phil 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

When we are under pressure, facing problems, persecuted, and still praising and thanking God, we are a powerful witness to God’s grace and His Spirit in our lives. After all, it was a persecuted, praising, and thankful Church that changed the world!

1 Thes 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

God’s will is for us to be joyful always and give thanks in all circumstances, even in pain and suffering. Why? Because God’s strength is made perfect in weakness—perfect because what we do is not humanly possible without the Holy Spirit. For example, look how God is glorified in the lives these people who have obvious weaknesses:

Blinded at childhood, Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. Crosby did not live a life of despair, but kept her focus on Jesus Christ. God is still glorified in her songs, which include "Blessed Assurance", "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", "Rescue the Perishing", and "To God Be the Glory". We still sing all these songs, praising God, and being blessed by them.

As a teenager, Joni Eareckson enjoyed riding horses, hiking, tennis, and swimming. On July 30, 1967, she dove into Chesapeake Bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water. She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. During her two years of rehabilitation, she experienced anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and religious doubts. However, Joni learned to trust God and to paint with a brush between her teeth. Rather than stay depressed Joni glorified God through her artwork, by writing over forty books, recording several musical albums, starring in an autobiographical movie of her life, and being an advocate for disabled people, and lifting up Jesus as the Savior and source of joy and peace and purpose.

Nick Vujicic (VOY-i-chich) is a Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability and, at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs. Nick glorifies God and presents speeches worldwide addressing life with a disability, hope, and finding meaning through Jesus Christ.

Yes, joy and thanksgiving is God’s will, especially when we suffer, because it glorifies Him! It is not a fake joy, but a supernatural joy of the Holy Spirit that expresses itself in thanksgiving and praise unto God. It a powerful witness of the grace and reality of Jesus Christ living in us. Ask Him to live in you.

In addition, it is God’s will is for us to remain faithful to the end of our life.

Acts 20:22-25 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

God’s will is for us to be faithful to the Word and the Holy Spirit as we carry on Christ’s Commission. The temptation may be strong to disobey; obedience may cost us something or appear difficult, but we must stay focused on Jesus, our destiny, and our duty to share the Gospel.

The last thing I will mention, God’s will is for all men to be saved.

1 Tim 2:1-6 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

God is very clear about what is sin and the consequences of choosing to sin. He is also clear about repentance and the consequences of choosing to repent. He is clear about life and death, Heaven and Hell, following Jesus Christ and falling away. God is clear about salvation through the work of Jesus on the Cross. And God is clear that His will is for all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Jesus is the Way, the only way, of salvation and eternal life. Believe and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord, repent of your own way and your sin. Die to yourself in baptism, and receive a new life born of the Holy Spirit. That is God’s will.

Christian, are you filled with the Holy Spirit? That, too, is God’s will. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily (not a one-time event). Without Him, we can do nothing. Seek Him with all your heart, for He is Immanuel—God with us.

Luke 11:13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"