Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Will Of God

How can one know the "will of God" in their life? This question seems to be the million dollar question to a lot of Christians out there. This question plagued my life for years as I was waiting patiently, who am I kidding, impatiently for some kind of an unusual or dramatic revelation from God to hit me by which to know God's will or plan for my life. However, it was not until this past summer through a particular sermon my pastor preached titled "The Christian Service," when I finally grasped the whole concept of God's will in my life. During my pastor's sermon, he used many Biblical passage, however, there were two particular passages that brought me to a more clear definition of God's will--

Salvation+Sanctification(cleansing)+Good Service=God's Will

I Thessalonians 4:3-4, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; (4) that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor."

I Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always; (17) pray without ceasing; (18) in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Well, the more I see, hear, and read--most Christians have that same impression, as I did, of waiting for some cataclysmic situation from God to reveal His will to them. Now, God still reveals His will to some men and women in dramatic ways, but this should be looked at as the exception rather then the rule to most Christians.

Now, if you are waiting for a dramatic revelation about the "will of God," as I was, having that impression can ultimately lead to unfruitful service in our walk of faith . Sorry, I am not trying to sound negative or criticize anyone for thinking that way. What I am getting at is that having that very attitude of waiting for a "sign" from God for His will can cause us to be immobile and oversee our true purpose as Christians. What I mean by "immobile" is it can make us pause while waiting for something miraculous to happen from God; then all the while, missing out on the grander scheme of our service to God. God want us, as His children here on this earth, to live a right life, witness for Christ to others, and to serve Him with all our mind, body, and soul. If we are stuck waiting for a great revelation from God to render our service then we will be lagging behind in our service. Think about it, if you were an employer, would you want an employee who stands around waiting for you to give him/her direction in what to do or would you want an employee who is assertive and diligent in his/her work? Well, common sense tells us the obvious answer in that scenario. Therefore, would God expect anything less then assertiveness and diligent from us? Common sense tells us that one as well--John 15:8, "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."--Romans 12:11, "not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;"

Jesus' ultimate purpose when He came to earth was to "seek and to save those who are lost." (Luke 19:10). Now, when we come to Jesus as believers and receive His Holy Spirit it then becomes our inherited responsibility as Jesus' disciples to carry on His purpose of seeking and saving by introducing others to Him. Jesus in two verses opened the door into what our responsibility is as His followers--Matthew 4:19, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." and Matthew 28:19-20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nation…(20) teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…" Yes, in these verses, Jesus was specifically taking to His twelve disciples, however, these verses are not limited to the twelve alone. Essentially, it was, and still is, a call to all who become followers (disciples) of Jesus to proclaim His name to the lost world.

If the "will of God" still seems unclear, as it can be difficult to understand, try looking at it like this--I am a father of three active boys, there are certain daily/weekly responsibilities that I aspect them to perform. My "will" as their father is that each one of them do their responsibilities and if they manage to accomplish them they are going according to my "will" as their father. If they do not accomplish their tasks they are essentially go against my "will." Now, taking that example in my life of my personal "will" for my children, the same would apply to us, believers in Christ, to our Heavenly Father. God, our Heavenly Father, wants us to be holy because He is Holy--I Peter 1:15-16, "but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior "because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY'" Therefore, in all behavior/conduct (attitude and actions) doing what is right, sustaining a Christ-like testimony, and witnessing to others is going according to God's will for us as His children, however, in contrast, doing anything less would be going against His will--Ephesians 6:6-7, "not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (7) With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,"

Thankfully, we are not alone in doing the will of our Heavenly Father. God gives us His Spirit (Holy Spirit) as our aid in accomplishing His will--John 14:26, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." But we should not fall into thinking that the Holy Spirit is just going to do everything for us. Like my own children, I cannot be around all the time to aid in their responsibilities at home--they have to show some personal motivation. Now, of course, I am not implying that God is not always around--He is omnipresent (always around). My point is that we have to show some personal motivation to accomplish our responsibilities--we need to pray faithfully for God's guidance in our life, faithfully read His Word, and faithfully seek out more of Christ in our life; then in doing so He will faithfully help guide us to accomplishing His will--Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus." God is not a "puppet master" pulling our strings to what He wants us to do. We all have "free will" to go either against Him or go with Him--the choice is ours, however, if we faithfully seek after Him, He will faithfully help direct us to Him--Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight."

We all have God-given abilities and talents each specific in their own way to us--we all have something to give in accomplishing God's ultimate will for this world, which is the salvation of the lost--I Timothy 2:3-4, "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Though God knows and Scripture tells us that everyone will not come to know Him as Savior, however, it is still our duty, our job, our responsibility--God's desire (will)--for each one of us to bring forth the Light of His only Son, Jesus Christ, to our lost neighbors, to our lost community, to our lost workplace, and to the lost world through our Christian faith, attitude, and actions.
In summary, God's will for your life is the same as God's will for my life and to all Christians, which is to pray, read The Bible, and be as Christ like as possible. Then in doing so God will faithfully guide each of us to our more specific purpose in His plan--Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

All Christians, of course, are not called to be Ministers, Evangelists, or Missionaries--"Yes" those are special callings from God for His purpose. However, whether you are a nurse, a clerk, a janitor, a doctor, a lawyer, or whatever the job that does not limit us to being a good steward. No matter how big or small your specific role is or whether you're not even sure what your role is--never fret. Every child of God, essentially, has the same role in working for the same purpose and that is projecting the character of Jesus Christ in all things to those who do not know Him and His glorious salvation.

Simply put--God's will for each of us, who are His beloved children, is to be His good and faithful servants. God's will is not "rocket science," just simply look to Jesus Christ, live by His example, and be a good Christian--Paul the apostle so clearly brings out the details in the 12th chapter of Romans:

Romans 12:1-2, "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (2) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Romans 12:5-18, "so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (6) Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; (7) if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; (8) or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. (10) Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; (11) not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; (12) rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, (13) contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. (14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (15) Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (16) Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation. (17) Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men. (18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."

All Scripture references--NASB