A question so often asked is… what is God’s will? The will of God is talked about much, prayed about fervently, and oftentimes treated as something mystical. True, we do not think the way God does. However, Scripture does specifically tell us quite a bit about God’s will.
These five statements about God’s will provide an excellent scaffolding upon which to make decisions in the Christian life, while praying and seeking His guidance.
His Will – Your Sanctification
1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:… Sanctification is the process of being ‘set apart and made Holy’. It is a continual process at work in the believer, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Scripture describes it as a daily dying to self, to be molded in his image.
If a decision does not aid or encourage your sanctification, then it is not God’s will.
His Will – Thankfulness
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Thankfulness is intended to be a predominate characteristic of believers. It is from thankfulness that we give tithes and offerings. It is from thankfulness that we assemble together. It is from thankfulness that we proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
If a decision does not exhibit thankfulness then it is not the will of God.
His Will – Christ-like Conduct
1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:… It is his will that we conduct our lives in such a way that no one can say a reproach about us. The concept is that no slander even be possible because of how we have conducted ourselves.
The best example of this kind of conduct is of course Christ. So, ask yourself the question – What Would Jesus Do?
If a decision is not grounded in sound Christian conduct then it is not his will.
His Will – Good Deeds
Heb. 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Good deeds have always been a true characteristic of the genuine believer. From charity to the poor to the sending out of missionaries, Christians have always been a people of good deeds.
However, the verse also indicates that this kind of behavior, doing good deeds, will be a sacrifice for the Christian. Many are willing to do good deeds when life is going well, the bank account looks nice, but so few are willing to do good deeds when it is a sacrifice. It’s much like the widow woman Jesus spoke about- the religious leaders gave their offerings to God out of their great abundance, but the widow woman gave out of her poverty. It was a sacrifice to give literally every bit of money she possessed.
If a decision is the right thing, and it is a sacrifice, then it is God’s will.
His Will – Renewed Mind
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The renewing of our mind is literally a ‘renovation’. God desires that your mind be renovated completely, the old man and his thoughts tossed out, the new man and his thoughts taken into the mind.
If a decision is the same one we would have made before we accepted Christ, then very likely it is not his will.
May we be able to sing the words that David penned- I delight to do thy will, O my God…