God’s will is what we’re after as Christians. Not our own will, but God’s will be done. The Lord’s Prayer states this succinctly and leaves no doubt.
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
That’s exactly what Jesus prayed for in the Garden of Gethsemane that fateful night.
You see, Jesus, who had done nothing but good to anyone, was about to be arrested, beaten and whipped, tried illegally and condemned to be crucified. He was facing the most ugly, insulting death known to man and he wanted to make sure his father, God really wanted him to go through it.
Jesus didn’t want to go through all of that. Would you? Can you blame him? He was human, after all.
But instead of running, Jesus prayed. Instead of cowering, Jesus grew stronger. Instead of forsaking his calling, Jesus agreed to do exactly what God’s will for him was. And he sure did go through with it all. He went through everything they threw at him and did not shrink from his commitment to see God’s will through to the end.
Are You Seeking and Doing God’s Will?
What about you? In your life, are you seeking and doing God’s will, or are you just pursuing your own will. Do you know what God’s will is? Are you able, right now, to definitively say what God’s will is for your life, or are you still trying to figure it out — or worse yet — not bothering to try to discover God’s will at all?
It’s all to easy to ignore the issue and to just go about our lives being as ‘good’ as we can without giving up too much of our freedom and what we really want. Who can know God’s will anyway, right?
But what if we really could know what God’s will is? Is that even possible? What do you say; yes or no? I challenge you today to answer this question yourself: can you and do you know what God’s will is?
How Can We Know What God’s Will Is?
Years ago a series of events happen that caused me to seek God more than any other time in my life. But it wasn’t through loss or depression or anything else, it was simply because God was calling me. I had this longing to find out what God wanted me to do in my life, and I started searching.
Without going into great detail, I finally went on a five day fast with the goal to know what God’s will for my life was by the end of the five days. I had never fasted before. I ate no food for five days and only had water and an occasional cup of coffee. Maybe that’s not a ‘pure’ fast, but it’s what I did, but the one thing that was burning on my heart the whole time was to find out what God’s will was for my life. “God, what is your will?” was my constant prayer during that time.
By the middle of the fourth day, I had no further enlightenment at all. I still didn’t know up from down or inside from out regarding God’s will. I had gotten out of my apartment all day, every day of the fast because I knew I wouldn’t find what God’s will was without going somewhere, but I didn’t know where to go.
Then toward the end of the fourth day I went over to a friend of mine’s house. I had purchased drugs from him many times, and I was starting to think I’d never find God’s will anyway, so I wandered over to his house wondering why I was going there the entire bus ride. I thought to myself, “I’m on this 5 day fast, I have a whole day to go, why am I going to my friend’s house when he isn’t religious and all I’ll do there is get high?”
They say God works in strange ways, was this one of them?
When I got there, I started condemning myself for being there, even without getting high. But as I walked through his kitchen I saw a syllabus on the kitchen table. It was the syllabus for a class on the Bible and it caught my attention. I picked it up and looked through it. My friend was still upstairs, on the way down.
When he came into the kitchen I asked him about the syllabus. He said it was left there by a girl he met that he really liked. I asked him if he had any interest in it, and he said he had more interest in the girl. But he also said that the class the syllabus was for was starting the next night, and he was going to go to check it out himself. He said that if I wanted to go with him I could.
Let’s see now… I’m on a five day fast to know God’s will; this is the only clue I’ve had about anything Biblical or spiritual-related in the first four days of my fast. Since that’s the only seemingly bit of direction I had, I decided to go. No, I did not get high that night.
The fifth night of my fast I entered this living room and sat down for the first session of the class. Within a few minutes of teaching, God answered my prayers distinctly. Keep in mind that nobody knew I was fasting but me. I had told nobody. I had read a book about fasting and it included the verses in the Old Testament about not making a show of fasting, but to seek God’s will. That, I was doing.
The teacher looked directly at me and said, “If you want to know God’s will, you have to know God’s Word. God’s Word is God’s will.”
That statement blew me away. All I knew at the time was that I had been fasting and praying for five days to know God’s will and here someone just told me what God’s will was. “God’s Word is God’s will.” So simply said, and so powerfully accurate and true.
I went out to my car and grabbed an envelope of the only money I had and threw it at the feet of the person in charge and said, “I need this course, can I take it.” There was a small charge for the course which I had no objection to paying the little money I had for.
From that point on, I started to sincerely and consistently study God’s Word for myself. The course taught me how to research God’s Word for myself. I spent the next 10 or so years doing nothing but word studies so I could learn God’s Word as much as I could — and God revealed himself to me through his son, Jesus Christ, through the written Word of God, the Bible.
God’s Word is God’s Will
If you want to know what God’s will is, you have to know God’s Word. The Bible, God’s Word, is “first revelation.” It contains everything having to do with life and godliness.
II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us to glory and virtue.
The more you know God’s Word, the more you know God and his will for your life. It all starts with the written revelation of God’s Word. God’s Word reveals God and his son Jesus Christ, through whom you then develop a personal relationship with both of them. God’s written revelation covers everything you need except when you need specific direction.
God’s Will Through Personal Revelation
Having a firm foundation in the knowledge of God’s Word provides a fertile ground for God to give you specific information when you need it. I call this ‘personal revelation.’ You don’t have to know God’s entire Word for him to give you personal revelation — in fact he can reveal anything to you at any time even if you don’t know his Word, praise God — but God’s Word is revelation in itself, upon which all other ‘personal revelation’ hinges.
We’ve all heard the horrible stories about people who did strange and sometimes evil things to others, “because God told me to.” We don’t want to go there. God will never tell you to do something that is contrary, in contradiction to, his written word, period. God does not contradict himself. Having a firm knowledge of God’s Word is a safeguard. Whenever you think God is telling you something, revealing something to you, compare what he tells you to the written Word to make sure it is in agreement and is indeed from God.
Do You Want to Learn God’s Will?
If you aren’t clear on what God’s will is for your life, I urge you to start seeking and to start learning. Seek God through his Written word and through prayer. Get his already-revealed knowledge as you pray and build your relationship with him.
If you’d like an easy way to gain a great scope of God’s Word and will quickly, I’ve written a complete course on it called, “Christian Goal Setting and Achieving: Pressing Toward the Goal for the Prize!” It’s available here: http://christiangoalsetting.org
In the course, you’ll discover God’s Will for the Church as a Whole, God’s Will Common to Every Christian, and God’s Will for your Individual Life. Even if you are seasoned in God’s Word, I am sure you will discover many new things and you’ll appreciate the tools I provide to help you on your way so you too can know what God’s will is for your individual life, and so you too can say…
“Father, not my will but yours be done.”
God’s will is not some hidden mysterious thing. He’s written it in his Word. He embodied it in his son Jesus Christ. He’ll reveal it to you on a deep, personal level as you seek him. Seek God’s will and you shall find it.