God’s will for our lives has reason and purpose. It is through Scripture that we can find meaning and principles discerning God’s will. “Teach me to do your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (Psalm 143:10).
It is only when we are willing to surrender our will for His that He is able to do a work in us and through us for His desired purpose. “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” (2 Timothy 1:9).
Doing things our way
Ever since the fall of Adam, we have all rebelled against the will of God at one time or another by doing things our way as opposed to God’s way. Self will is a very difficult thing to let go of and sometimes it allows us to get caught up in a snare, such as forcing our own agenda, trying to control a situation, or perhaps not being as united with our brethren as much as we should. Much of this is self-seeking and has to do with pride. We read in James 4:6, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “’God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8
The First Step
Jesus says in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven”. The first step in doing the will of God is to believe on the Lord Jesus. In John 6:29 it says, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'”
Being 51 years old yet relatively new in His Word, I can’t help but marvel at everything I read. I was sharing with an elderly brother from Tavistock a couple of years ago about how I can read a portion of Scripture and then go back and read the same thing again a month later, only to find not what I had missed on the previous reading, but how much more is revealed every time!
He explained that we should never feel as though we have “arrived” at our knowledge of Scripture and went on to say that he too is still learning. Quite an example of being humble, as we are taught from His Word to be.
Our minds are renewed
As a child of God, we are to refuse to be conformed to this world, but rather allow ourselves to be transformed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and as our mind is renewed according to the things of God which are revealed to us in His Word, then we can know God’s will for us. In Roman’s 12:2, Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
What will Thou have me to do?
What is the labor appointed me?
Where shall I labour for Thee? Philip P. Bliss
On the right path
There have always been and will always be obstacles in our walk, but we can be thankful we’re on the right path. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It’s not always easy to do God’s will, especially when we’re going through a difficult situation or being tested by a trial in life, but rest assured, our Father is in full control.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). There is no grey area in that verse, we should be able to give thanks in everything, whether we see the immediate purpose in what we are going through (good or bad), or not. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
When we are walking closely with the Lord and truly desiring His will for our lives, God will place His desires in our hearts. We should desire God’s will, not our own. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart”(Psalm 37:4).
Finding our his will
We find His will for us in His Word, which is 100 % inspired by Him. “Inspired by God” translates from a single Greek word, theopneustos, meaning ‘breathed out from God’. Jesus says in Luke 11:28, “More than that, blessed are those that hear the word of God and keep it!” All through Scripture we learn what happens when we fail to follow His instructions and resist the will of God.
We also learn how pleased He is when we abide in His Word and do His will. When we read what our Father said in Matthew 3:17, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, it gives us a tingle up our spine and brings us to tears! This is our Savior, our redeemer, the perfect Son of God, and a perfect example for us to follow.
Jesus tells us to do the will of His Father in Heaven…. our Father! By studying His Word and going often to prayer, His Holy Spirit reveals the will of our Father to us. In 1 John 2:6 it reads, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk Just as He walked.”
Ambassadors for Christ
The Apostle Paul suffered great physical harm but did not waiver from spreading the truth, the Gospel of Christ. It didn’t matter what Paul’s circumstances were, he pressed forward as a great ambassador for Christ, doing our Father’s will. When we think of the stripes and beatings that he received at the hands of the enemies of Christ, we realize that it was all a result of doing God’s will.
We read in Acts that after Paul and Silas were beaten with rods and had many stripes laid on them, that they were put in the inner prison with their feet in stocks !! At this point, we would think that they would have cried out to the Lord asking for help, pleading, “I can’t take any more!” But instead, at midnight they were praying and singing hymns to God. They knew that they were being persecuted for His name’s sake.
They also knew that they were never alone in anything, that they could lift up their praise and thanks to the Lord and draw strength and comfort. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). It is from Him that all mercies and comforts flow.
This should challenge us as Christians to be undeterred by the thought of being persecuted for His name’s sake and not to hold back when the Holy Spirit is prompting us to witness. Rather, we should speak boldly of our Savior and God’s perfect plan of salvation that our Lord Jesus provided when He was nailed to His cross because of our sins.
As the Lord says at the end of Mark 13 , we don’t know when the Master of the house is coming, and we are told to “watch”. In doing “our will” we might say to ourselves, I’ll speak to this person or that person “next time”, BUT that time may never come – an opportunity missed. The eternal fate of a soul might be lost because we held our tongue for fear of perhaps being rejected, put down, ignored, ridiculed, or laughed at.
In 2 Cor. 6:2, it reads, “For he says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you’. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” You see, salvation is never promised for some other time, or tomorrow, or even an hour from now. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,” 2 Peter 3:10. There should be an urgency within our hearts to share this tremendous truth of eternal security and be mindful of those in need of a Savior.
There is a peace, joy, and contentment that comes when we surrender our will for His !
These verses that we read in His Word are not written as mere suggestions, but rather imperatives and commandments. Personally, it is an ongoing lesson for me to give up all control , surrendering my entire self to His will. But by studying His Word and going often to prayer, I’m learning and growing. Praise the Lord! “Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
My stubborn will at last hath yielded
I would be thine, and thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done. Leila N. Morris