What does it mean to do God’s will? And if you want to do it, how can you know what it is? But then what are the implications of knowing it yet not doing it? Getting down to basics, what does “God’s will” mean anyway?
“God’s will” is just another way of saying:“whatever God wants”. So, if someone refers to knowing God’s will, they are simply talking about knowing what God wants. That’s all. There is nothing mysterious or superstitious about it because God loves to make His will known to those who seek it.
He is a very real and very personal God, who cares greatly about every person on the face of the earth. Even more than that, He truly loves them and longs for each person to know and to love Him – intimately and personally. Does that fit your picture of God? Not only does it fit mine, it also fits my experience of Him.
Because you were made by Him to live with Him in such a personal and intimate relationship, it is imperative for you to know His will. Only then can His desire for you find its fulfilment.
The question is: do you want to know God’s will? If your answer is no, you need read no further. I will not try to persuade you, and neither will God. But if it is yes, then I must ask you another question: if God reveals His will to you, will you do it? That is the real question – because your answer to it will determine whether or not God does make His will known to you.
…there should be no distinction between those who want to know God’s will and those who actually do it.
Of course, there should be no distinction between those who want to know God’s will and those who actually do it. If anyone seeks to know God’s will, aren’t they inferring that they want to do it? That’s how God looks at it. Yet we, by nature, prefer to find things out without necessarily having to commit to them. In fact some Christians make that a lifelong pursuit!
With seemingly endless appetites, they seek to know ever more about God and to learn all they can about ‘the Christian life’. They study the Bible, they listen to preachers and teachers, they devour books and delve into every available resource. Never before has there been so much information and inspiration on offer – most of it just a click away. Yet, with all their seeking and accumulation of knowledge, do they hear that unmistakeable Voice saying: “This is the way; walk in it”?
God’s will is not accomplished by the accumulation of knowledge or the quest for inspiration. Such things are mere human substitutes for godly experiences.
“The words I have spoken to you,” said Jesus,“they are full of the Spirit and life”. His words are aimed, not at our minds or emotions, but at our spirits – our innermost beings – stirring us to respond to Him in sweet surrender.
But isn’t that risky …like giving God a blank cheque on your life? Yes it is, and it is meant to be, because there is no ‘safe’ way to live for God. Safe ways are for those who prefer man-made religion. The faith way is for those who choose God.
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
There is nothing obscure about the meaning of that well-known Bible verse. Yet, because it is just one sentence in a long letter, you can really only appreciate its full significance and sense its impact when you relate it to its context – often called ‘the faith chapter’.
Read Hebrews 11 and you will find verse 6 embedded, almost as an afterthought, within a long list of people whose lives (and, in some cases, their deaths) were characterised, not by what they knew or what they aspired to, but by what they actually did. And what did they do? They opened their hearts to God, they put their lives into His hands, and whenever He made His will known to them, they did it! The result? Things that were amazing, scary, risky, costly, and often life-threatening. The summary in verses 33–38 is potent.
…acts of faith are based, not on the flimsy hopes, aspirations and abilities of men, but on God’s word.
How could so many ordinary people do such extraordinary things? You will find the answer in this simple two-word phrase that appears no less than 21 times throughout the chapter: ‘By faith’. No other explanation is offered for what those people did …because there is none.
Some would consider ‘by faith’ a bit too vague and lacking in substance to serve as an explanation. Yet, far from being vague or insubstantial, faith is very explicit and has immense substance – because acts of faith are based, not on the flimsy hopes, aspirations and abilities of men, but on God’s word.
When God speaks and you respond, He is both the backer of what you do and the guarantor of the outcome – because He is committed to the fulfilment of His word. And there is nothing vague or insubstantial about that!
Whenever you open your heart to God, with the desire to know His will and the resolve to do it, He will reveal it to you in an unmistakeable way – because God always speaks to us in a voice we can hear and in a language we can understand.
Make God, not yourself, the centre of your life. Approach Him with an open and willing heart – and He will reveal Himself and His will to you. After that, it becomes simpler, because you only need to keep trusting Him and doing as He says – nothing more, nothing less.
Live like that, and rather than being awed by the attainments of that long list of God’s faithful ones in Hebrews 11 …you will be one of them!