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The Will of God (by Wil Cunningham)

The Will of God

Reading: 1PE 2:15-16; 1TH 5:16-22; ACT 13:1-3

I have often heard people talk about trying to discover the “will of God”. Usually, these conversations relate to a new job or a relationship decision. The speaker is trying to decide which decision is the “godly” one. Many times, it seems, one is hoping for a sign that will make clear which direction should be taken. The Bible does speak about the will of God, but its focus often is not the same as ours. We expect that there is some circumstance which, if fulfilled, will make us better people, better Christians, and give us a better life. Scripture is clear that the circumstances that must be changed are not outer circumstances. If we would fulfill the plan that God has for us, we must be prepared to deal with inner realities.

1PE 2:15-16 reveal a part of God’s plan for our lives. Verse 15 speaks of the impact of our lives on those who do not believe. The life of the Christian, as it was designed, is meant to be radically different from other lives. By its quality and effects it should confront the beliefs and values of the lives of those around us. The verse states that this is accomplished by doing good. It is not doing good in the “good deed” sense of the word; rather it is living as God designed us to live, so that all of life becomes proof of His goodness. Verse 16 describes this with the words "love", "honor" and "fear of God."

Another passage which describes the will of God is 1TH 5:16-22. This passage also speaks of inner realities. It speaks of rejoicing that is is a result of a right relationship with God, prayer that brings about that relationship, and thanksgiving, which inevitably brings joy. As the passage goes on it commands that we not take from the Spirit what He requires to burn in our lives. It commands that we respect prophecy. Prophecy is the word of God spoken to men, the word which is recorded for us in the pages of Scripture. The final commandment is that we be wise in recognizing what is good and evil, and that we value what is good and reject all evil.

The final passage shows an instance in which God revealed a specific requirement that was His will for that place and time. The value of this passage is that it shows that for those who are already seeking God’s will in the inner realities it will be easily seen in outer circumstances. So, to understand God’s will we must seek Him in each moment and day of our lives. Then we are sure to be lead by Him when big decisions come. If we are unsure of a course of action, we must ask: “What decision most allows me to seek Him in my inner life?” Love, honor and joy through prayer, study and thanksgiving: this is the will of God for you.

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