The Will of God

How can we know the will of God for our lives? First we have to understand what that will includes. God’s will for the life of every believer has three dimensions: the what, the where, and the why.

The operational will of God is the “what.” God has something He wants us to do with our lives; He has a specific task for every believer (Mar 13:33–37), a ministry that is defined by our spiritual gift (1Co 12:4–7). One of the ways He tells us what He wants us to do with our lives is by telling us what He wants us to do with our days and hours. Mary said to the servants at the wedding in Cana, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (Joh 2:5). Had they not done exactly what He told them to do, there would have been no miracle, no divine production through them. Our job is to do what He tells us to do today.

The geographical will of God is the “where.” God has a place He wants us to be. This is the place He will supply all our needs. If we are in the wrong place, we will miss out on His provision. God told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith. “I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there” (1Ki 17:4). The ravens made their drop every morning and every evening at Cherith. If Elijah had been anywhere else, he would not have seen God’s provision.

The motivational will of God is the “why.” God is not just concerned with what we do and where we do it, but with why and in whose power. In Matthew 6, the Lord had some harsh words for men who pray, who fast, and who give alms. He had nothing against their actions, but He had everything against their motives. In Heb 11:6 we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God. Nothing we do—even God’s will—apart from faith in Him is acceptable to Him.

To be “in God’s will” we have to be doing the right thing in the right place for the right reason. To discover the will of God for our lives as individuals—the undeclared or unwritten will of God—we have to accept the declared and written will of God. We will never find the undeclared will of God until we begin to obey the declared will. And what is His declared will? Seven things we know for sure that God wants us to do:

Be saved (2Pe 3:9)
Be sanctified (1Th 4:3)
Be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18)
Be thankful (1Th 5:18)
Be content (Phi 4:11–13)
Suffer (1Pe 3:17)
Serve (Rom 12:1–2; 2Co 5:15).

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