God’s will in seven words

In his mercy and kindness, the God of the universe revealed his will to us. It’s not discovered through an arduous quest of pagan practices bordering on divination, as described in Bruce Waltke’s excellent book. Instead we open the Bible, and there it is. These simple principles apply to everyone, in them we find our joy and purpose.

The next time you or someone you care about is wrestling with the will of God, try helping them out with these seven words. Knowledge: Romans 2:18 …and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law…

Context is important because the Jews are being rebuked for hypocrisy, claiming to know the will of God, but rejecting it (see 2:24). However, the problem is not with the Word, but with the hypocrite who enforces it on others, while rejecting it himself. To know his will means being instructed in what is excellent in the sight of God.

Discernment: Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

When the soul is regenerated, the mind is renewed, and it becomes useful for identifying truth. It can be an early warning system in a fallen world. Instead of being deceived by demonic powers, you discern God’s will. Satan schemes are revealed, spirits tested, and sin replaced by what is pleasing to God.

Purity: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.

Maturity is manifested the power to overcome sexual temptation. It represents divine dominance over the sin nature. To abstain means to have one thing because you’ve refused another. You drop immorality and cling to purity. The opposite of God’s will is satanic seduction, and the believer must choose one over the other.

Thanksgiving: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Every circumstance we face is to be met with a disposition toward thanksgiving, which in biblical times often meant praise. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, so it’s personal, and it means that you are expected to obey. As a benefit of being in Christ, you model his character, follow his example, and give thanks at all times.

Submission: 1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

The author is making a point that submission to human authority, and specifically human government, is to be done for the Lord’s sake, and with full confidence that every position of authority is occupied by the person that God ordained to fill it. By doing good you rob your accusers of the opportunity to build a case against you.

Peace: 1 Peter 4:18 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Many Christians equate God’s will with our happiness. How shocking it is when calamity strikes. How disturbing the notion that God’s will may include our suffering. This should not come as a surprise since the Bible is so clear. We suffer, but don’t despair, resting peacefully in the promise of redemption from a faithful creator.

Perseverance: Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Endurance is one of our greatest needs, an it promises the greatest rewards. The word means “to remain under”, so we press on, determined to be counted among those who “have done the will of God”. Persevere until the end, remaining faithful, and rest assured that as children of God you will enjoy the reward of his promised inheritance.

 



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