We often hear of ‘the will of God’ and its importance in our lives. What does God desire to accomplish in us and for us to do? Can we actually know His will and do it? All of these questions are common and valid. As we explore the scriptures, you will begin to understand what the will of God is for you and me.
David, after saying “I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart,” (a) later prayed, “Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God.” (b) [see end notes for Scriptures] While David acknowledged God’s Law (Ten Commandments (c)) was in his heart as guidelines for behavior, he asked God to teach him ‘to do’ His will. This illustrated how we can know and not actually act in agreement with His will. Does Scripture provides a valid and relevant clarity as to what the will of God is.
There is a verse in Scripture that often comes to mind, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (d) A plan indicates a specific strategy and blueprint with directions. Has God laid out a specific ‘plan’ for us to find or is He saying we have a hope and a future that we can pursue? If so, what is it?
Many translations and leaders help promote this misguided idea that god has a plan rather than a purpose for us to pursue. The King James Version of the Bible does not even contain the word ‘plan’ or ‘plans’. Most early translations (KJV, Wycliffe, Young’s Literal, Amplified, and Geneva) use the word ‘thoughts’. God has only good thoughts, intentions, purposes and desires for us, not a plan. The will of God was not understood or promoted as a ‘plan’ until the late 1800’s.
God has only good thoughts, intentions, purposes and desires for us, not a plan.
Do What is Right and Good
The first written instructions God provided for righteous living is the Ten Commandments. They are the clearest list of directives to help us experience right relationship with God and with each other. Despite a few voices that claim doing ‘good works’ and ‘doing the right thing’ are not the same as walking in righteousness, Scripture says God considers doing the good and right to be the same as righteousness and holy activity.
Notice how Jesus blends evil with unrighteousness, while he says good and righteous are the same: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (i) Jesus is recorded as; “Doing good, and healing (restoring) all who were oppressed by the devil (Greek – accusers).” (j)
Jesus condensed God’s Ten Instructions for righteous living into one simple directives: As you love God, love one another. (e) Peter and Paul echo this with: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (f) James confirmed this by saying, “without works, your faith is as dead,” (g) faith without follow-up works is useless.
Good works, righteousness and holiness are equated as the same. “The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (h) The Message Version says it this way: “But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy council.”
It must be said; doing the right thing and having good works is not limited to religious activity. Our everyday good works and treating one another rightly is clear evidence of righteousness. Paul and Peter agreed: “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” and “Keep your behavior excellent…that they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God.” (k) May we continually seek to do good-works, what is right and righteous!
May we continually seek to do good works, what is right and righteous!
We Can Know and Do
The person God used to open Paul’s blind eyes told him, “God…has appointed you ‘to know His will’, to see the righteous One, and to hear utterances from His mouth.” (l) Paul went on to confirm his appointment to include us, “He made known to ‘us’ the mystery of His will…according to His purpose.” (m)
In his Epistles, Paul verifies, we can know, understand, be assured, and prove God’s acceptable will for us:
“Be filled with the knowledge of His will.” (n)
“So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of God is.” (o)
“Stand perfect (complete) and fully assured in all the will of God.” (p)
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove (by doing) what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (mature).” (q)
Additionally, “This is the will of God…that you abstain from sexual immorality…that no one transgress and defraud his brother.” (r) After clarifying these ‘love points’, Paul adds, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (s)
So, God’s will for us is to: properly Love God and one another. We do this by keeping God as the primary focus of our heart, honor and respect our parents, and treat one another as members of God’s family.
We are to keep God as the focus of our hearts, honor and respect our parents, and treat one another as members of God’s family.
Throughout his earthly life, Jesus sought to keep God’s will by living in agreement with Him. He wanted to speak and act, to come and go as God led. Jesus proclaimed, “I do not seek my own will, but the will of God” (t) and at the end of his ministry in a natural body, he restated it when he prayed, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” (u)
To get further clarity on what actually is God’s will, thoughts and intentions for your life, please read our previous blog: What Is Your Real Purpose in Life? Found at: http://bit.ly/YourRealPurpose.
As we can see, the will of God for our lives is clarified in Scripture. We are encouraged to love God and be expressions of His Love and Light in everyday life. We do this by choosing to follow the example of Jesus and do good works. May we be more purposeful as we seek righteousness by doing the right thing and gooding works! This gladdens the heart of God and benefits everyone we meet.
May we be more intentional when seeking righteousness, by doing the right thing, and continuing to do good works!
a) Psalm 40:8; b) Psalm 143:10; c) Exodus 32:16; 20:1-17; d) Jeremiah 29:11; e) John 13:34-35; 15:12-17; f) 1 John 4:7; Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; g) James 2:17-26; h) Romans 7:12; i) Matthew 5:44-45; j) Acts 10:38; k) Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:12; l) Acts 22:14; m) Ephesians 1:1, 9, 11; n) Colossians 1:9; o) Ephesians 5:17; p) Colossians 4:12; q) Romans 12:2; r) 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 6; s) 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; t) John 5:30; u) Luke 22:42;