We often want to know God’s will—especially for us. His will is what He wants to do, primarily to keep us from destruction through our transformation and eventual salvation from His wrath. It is His plan for humankind. In the process, He desires us to be obedient, rejoice, pray, and spread the good news to others. Although we tend to think God’s will is some glorious plan for our individual lives, we should instead focus on helping God see His plan for creation through to completion. That’s all well and good. But what exactly does ‘will’ mean?
The word in the ancient language implies choice, desire, pleasure, or an inclination. So, God’s will can be something He desires (as in Matthew 18:12-14) or His plan for humanity (i.e., Matthew 26:42 or John 6:37-40).
Here are some of God’s desires:
- That all people are saved from His coming wrath (2Peter 3:9)
- Obedience, not legalism (Matthew 9:13)
- Our good works, done because of our faith (1Peter 2:13-16)
- That we rejoice and pray continuously (1Thessalonians 5:16-19)
- That we proclaim the good news of His Kingdom & make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
What are some benefits of partnering with God to accomplish His desires?
- Redemption and forgiveness; the reward of everlasting life (John 6:40; Ephesians 1:5-13; Hebrews 10:35-36)
- We get His Spirit and intercession on our behalf (Romans 8:26-28)
How do we participate in God’s plan and accomplish His desires? First, we must obey His commandments to honor the Father and Son and be charitable to people (1John 5:3; Matthew 22:36-40). We must also abstain from sexual immorality (1Thessalonians 4:2-4). We are to imitate God (Ephesians 5:1-20), allow the Holy Spirit to lead us (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:25). Making God’s priorities our priorities (Matthew 6:33) is critical, and we must obey our civil leaders and submit to them (Hebrews 13:17).
Whew! That seems like a lot of stuff! But, we can learn what we’re to do in accomplishing God’s will or discovering the answers to our prayers by doing these things:
• Study the Bible, which teaches principles that help in decision-making (2Timothy 3:16-17).
• Ask for wisdom (James 1:5-6).
• Seek wisdom (from family, friends, spiritually mature, etc.) (Proverbs 13:10).
But, we can hinder the accomplishment of God’s will or desires – even for us – through:
• Bad motives (James 4:3).
• Bad relationships (1Peter 3:7).
• Unrighteousness due to disobedience and the lack of the Spirit (John 9:31).
Summary: God has a plan for humanity: salvation through Christ. He also desires fellowship and obedience from us in a pursuit of holiness. We can join in and help accomplish God’s plans or desires, or we can rebel and keep Him from using us or even answering our requests. Of course, this rebellion will result in death. Next week, we’ll take a look at demons with job titles & the ‘spirit’ of biblical abuse.
Blessings and peace,