God’s will is what He wants to do, which is primarily to keep us from destruction through salvation. This is His plan for mankind. In the process, He desires for us to be obedient, rejoice, pray, and spread the good news to others. Although we tend to think God’s will is actually some kind of grandiose plan for our lives, we should instead focus on helping God see His plan for mankind through to completion.
“Will” is defined in two ways in the Greek translated into the New Testament:
- Strong’s G2307, thelēma, a determination; choice; inclination: – desire, pleasure, will. (John 6:40)
- Strong’s G2309, thelō ethelō to determine; choose or prefer; to wish, be inclined to; to delight in: – desire, intend, list, love, mean, please (Matthew 9:13 – desire; Matthew 15:28 – wish; Matthew 26:39 – will; Mark 12:38 – like; Galatians 5:17 – please)
So, God’s will can be something He desires (as in Matthew 18: 12-14) or His plan for mankind (i.e. Matthew 26:42 or John 6:37-40).
Some of God’s desires:
- That none are lost (Matthew 18: 12-14)
- Obedience, not legalism (Matthew 9:13)
- Our good deeds so we’ll silence the foolish (1Peter 2:13-16)
- We rejoice and pray continuously (1Thessalonians 5:16-19)
- We preach the Gospel/make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)
About His plans:
- They’re just that – HIS plans. Helping should be our focus.
- Can be progressive – not always immediately accomplished!
Benefits of partnering with God to accomplish His plan:
- Redemption and forgiveness; the reward of everlasting life (John 6:40) & (Ephesians 1: 5-13) & (Hebrews 10: 35-36)
- God works for the good of those who love him; for it is God who is at work in you (Philippians 2:12-13)
- The Spirit and His intercession (Romans 8:26-28)
How do we participate in His plan and accomplish His desires?
- Be obedient
- Do His commandments (1John 5:3 and Matthew 22:36-40).
- Obedience is more important than works or sacrifice (Matthew 9:13).
- Abstain from sexual immorality (1Thessalonians 4:2-4).
- Be an ‘imitator of God’ (Ephesians 5:1-20).
- Allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).
- Live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).
- Seek His kingdom first; this requires submission (Matthew 6:33).
- Obey our leaders and submit (Hebrews 13:17).
How can we learn of the things we’re to do in accomplishing His will or in learning of answers to our requests?
- The Bible teaches principles that help in decision-making (2Timothy 3:16-17).
- Ask for wisdom (James 1:5-6).
- Seek wisdom (this can be from family, friends, spiritually-mature, etc.) (Proverbs 13:10).
- Use a ‘fleece’ as Gideon did (Judges 6:36-40).
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).
- Not allowing God’s timing (i.e. as Abraham did).
Summary: God has a plan for mankind: salvation through the 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 own requests. Of course, this rebellion will result in death.
Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!
And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!