Knowing God’s Will
God expects us to pray that His Will is done and to understand what His Will is. On these two points scripture is explicit: “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10); “…do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph.5:17).
Understanding the Will of God is not something mystical, or hidden. It begins with relationship – in knowing thoroughly that God is God and you are not! “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov. 9:10). God is Supreme. He is not a magical genie to have in one’s back pocket! He is to be obeyed, and not questioned.
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” (Eccl. 5:2).
Micah states the broad strokes of a man’s obligations before his Creator: “What does the LORD require of you?” He asks.“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8).
To train us in the standards of righteousness God gave us the Law. Then, in Christ, He gave us the means of righteousness through confession, repentance, surrender and the workings of His indwelling Holy Spirit. He gives us also His Word in which much of His Will is made clear to us.
But God is not only a God of justice, rules and punishment! God is also a God of great Love… so much so that He paid a great price to restore us…
“The Lord is… not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9) “[He] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4)
But that’s not all! God wants you to work with Him to become like Him. In fact, it is God’s Will for us to become set apart… sanctified… holy! “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…” (1 Thess. 4:3). “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:14-16). And it is God’s Will that our lives be a testimony to others in this world. “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” (1 Pet. 2:15).
Finally, (for now), it is God’s Will that we love Him and one another, that we put to death all sinful pleasures, unashamedly accepting reproach for His Name, and persevere in following Him. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23); “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb. 10:36).
Oh! And in keeping with our theme these past few days it is also God’s Will that we be thankful! “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18)
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