A young, married, Christian couple was struggling with a major life decision.
I listened intently to them as they rehearsed their emotional roller-coaster ride, trying to figure out what to do. Visibly frustrated, perplexed and anxious, they shared how they had tried everything they knew to do with little success. Indeed, their situation was serious. The time for decision making was upon them. Emotionally and mentally discouraged, they felt like their back was up against the proverbial wall, if you know what I mean.
Sensing their frustration over their situation, I looked at them and asked “Have you taken time to pray together and seek God’s will? Have you asked the Lord what His will, His purpose, His plan and His way is for you in this matter?
For a few awkward moments, a deafening silence invaded the room. A bit embarrassed, they humbly admitted, “No, we haven’t sought God’s will. You are right, we need to seek to do His will, not only ours.”
I have good news to report. This precious couple diligently and patiently sought God’s will, received it and are currently walking in faith and obedience to fulfill it. Their dire situation is turning around!
You and I, like this couple, need to seek God’s will, not ours.
I never cease to be amazed in my own life and the lives of others how often we do everything but seek God’s will first. Been there? I am sure you have. For reasons that make no sense for Christ’s followers, we pray my will be done instead of, not my will, but God’s will be done. What would life be like if we prayed for His will to be done, and ours to be subservient to His?
Biblically, the will of God is His purpose, His plan, His way, His desire for all who believe in Him.
According to Paul in Romans 12:2, God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing or your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect.”
Good, acceptable and perfect sounds really good to me!
Jesus Christ came to accomplish the will of His Father (John 17:1-4). Matthew 26:36-46 records the sacred scene in the Garden of Gethsemane where the Lord, not once, but three times surrendered His will to the Father’s. Burdened down with the sin of the world, sweating drops of blood, His soul grieved to the point of death, Jesus fell on His face and prayed saying “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup (of suffering and death on a cruel Roman cross) pass from Me: YET NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL.”
The garden was holy ground. A spiritual battle of epic proportions took place in Jesus’ soul. I cannot fathom the titanic tug-of-war going on between Jesus’ spirit and flesh. But I know this, He chose His Father’s will over His.
Jesus saved the world by willingly sacrificing His life because it was His Fathers will.
His reward for doing the Father’s will? Glorious resurrection from the dead! He now sits on the right hand of the throne in heaven waiting for His Fathers’ signal to go and bring His sons and daughters home to glory! Doing His Father’s will, Jesus made it possible for you and me to go to heaven! Hallelujah!
In what we call the Lord’s Prayer Jesus prayed “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). Have you thought what life would be like if God’s will in heaven was done on earth? I can’t speak for you or the world, but I will do my best to do His will and bring a little bit of heaven to earth while I am here as Jesus’ witness.
Never make important decisions or take life-altering steps until you are absolutely sure you know God’s will. The Lord doesn’t hide His plans from those who seek them.
Simple Steps For Discovering and Discerning God’s Will
- Pray. Seek the Lord. Get alone before Him. Pray for His will to be done in your life.
- Ask. Be specific. Ask God for His answer/solution/remedy to your situation. You won’t have if you don’t ask. Ask with expectant faith to receive His will.
- Search. The Word of God contains the will of God. If you don’t search His Word, how will you ever know His will? Search scripture to find His good, acceptable and perfect will. For example, it is not God’s will that anyone should perish. (see II Peter 3:9).
- Listen. Be quiet. Stop talking. Meditate on the Word. Listen carefully for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. He does speak to us. Let us who have spiritual ears, hear.
- Wait. Be still. Patient. Don’t be in a hurry to discover God’s will. Take your time. Haste will make waste if you rush the will of God. The Lord isn’t in a hurry, so don’t you be!
- Obey. When God reveals the decision you need to make, the way you should take, do what He directs you to do. When you know His will, what is the point of disobeying? God graciously reveals His word and expects His children to obey it so He can reward them. Jesus said to the disciples “If you love Me, obey Me”.
- Give Thanks. Be grateful that God has revealed His will to you. Rejoice that you have not been left to yourself. He is with you, for you, and working on your behalf to fulfill His will for your life. There is something powerful and peaceful about knowing His will.
How about you? As you read this today, are struggling with something that is eating your lunch? Tearing you up? Perplexing or confusing you? Creating conflict in your heart? Keeping you awake at night? Maybe it is a relationship, your marriage and family, your job or career, health, finances, a moral, ethical dilemma.
Have you sought the Lord and His will in your situation? Can you, like Jesus, pray to the Father “Not my will, but Your will be done?”.
I encourage you to do so. When we know His will, it is easy to do what we must do.
“I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy law is within my heart.”
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
A Word For Your Week:
God’s will is the best plan for our life.