I often ponder, as we all no doubt do, about the will of God. It’s relevant to us all. Being a Christian, there should be few more important things than discovering the will of God. I pray asking for the will of God in my life and in various other situations, but I don’t want my prayers to be flippant and empty. Personally, I need to know, and constantly be reminded of, a couple of things; how can I seek God’s will and why do I need it?
So, how can I seek the will of The Lord? It’s nothing complicated at all; prayer and God’s Word. This is at the very core of our Christian lives. Council and advice from others undoubtedly has many benefits and I wouldn’t be without it. Other books besides The Bible can help and enlighten too. But there is nothing that can compare with intimate prayer and the amazing revelation of God’s mighty Word. The Holy Scriptures are 100% God breathed. Absolutely infallible. Psalm 119:105 says,
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”
Saying a “light unto my path” denotes we need guiding on a route already laid down for us. His precious Word is a gift to us.
Prayer is a gift to us too. Look at Matthew 6:10. It’s The Lords Prayer, sometimes referred to as The Model Prayer. It says “Your will be done”. All our prayers need to be in a manner of submission to the plans and purposes of The Lord. This passage can reflect the manner of our lives; there are 6 petitions mentioned, the first 3 made directly to God, the second 3 regarding human needs; priorities that should be mirrored in our lives too.
It’s knowing God Himself; not knowing of Him. Prayer and The Word of God cannot and should not be separated. We need a spirit of dependency on The Holy Spirit that will show us the meaning of God’s Word and how it applies to our lives. The Holy Spirit renews our mind. Coupled with being deep in Scripture can be transforming. God’s will is His plan and purpose for our lives and to discover it we need to be on our knees in prayer with our heads in His Word. In Col 1:9 Paul writes of his prayers for the Colossians that they “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”.
But why do I need to seek the will of The Lord? If we know that God has a plan and a purpose for us we should be desperate that it’s carried out. Becoming a Christian, as we know, is not a quick prayer or hand in the air then going about your normal business. After submitting to Jesus we should want to serve Him. We should want to please Him in order that Jesus gets all the glory. Isn’t that our reason for living that God be glorified? That’s why we pray “Thy will be done” so that God may be glorified. Nothing and no one else.
So when does God’s will materialise? In His perfect timing, not ours. Of course we know that, but oh how often do we need reminding?! We need to just wait on The Lord. There is much Scripture about waiting on The Lord;
Psalm 62:5 says “My soul waits silently for God alone”
Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”
Joseph waited on The Lord
Jeremiah writes in Lam 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait on Him”
Sinclair Ferguson writes;
“We are to wait on The Lord, in a spirit of expectation. We speak colloquially of the period when a mother-to-be is carrying her child and waiting for the little one to be born when she is ‘expecting’ her baby. It is not always an easy time; there may be discomfort, sickness and a little anxiety. It sometimes may be more tiring to be expecting the baby than looking after it! Yet the waiting is suffused with a spirit of anticipation. So it is with the child of God as he waits on his Father’s will”.
I have come to realise that we need to be in awe and wonder that we can discover God’s will and not spend time confused and perplexed impatiently waiting for it to happen. Isn’t our God worthy of our trust and patience?
Of course, when God’s will manifests it’s always what we’re expecting! Of course it’s not!! Sometimes we may not fully understand things immediately; it may be the next week, the next month, the next year or even ten years down the line. In fact, it’s probably only when we get to heaven that we’ll see the full answer. But what peace we can rest in knowing that God is Sovereign and everything is in His Hands.
Finally, with the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection approaching, I can’t not mention the Father’s will. It was The Father’s will that Jesus went to Calvary to die for us. Jesus obeyed The Father’s will. He knew the death He had to die. It was for me and you. It was the will of The Father. I mentioned earlier that God’s will is His plan and purpose for our lives in order that God may be glorified. Jesus is our chief example. His work on the Cross was for God’s glory. It was His life ministry and our motivation should be the same that God be glorified. Look at John 17:24. The purpose of Jesus’ death was so the glory of God could be seen. Praise God!
Let’s all endeavour to keep on our knees in prayer with our heads in His Word seeking God’s will for His glory alone.