I recently had a question posed by a sister in Christ, “How do we know God’s will?”
The timing of this is so perfect because today is Good Friday. A time to reflect on and remember Jesus giving His life up for ours. Before He was betrayed Jesus prayed for God to spare Him from suffering, but Jesus would do what God wanted, not what He wanted.
What Is God’s Will?
It is God’s will that we are blameless, pure, we show deep love to others, and overall obey Him in all we do that it gives Him glory.
1 Thessalonians 4:03-04, 07
- Be holy, abstain from sexual sin – verse 3
- Learn self-control in regard to our body and to use it in ways honorable to God – verse 4
- Live a holy (purified, set apart) life – verse 7
1 Thessalonians 5:11-18 (reflecting how we work with others and with the Lord)
- Encourage and build up each other – verse 11
- Recognize, show respect, to those who work beside us in the Lord. Those who give us spiritual guidance and warn us. Live in peace with them – verses 12 & 13
- Warn those who are causing disruption & are idle – verse 14
- Encourage the disheartened (depressed or discouraged) – verse 14
- Help the weak – verse 14
- Be patient WITH ALL – verse 14
- Do not repay evil for evil. But strive to do what is good for each other and everyone else- verse 15
- Rejoice always – verse 16
- Pray without ceasing- verse 17
- Give thanks in every situation- verse 18
How Do We Know The Will Of God?
Scripture reading. Spending time with the Lord. This is the secret.
Jesus answers this question very simply and throughout the Bible we see the importance of being in the presence of God and developing a true relationship with Jesus.
Christ’s answer to the question, “How do we know the will of God?”
(ESV) John 7:17, “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority.” He was answering the Jewish leaders who were questioning His teachings and on whose authority He spoke.
You see Jesus tells us it’s simple. If you want to know the will of God, then we must know God. How do we do that? God’s word does not leave us in the dark! JESUS IS THE LIGHT TO THE DARKNESS! Remember that! Jesus is the word of God! He unlocks the truth.
(NIV) Psalm 25:09, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.”
(NIV) John 3:21, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
(NIV) 1 John 1:06, “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”
(BSB) John 8:43, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to accept My message.”
Ephesians 5:15-18 tells us to become wise and to redeem the time we have in this life because days are short. We are to be filled with the Spirit, and we are to know the will of God.
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
What are “the things” of the Holy Spirit?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control, and patience. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Love itself is broken down in 1 Corinthians Ch. 13:04-08 and it is not a romantic love or a passive love that we often see portrayed in the world, but a godly love!
I have underlined and bolded particular words that are repeated in the definition of love. Keep these in mind. When something is repeated in scripture that is a form of showing importance. (1 Corinthians Ch. 13:04-08) Love is:
- not envious
- not boastful
- not proud
- not rude
- not self-seeking
- not easily angered
- it keeps no records of wrongs
- does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth
- bears all things
- believes all things
- hopes all things
- endures all things
- always protects
- always trusts
- always hopes
- always perseveres
- love never fails
Jesus is love. For God so loved the world He gave us the Savior. God is love. God is holy. To be holy is to have this kind of love. To share these attributes that are good and honoring to God. This is His will. This is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that we can produce in our lives through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:15-16)
This is why we MUST have a proper relationship with Christ. The Old Testament is FULL of explaining how God reveals His truth and ways to those who are seeking Him. Proverbs explains this perfectly.
Proverbs Chapter 2 – Post | Desperately Seek Wisdom
Proverbs Chapter 3 – Post | Longer Life & Better Health
(NIV) Proverbs 2:04-14, “Indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. For He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair–every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways.”
Obeying The Will Of God When The Answer Is No
Jesus, again, shows us that we do not walk according to how we want our prayers answered rather we walk ahead in His truth and instruction regardless of how God answers. Jesus, above anyone who has ever or will ever walk this earth, had and has the most faith in God Almighty.
Faith does not give us a guarantee that God answers what we want. Otherwise, Jesus wouldn’t have to be crucified because He HAD FAITH! But more than that… Jesus was willing to obey God!
(ESV) 1 Peter 4:19, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” DID JESUS NOT DO THIS?! HE OVERCAME DEATH FOR US BECAUSE HE IS THE LAMB! A pure sacrifice! A servant! God absolutely used what Jesus did for His glory, the glory of the Lamb, and for the hope we now have in Christ to be redeemed by His blood.
(NIV) 1 Peter 3:17, “For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
The will of God is all about His glory! In order to truly understand His will, we must have a proper relationship with Jesus. That means spending time daily in His word. Spending time daily in prayer and thankfulness. Worship Him and honor Him in what we do throughout the day. We must be holy and strive for holiness in Christ in our mind, body, and spirit.
When we think of God’s will often we think about what we want Him to do in our lives, whereas the truth is God’s will is about doing what HE wants us to do, whether or not it matches up with what we would like. We serve the Lord just as Jesus did!
When we struggle with prayer, and this is hard to write, are we seeking God’s glory in the outcome we hope in? For example, my husband still has not received an internship, and we had a potential job breakthrough, but then COVID-19 happened. Am I seeking God’s glory first when I pray for my husband to get an internship? Not exactly, if I’m honest. I’ve been praying for God’s will, and that challenges my flesh, but I haven’t been thinking about God’s glory should He answer the prayer. I would be grateful and thankful, but not necessarily thinking of His own glory.
God often uses uncertainty and our lack of control for our own good. Refinement is the process we go through when the Holy Spirit strips us from the world and its desires. It is not easy. It’s painful.
Something that nearly brought me to tears just now is realizing we have this one promise in unanswered prayer. Every unanswered prayer always gives glory to God because of His will. Just like Jesus suffering for our sins, God was not only glorified in His suffering, but God DELIGHTED in the suffering.
(ESV) Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.”
It’s not about us, but it’s all about Jesus. This doesn’t mean God won’t answer prayers. He absolutely can. I think God often answers prayers that we aren’t even aware of. He provides for our needs in so many ways. Just being able to look out at nature is amazing. To have a meal, or be able to share a meal with someone at the same table is very precious. So many things we take for granted because it’s not the next thing on the “I want this” prayer list.
Growth comes from the Holy Spirit.
Just like a seed takes to the soil and grows, so is our spiritual walk with Jesus.
We will blossom one day, and we will not be hidden. Whether or not our fruit reflects the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the thorn depends on how we live our life. We either have Jesus or we do not. There is no in-between and if we are lukewarm God spits us out.
(NIV) John 14:23, “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them.”
I hope this study encouraged you and if you learned anything please share. I urge you to do your own studying in His word and spend time with Him.
Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:04, “Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease.”
Monthly Community Prayer– April 2020, – Join us in praying for one another, if you have requests let me know
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath