As we get into this series about God’s Will, it will be important to understand exactly what we are talking about. For some people, nothing happens outside of God’s Plan. Meaning, whatever happens to you, God wanted it to happen. We don’t really have free will to make decisions. For some other people, God is only concerned with the big issues of the universe and doesn’t have time to be our daily driver. Life is something we need to figure out and the choices are up to us. Make the wrong choice and you end up at the wrong destination. So which one is it? Does God reach down and specifically, personally direct us? Does He communicate direction and information to us that we would not know otherwise unless we seek out to discover it? And if He does, how does He do it? Is there a secret code hidden in the pages of Scripture? Will it happen in a dream? And how can I enjoy the benefit of such direction? Does God have a detailed and ideal plan for every person’s life or just the big movers and shakers of the world? Does a wrong choice send a person down a completely different direction unfulfilling God’s individual plan for their life resulting in a permanent detour?
These are important questions to consider. In this study, we are going to see that it’s not always “black and white.” We are going to see God’s Will as a combination of things He has already revealed for all people to follow and a guidance of personal/individual decisions. We are going to see it as a blend of an ideal “Plan A” with a design of many good options to pick. We are going to see that our decisions need to be weighed carefully as they come with blessings and consequences while God’s sovereign control works it out to be how God wanted it to happen all along.
What is for certain is that God’s Will is always good. For example, Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a plan for your future that is filled with hope and prosperity. It’s a plan that is not meant to harm you or to destroy you. Yet, at the time this was written, God’s people weren’t living with hope and prosperity. They were disobedient and needed to endure some hard times because of their unfaithfulness. However, God was not leaving them to forever suffer in their bad decisions. His disciplining hand was not to harm them, but to correct them. Their path was a combination of their choices and God’s strategy for restoration.
Romans 12:2 says that with the renewing of our minds and not being transformed by the ways of the world, we would be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Part of our job is to continually learn about God’s ways to continually discern His Will for our life. It’s not simply asking for His guidance when we have a decision to make. The work upfront is better than trying to figure it all out at the last minute.
Therefore, our task in seeking God’s Will is to gain more knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of God’s ways by disciplining ourselves to know God and how He works. The apostle Paul put this whole idea together in his prayer for the church at Colossae:
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints of light.” (Col. 1:9-12)
PAUSE AND PRAY
Take a few moments and think through how you would answer those questions above. What does “God’s Will” mean? How do you find out “God’s Will?” Then spend some time in prayer, asking God to guide you in understanding of what His Will is. Pray that your desire to know and to follow His Will would grow over the next several weeks.
This is part of a 4 week devotional plan for the series “Figuring Out God’s Will.” For complete details, see here.