Monday, October 9, 2017

Understanding God's Will

"It is God’s will that you should be holy" (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

Knowing God’s will for our lives is often regarded as one of the more difficult problems we face as Christians. Deciding on a vocation, or where to live, or which of several good options to take—these are problems all Christians face and tend to worry about. There is a very real sense, though, in which we need to relax about these kinds of questions because they are far less important than another aspect of God’s will for us.

Our primary concern must be with God’s revealed will as we find it in the Bible. This is God’s will: our sanctification. Wherever we live, whomever we marry, and whatever our occupation, God’s primary concern is with our obedience. As Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Often we become so concerned about vocational questions and other such decisions that we start neglecting the most important thing of all: obeying Christ our King. The emphasis in the Bible is that we live by the principles and precepts of God’s Word.

I’m not saying that the Spirit does not give leading to Christians as they face questions concerning God’s particular will for them. God gives us indications in these areas through providential opportunities, personal gifts, and inclinations, and the advice of friends and elders. It is perfectly appropriate to look for God’s guidance in such ways. We must always, however, keep this aspect of guidance in perspective. God never leads us to violate His law. Moreover, it is as we pursue holiness and righteousness where we are that God is pleased to disclose to us other aspects of His will for us. In this way, those aspects of God’s will that are clearly revealed to us in the Bible form the foundation for learning what He wants us, in particular, to do with our lives.

We must remember that God is not attempting to conceal Himself or His will. Biblical history is the record of His desire to reveal, not conceal. He wants us to walk confidently with Him and is therefore pleased to increasingly reveal His will for us. As a rule, He is more concerned with who we are rather than when or where we are. Decision-making confidence comes with being the person God wants us to be.