Monday, December 12, 2022

Knowing God’s Will (Matthew 12:38-50)

"For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother" (Matt. 12:50).

In our previous lesson on Psalm 142, we witnessed how David overcame a difficult problem by resting and trusting in God. Do you handle difficulties in a way that is pleasing to the Lord? During the next week we will explore this question by examining how to resolve and overcome difficult problems in a way that brings glory to God.

When facing a problem of any sort, one of the first questions that comes to mind is “What is God’s will for my life?” The will of God possesses various meanings, and we must understand each if we are to know God’s will for our lives. The revealed will of God is that which God has made clear. The hidden or secret will of God is that which God has chosen not to reveal to us. The active will of God refers to His bringing about certain events under His sovereignty. The passive will of God describes cases in which He allows some things to take place. The decretive will of God pertains to God’s sovereign decree, which is unchangeable. The preceptive will of God pertains to the laws that God has ordained for men. The will of disposition expresses God’s attitudes, desires, and delights.

No matter in what situation you find yourself, God expects you to submit to His will. He has ordained everything that comes to pass, and it is not our place to question His purposes. We should not try to delve into the secret will of God. Our focus, instead, should be on what God has revealed. It is our duty to pray, as Jesus did, that God’s sovereign will be done. Our attitude should be one of humble submission to God’s will. If it be suffering, our duty is to accept that suffering. If it be a situation in which you do not know God’s specific will, your duty is to obey what God has revealed.

God has given us principles and laws by which to live—these laws are His preceptive will. We should, therefore, examine our lives and make sure we are living according to the principles expressed in His Word. Whenever we seek God’s will, we must first look to Scripture, to find the parameters set in His Word and the direction established by His precepts. Once we understand God’s desires, laws, and principles, we are better equipped to carry out His will.

How did David seek to know God’s will (read Pss. 40:8, 143:10)? When you are making a difficult decision, how do you seek to know God’s will? The next time a major decision confronts you, turn first to Scripture, the revealed will, for guiding principles; only then turn to other tools for decision making.