Monday, January 21, 2008

Doing God's Known Will

Following on the heels of my first post (i.e. one month ago) :), I thought it would be good to post the main idea that initiated the follow-up.  It was the FLC's December 16 class time in which we talked about the importance of doing God's known will, instead of spending so much time focused on (and worrying about) finding God's will, usually with regard to a personal situation that requires a decision.

First, here are five of the specific things that scripture tells us is God's "will" (in Greek, θέλω) for us.

1. It is God’s will that all who trust in Christ Jesus will have eternal life.

For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.

John 6.40 (NASB, emphasis added)

2. It is God’s will that all believers be consumed with His Spirit.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit….

Ephesians 5.15-18 (NASB, emphasis added)

3. It is God’s will that all believers be progressing in holiness.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 4.3-7 (NASB, emphasis added)

4. It is God’s will that all believers be constantly joyful, prayerful, and thankful.

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5.16-18 (NASB, emphasis added)

5. It is God’s will that all believers be obedient for the sake of nonbelievers.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

1 Peter 2.13-15 (NASB, emphasis added)

(By the way, as I described on December 16, my wording on point #5 is not meant to imply that our obedience isn't for the glory of God, or secondarily for our benefit in growth, or anything else for that matter.  Peter simply reminds us that our obedience in submission validates the gospel in our lives, to the degree that others notice and cannot deny the power of God at work in us—the power of a changed life.) are you doing?  Are you fulfilling what you know is God's will for you?  None of us can say that we are always doing God's will—all the time, in every area listed above.  But are you pursuing these things?  Are you maturing in them?  Are you making progress?

So often, we don't or cannot hear God's voice on the unknown, specific, personal areas, because we are not even attempting by His Spirit to do His will in the known, general, universal areas.

Finally, here is a partial list of verses which speak clearly of doing God's will.  Each text appears to assume believers should already know God's will in order to do it.

  • Matthew 7.21
  • Matthew 12.50
  • Mark 3.35
  • Luke 12.47
  • John 4.34
  • John 9.31
  • Acts 13.22
  • Acts 21.14
  • Ephesians 6.6
  • Hebrews 10.36
  • Hebrews 13.21
  • 1 John 2.17

God's will.  Just do it.