Recently I wrote a little article regarding a thought I had about this question, "What is God's Will." In the article (Are You Asking The Wrong Question), I was simply trying to point out the importance of our motive behind such a question. Is it a self-centered one? I believe it often is. It is often based on our desire to know how everything is going to play out in our lives (of course, hoping it will play out according to our desires). I'm not even saying that asking the "wrong question" is necessarily sinful, I'm just saying I am of the opinion that it is better to ask the following questions:
1. "What does the Bible say God's will is?"
2. "Does what I am doing go against what the Bible says His will is?"
3 "How can I better align myself with what the Bible says God's will is?"
Anyway, one suggestion was made that the article was a little "generic," or vague. I read it again and would agree with that observation (of course, I wasn't intending to be specific, and since the material on this site is directed to ministry-minded believers, I wasn't really considering anyone who might be new to the faith). So, I thought it might be valuable to any reader who is wondering "What exactly DOES the Bible say God's will is?" to give a few specifics.
If I had to sum up what I believe the Bible says concerning God's will in once sentence, I would say "God's will is to glorify Himself" (glory being "honor," "praise," "exaltation..."). Some Biblical proof of this would be found in words of the twenty-four elders that gather around the throne in Revelation 4:11, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." This also reminds us of the similar works in Colossians 1:16, "...all things all things were created by him, and for him."
At this point someone may begin to think (very ignorantly) that God is rather self-centered and unrighteous to be so. But only a self-centered person who is seeking their own glory would be bothered by the Supreme God and Creator desiring His own exaltation. He is the only One truly worthy of glory because of the fact that nothing would exist outside of Him. If that is you then you may not be able to handle the truth, but the truth is that He desires His own glory, and He is worthy of it.
But what can we personally do to bring the Father the most glory? Well, Jesus sheds some light on this in John 15:8 "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." It comes as no surprise, really, that a gardener would want his garden to produce much fruit, and as a result of the garden's success, the gardener would then be "glorified." So, if we claim to be "disciples" (followers of Christ), but we are not bearing much "fruit" in God's "garden," then we are failing to accomplish God's will in bringing Himself glory.
First, we need to learn what that fruit is. Consider the following:
1. Fruit is the final product of the unhindered work of God. The result of walking in the Spirit and resisting the works of evil is that we are able to be a sort of conduit that is used to pass on the work of the Spirit. Jesus said that He is the Vine and we are the branches. We are simply the bridge between spiritual life and the fruit. When we allow things to block the work of God in our life, we become a fruitless branch and are of little value to God's plans and purposes. For this reason we must constantly be purging ourselves of things that would separate us from God (Selfishness, pride, laziness...).
2. Fruit is the evidence of God's power. When people look at us and see something in us that can be explained in no other way but God, it is clear that we are producing fruit. This means we have peace in the midst of hardship and pain, happiness when everyone around us is dark and gloomy, love in the midst of betrayal and mistreatment, and an unending faithfulness despite all the distractions and pressure of this world.
3. Fruit is reproduction of our kind ("be fruitful and multiply"). When we bring others to Christ, and they are "born-again," that means they are the spiritual offspring of God. In the spiritual sense, we have reproduced and have become "fruitful."
Let's apply this now. Say you are getting ready to make a big decision like marriage or a job transfer or moving to a different location, and you ask that all familiar question, "What is God's will?" Well, if you mean by that "I wonder if God will let me do what I want to do?" then the answer is yes, He probably will. But if you really want to know what He wants for your life, you can start by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Will this decision help me to be a clean vessel that God can use to accomplish His plan and purposes? (Your decision should not be one that would take you away from church or encourage you to live a life contrary to what God's word demands?)
2. Will this decision allow God to show through me in way that is greater than anything I could produce on my own? (Your decision should not minimize your testimony of God working through you?) And finally,
3. Will it enable me to reproduce spiritually? (Your decision should not take you away or limit the time you have in contact with others to whom God has called you to minister?)
If you can confidently say that the answer to all three questions is yes, then I would say start planning on moving in that direction. No matter what, you will always want to pray that God would open doors and close doors accordingly when you are acting upon a decision. Have faith that God will put His final stamp of approval on something or else He will shut the door and you will know it wasn't "meant to be."
Hopefully this can help somebody. God bless, and may your passion for ministry grow as you addict yourself to it. 1 Corinthians 16:15
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