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Knowing the Will of God: A Review

This is a topic I have posted on before, but it is good to talk about it again. "It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you" (Philippians 3:1).

The important thing in any major decision is to seek to know the will of God. Here are a few principles from the Bible which you can use as a start to help you determine God’s will:

1. Want to know the will of God.

"If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own" (John 7:17). If I want to be in the will of God, and God wants to be in His will, there is no way I will miss it.

2. The desires of your heart.

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). Your desires are not necessarily wrong. If you delight in the Lord, He will give you your desires.

3. The witness and leading of the Spirit.

"Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are s…
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The Will of God: What Is It?

What is the meaning of God’s will? What do we have to do in order to do God’s will? How can we know God’s will?

There are two expressions of God’s ultimate will in the Scriptures. The first is our salvation: "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

The second is our sanctification: "It is God’s will that you should be sanctified" (1 Thessalonians 4:3a).

Both of these were accomplished by Jesus Christ: "It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30).

The will of God for us is our salvation, which includes our justification (conversion), holiness (sanctification), and the redemption of our bodies at the Second Coming. Since we have already experienced justification, our concern now is our holiness (sanctification). Remember, it is already provided for:

Everyday Holiness: Following God's Plans

“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, who make a league, but not of my Spirit that they may add sin to sin who set out to go down to Egypt without asking for my counsel.” (Isaiah 30:1-2)

This text applies to nations, the world, and individuals. They make plans and implement them. They draw up treaties, agreements, and contracts. The plans are not God’s. They do not ask the Lord for advice. Many Christians also follow this pattern. God says, “Woe to the rebellious children.”

In the early stages of the conquest of Canaan, the Gibeonites deceived Joshua into making a treaty with them under oath: "The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath" (Joshua 9:14-15).

There is a way to follow God’s plans that is not good, but is still better than following your own way: "Be not like a horse…

God Says No

The Bible has several clear texts that describe the way the world does things with an attached command that says “No” to that kind of conduct:

"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" (Ephesians 4:17-19).

"Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:9-10).

"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you…

No Need for Questions

Jesus had just finished saying to the twelve that after His resurrection they should no longer ask Him anything. They should ask the Father in Jesus name, because the Father Himself loved them. “Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God” (John 16:30).

I hope I can write this for our (yours and mine) building up.

Normally we would come to two conclusions concerning John 16:30. Either a person who knew all things would not need to ask anyone any questions, or a person who knew all things would want others to ask him questions in order to display his knowledge.

Because Jesus spoke clearly and without figures of speech, the twelve could see, first, that He knew all things, and, second, that He did not need to have anyone ask Him questions. These two conclusions made them believe that he came from God.

“Knowing all things” would make any person believe that Jesus came from God. Howev…

It’s Not Sweetness and Light

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me” (John 15:18-21).

The world is not sweetness and light; it is darkness against light. It is hatred against light. This is because of Jesus Christ coming into the world. “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:9). “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be expo…

Reading the Bible Every Day

Many Christians read the Scriptures sporadically in both time and place. In other words, they read them “now and then” and “here and there.” They gravitate to their favorite chapters. Some of them have never even read the whole New Testament through. The body of Christ is appallingly ignorant of God’s Word, and there is a corresponding lack of obedience.

There is no substitute for reading the Word of God. Listening to the best Bible teachers in the world will not make up for personal ignorance of Scripture or replace the benefits of spending time with the Lord in His Word.

Here are some helps for you to consider when reading the Word. First, the genealogies in the New Testament take up less than two chapters. If they are a problem to you, skip them for now go back over them separately; it will only take five minutes. They would not be there if they were not important. However, they are not intended to stop you from reading the rest of the New Testament.

Second, do not stop for hard…