God’s Will

Psalm 37: 4             NLT

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

A friend of my emailed me this week, closing her message with “God’s will be done.” That is a heartening expression, is it not? What I heard in it was, “Not the world’s will but God’s will be done.” I am sending out a proposal and I believe it is God’s will so naturally, I want the people who must decide on the idea to follow God’s will. I don’t want them to bend to the world’s pressures, fear, ignorance or any other obstacle. So yeah, God’s will be done in this situation, as in all.

When I read her email, though, it did send me off thinking about something I have been pondering for a while and today’s verse captures the concept. God is willing to give me the desires of my heart because I take my delight in Him. I want you to see this verse from the Passion Translation too. It reads, “Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most.” This version clarifies what it means to “take delight in the Lord.” He should be the source of pleasure. He should bring smiles to our faces and we should want to be with him.

Now, I think I qualify for the first part of that verse. God is delightful to me. So, that takes me to the second part, He will give me the desires of my heart. So, I ask myself, whose will is this about, His or mine? This project is my desire. It is important that He approve but the truth today’s verse points out is that He is waiting for us to say something. He wants to know what I want, what my will is.

Of course, we all want to be in God’s will. I guess that goes without saying but it is important to note that He will give you the desires of your heart sometimes even when it is not His will. The Israelites wanted a king (1 Samuel 8: 5). It was not God’s will for them. Samuel warned them sternly about this path, but they insisted on being like the other nations and having a king, so, God told Samuel to, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king,” (1 Samuel 8: 22). And so, Israel got a king. You might recognize his name. It was Saul. Eventually the kingdom was wrenched from Saul’s hands and given to David. Thus, what the people wanted did not serve them well, but God turned it around for them anyway.

The point I wish to make is that God is looking to you. He wants to know what your will is. It is not as though He did not counsel Israel about the wisdom of her choice. He does that. He will speak to your dreams and desires too but first you must communicate them to Him. That is how it works.

Too often we sit on our laurels waiting for God to do something or say something and He is looking to us to say something. “What do you want, children?” I love what my friend meant when she wrote about God’s will being done relative to my project. She had already agreed to pray for it, so her statement was like an exclamation point. Other times, though, I have sensed that people use that expression as an excuse to do nothing. There is another cute phrase I heard years ago when I lived in San Diego. It says, “God can’t steer a parked car.” That has always ministered to me. If we will start the engine, put the car in gear and begin on a determined course, our Father will act as navigator and direct our steps. Everything in the Bible tells us He will guide us. There is not theology or scripture, though, for sit in your recliner and wait for God to do something.

So, what is your will? What is your desire? What will bring you joy and fulfillment? Maybe your recliner needs an eject button. Stir yourself up. Of course, take it to Dad and let Him speak to your goals and embellish your ideas. He has great creative chops. He will bless the work of your hands and everything you set your hand to. So, start dreaming. Start thinking about what you would like to accomplish. It’s not ALL about His will. It’s not all about His desire. It just may be about the desire He has planted in your heart.

God is Good

Romans 12: 2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

This is a well-known verse; we spend a great deal of time and explanation on the concepts of transformation and renewal, as well we should. I wonder, however, if we ever pause and consider the last part of the verse, “that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Pondering this latter section brings to me two ideas.

First, believers often want to know what the will of God is. Well, here is a very good clue. When considering options we can always be assured that God’s will is in that which is good and acceptable and perfect. If any of those three characteristics are present then we may well be able to recognize God’s will in a situation. Always look for that which is good if you want to find God’s will.

Secondly, so often believers and others blame God when bad events happen in the world or in their lives but you see, bad things are not God’s will. We understand that now, don’t we? His will is that which is good, acceptable and perfect. Therefore, typhoons are not His will. Cancer is not His will. Everything which is bad is outside of the will of God. 

He made a perfect garden called Eden. That we would live in a perfect garden which had spread across the entire surface of the earth was His will. Unfortunately, we let sin and corruption into the world. Now we are faced with the ravages that corruption and decay have wrought on our planet. Sin was not God’s will. Humans had and have a will of their own. And there have been consequences to our acts as there ever will be. Whatever we sow into the earth is what the earth will produce. However, you can know what God’s will is and that will always be the thing which is perfect and whole. He wants for you perfect health and wholeness in your relationships. He wants good situations and blessing in your life. He is the God of good, acceptable and perfect. Anything less just isn’t God!

Knowledge is Power

Ephesians 5: 17

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

I have an expression I like to use which is, “There is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, use the easy way.” Paul said, “Do not be foolish.” Okay, so understanding the will of the Lord is the easy way to live and to succeed. Knowing God’s will is like taking the inside track. The converse is trying to figure it out for ourselves.

I am all for education. As a matter of fact, a friend’s mother chides me that I will be the most educated person in the graveyard. Well, I’ve never put a lot of stock in ignorance. However, no amount of human education will ultimately equip us for the battles of life. Ignorance won’t either but there is another choice. We can live in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord. Actually, that was the original plan.

God did not call us to Him so that we could toil and worry. His calling is so that we can step into our positions as His beloved and live in the fullness of His provision. If we aren’t living in that abundance yet, then we still have the need of more understanding. Of course, the pursuit of understanding the Lord’s will is the journey of this lifetime. Those who are wise instead of foolish will seek His will every day, really every minute. When you know the will of God you will have the confidence to release His power and authority in every aspect of life. You will truly be unstoppable. For those who persist in seeking and knowing God’s will, nothing shall be impossible.

In absolutely everything you do today, pause and seek the Lord. Seek His will. Let Him guide you in every single step. Even the smallest matters are of importance to Him. You will find that you save yourself time and a great deal of effort. Knowledge really is power but only when it is the knowledge of God’s will for you.

Knowing God’s Will

Colossians 1: 9

Be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Don’t you suspect that if you were filled with the knowledge of God’s will for your life, for today, that life would be easier? What if you were filled with the knowledge of God’s will for those things beyond your immediate life? Now that is what I call perspective.

Let’s think about this for a moment. This was Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae. We know about Paul’s close walk with the Lord so I have to think that Jesus routinely guided Paul’s prayers. I would think this was especially true when he prayed for the saints. Moreover, wouldn’t we expect that the Holy Spirit guided Paul when he wrote the letters to the churches? 2 Timothy 3: 16 tells us that all scripture is inspired by God. So what is my point? My point is that this prayer and its inclusion in the scriptures was inspired by God for us today and furthermore, that God would not have inspired this prayer for us unless it was possible for us to receive and be filled with the knowledge of His will. However, as big a revelation as that may be that is only a portion of it. Paul prayed, or perhaps God intoned, that this knowledge of God’s will would be accompanied by all spiritual wisdom and understanding. That is hard to wrap your mind around. Since Paul prayed it and since God inspired it then receiving the idea and concept as well as the actual infilling is exactly what we are meant to do.

It is easy to read this verse or today’s devotional and blow right on by. I am hoping, however, that you will stop and think about it for a few moments. Do you agree that yes, this is the inspired Word of God but think that this passage was not meant for you? Perhaps this passage is meant for the really spiritually mature or perhaps this is for pastors. Well, let’s see to whom the letter is addressed. In verse 2 Paul writes, “… to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae.” Those are just regular folks then. Just believers like you and me.

I wish for you, each of you, to receive into your spirit that Father God is speaking to you today. You may think that you are the least in the Kingdom of God, and maybe you are, but even still, God wants to reveal His will to you. No, actually that is too weak. The truth is that he wants to fill you with the knowledge of His will and He wishes to do it with all spiritual wisdom and understanding. You, the least in the Kingdom, have this awesome initiative from God. So, this is for whomever will receive. You do not have to be someone special. You do not have to be in a full-time ministry position. This promise of God, for that is what it is, is for whomever.  Just tell the Father that you are a “whomever” and you wish to be filled.