Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
A popular question asked of children is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As a Christian, you may have asked a similar question, “What is God’s will for my life?”
Now for the child the answer usually comes without hesitation. My granddaughter recently changed her answer from veterinarian to architect. I’m pretty sure that in my younger years I wanted to be a cowboy.
Later in life, the answer is not so clear. That’s when reality sets in. Is it attainable? How long will it take? How much will it cost? Is it all worth it?
Musician seemed like a worthy pursuit for me. It took a mega-dose of reality for me to see it wasn’t a price I was willing to pay. Life on the road. Little to no job security. So I chose a broadcasting career. All in all, that worked out pretty well.
It all comes down to WILL. Do you have the will to make it happen? Can you will it into being?
Early on, I realized I couldn’t do it on my own. If I was to succeed at anything, I required supernatural help. My will wasn’t enough. I needed the will of God on my side. I wanted His endorsement — His blessing — His help.
The more we grow spiritually, the more in sync we become with God’s will. It’s like learning to march in step. The first day of Navy Boot Camp, recruits were lined up and taught the basics on how to march. My band training prepared me for the experience, but for those who had never marched before, the results were downright comical. Getting in step and keeping in step was difficult for many of them. So it is when we try to align God’s will with our will.
Psalm 37:4 gives valuable insight on how we can get in step with God’s will. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
The reason I was good at playing the trombone was because I loved it. Difficult tasks are easier to master when we delight in what we are doing. Today, my passion is writing. A day seldom passes I don’t write a minimum of eight hours a day. How is that possible? It’s because I love what I do. People who delight in the Lord learn all they can about the Father; what pleases Him, and what He expects of them. Consequently, His desires become the desires of their heart.
God’s will for your life is not hard to learn. For example: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) God’s will is that we have a joyful spirit, that we communicate with Him continually, and that we have grateful hearts.
It’s also God’s will that we love Him, and we show it by keeping His commands. (John 14:15) We learn what He expects of us by studying His word which renews our minds and keeps us from conformity with the ways of this world. (Romans 12:2) Application of His instruction results in doing good (1 Peter 2:15), abstaining from wicked deeds (1 John 2:16-17), and thus honoring God.
When your will is to do God’s will (John 7:17) then you can be assured you have found God’s will for your life.
And so, based on your knowledge, obedience, and faithfulness to His will you make choices and plans for your life. When your heart and intentions honor God, then you can move forward in confidence that you are in His will. However, there will still be roadblocks, detours, difficulty, and hardship.
The Apostle Paul walked close to the Lord, and he continually sought and followed God’s will. Yet, his good intentions were often waylaid by Satan or men of evil intent. (see 1 Thessalonians 2:17-19) Surely Paul didn’t want to be chained and incarcerated, but God still used him to spread the gospel as no one else. It’s that “Thy will be done” thing again from the Lord’s prayer. It is God’s will we accept, honor, and have complete confidence in His will.
Just because you receive opposition doesn’t mean you heard God wrong, or that you’re wasting your time. And if your reason for wanting to know God’s will for your life is because you want smooth sailing and no problems — forget it. Jesus warned that His followers would face opposition.
What then is God’s will for your life? Our Lord summed it up in an easy to understand sentence. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
For more on this topic, check out this article: Where to Find Hope for Living
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.