the will of god

I grew up in the Midwest–the great state of Ohio to be exact. If you have ever been to the Midwest or know someone from there, you know that mid-westerners have a few quirks and crazy traditions. One of the greatest traditions is the card game, Euchre. Now, I never thought Euchre was weird or abnormal; but rather, a well known, everyone plays it, type of card game…that is, until I went to college in the northeast. At college I quickly became aware of the fact that not everyone knows what Euchre is, let alone how to play it! And sometimes I think that is exactly how believers feel with God’s will. They don’t even know what it is, let alone how to do it! So I want to offer some help on this topic, which is why today I am addressing the subject of God’s Will and how to do it in three steps–Distinguish it above all else, Deem others above yourself, and Delight yourself in it.

The first step in doing God’s will is Distinguishing it above all else. To distinguish God’s will above all else we must first read God’s Word daily. David tells us in Psalms to “meditate” (think about, dwell on) God’s word both day and night (Psalm 1:1-2). In other words, God’s word should be on our minds and hearts all throughout our day, at all times. But Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that the purpose of this “meditating” is transformation (being changed from the inside out), not just conformation (being pressed into a mold by external pressures). And it is only by a continual dwelling on God’s word, that we can be transformed (Colossians 3:16). But to distinguish God’s will above all else we must also trust God’s Word completely. We must believe and live as though it is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true and good to revive our souls, make wise the simple. It is righteous altogether (Psalm 19:7-9). We must believe and live as though God’s word and God’s Spirit working through His word, can sanctify and make us holy (John 17:17). We must believe it makes us competent and equips us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And we must believe and live as if  everything for life and godliness has been granted to us in God’s Word (2 Peter 1:3). So if we are going to do God’s will, we must first Distinguish His Word above all else, by reading it daily and trusting it completely. Jonah

The second step in doing God’s will is Deeming others above ourselves. To do this we must first consider others as more important than ourselves. Paul reminds us of the greatest example of this when he draws our attention to Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). We must think and reflect the actions of Christ, who thought nothing of Himself, being God, but became a man to die a cruel death in our place. But we must also consider the battle between our “rights” and the well being of others (1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1). God calls us not to do everything that we are “free” or “allowed” to do, but to consider the repercussions it could have on others. All of this caution and restricting ourselves for the betterment of others finds its greatest reason in the death of Christ (1 John 3:16-18).

imagesHowever, we must not only consider others as more important, but we must also consider others input. We must recognize that our hearts can and do deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9). The person easiest to trick and deceive is often ourselves. Proverbs repeatedly calls us to remember and recognize that it is the fool who is right in his own eyes, and because of this often isolates himself for his own self-seeking pleasure (Proverbs 12:15, 18:1, 15:22, 13:20). And Paul reminds us that we all need to make sure we seek “wise” help and company (1 Corinthians 15:33). So if we are going to do God’s will we must also be Deeming others above ourselves, by considering them more important, and considering their input.

The third and final step in doing God’s will is Delighting yourself in it. David tell us in Psalm 37:4 that if we “Delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.” In others words, when our greatest desire is for God, His will, and His glory, we will get our desires, because our desires will match God’s. But to do this we must first, delight in the joy of God’s will (1 Corinthians 10:31). Everything we do must be done to God’s glory and for the joy of seeing Him made much of. Secondly, to delight in God’s will we must delight in the freedom of it. This freedom is a freedom from sin and death and to obedience and righteousness and eternal life (Romans 6:6-7, 14, 17-18). Thirdly, delighting in God’s will means we will Delight in the security of it. Being in God’s will and doing it faithfully means we no longer fear the punishment of judgment because judgment has been dealt with through perfect love (1 John 4:18).

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We now seek not to avoid judgment but to enjoy love. We can freely choose and enjoy a plethora of options without fearing missing God’s will or being punished for the wrong. This is true because the judgment we once feared and wanted to avoid, has been dealt with by perfect love…Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement on the cross of Calvary, where He became sin for us, so that we might be the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). So to be doing God’s will we must be Delighting in it by delighting in the joy, freedom, and security of it.

Inevitably, I found a few other mid-westerners while in college who knew the game of Euchre and enjoyed playing it as much as I did. But the greater joy was teaching my future bride and other friends not just what the game was but how to play it. And I believe that God has exponentially greater joy when believers not only realize what His will is revealed in His Word and but also obediently and faithfully do it.

I pray that this post and series has been not only educational, but enjoyable in your understanding and practice of God’s will in your life. If you missed the first post “God’s Will: First Things First“, or second post “God’s Will: Three Wills of God“, or third post “God’s Will: What is it“, you can check them out here.

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