Summary: Sometimes we can skip over the biggest issues within the faith, and end up entirely missing the point of what we do everyday. This time we ask the question: What is the will of God?
Sometimes we can skip over the biggest issues within the faith, and end up entirely missing the point of what we do everyday. This time we ask the question: What is the will of God?
It's a theme often repeated within the scriptures. The will of God comes up again and again. What does God want from us, his people? What is his purpose for us? What is his will?
Let's start at Romans 12:2 (ESV) which states "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
This is a good place to start. The will of God can be understood as something we can discern. The scriptures urge us to "test" to discover what the will of God is. Further along in Ephesians 5:17 (ESV) it says "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
It is clear that we ought to know the will of the Lord. What does the phrase mean "the will of God"? It could be described as God's desire for his people. God wants us to live a certain way, he wants us to make certain decisions and choices.
Paging through the scriptures, the will of the Lord is revealed throughout the books of the Old and New testament. While studying this topic of the will of God, it seemed to me to be interconnected at times with sanctification, closeness to Jesus, and the phrase "abide in Christ."
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (ESV) says "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality." In connection to sanctification, one aspect of God's will is the process by which we are changed into the likeness of Christ.
John 6:40 (ESV) says "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” This is of course the largest positioning of the will of God. The will of God is that we come to his son Jesus for life. That's why I tell people at the homeless shelter where I work to call upon Jesus Christ for help. I tell the, "when you are at rock bottom, call upon Jesus." God wants us to come to Christ. That is his will.
The third area, abiding, is an interesting area. I haven't seen much teaching on the topic of "abiding in Christ." Yet the word "abide" or, in ancient Greek "Meno" occurs in the NT 102 times. The definitions of "Meno" or the semantic range is...
to remain, abide
in reference to place
to sojourn, tarry
not to depart 1a
to continue to be present 1a
to be held, kept, continually
in reference to time
to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure 1b
of persons, to survive, live
in reference to state or condition
to remain as one, not to become another or different
to wait for, await on
What's interesting about the Greek word "meno" is it's highest usage is by far in the Gospel of John and 1 John. It was an understanding of life with Christ favored by the apostle John.
The secret to abiding in Christ, as mentioned in John 15 and other areas of the gospels and NT letters is revealed in 1 John 2:16-17 ESV which states "For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." (bold added for emphasis)
The key here is that the will of God is an action. We do it. Resting faith is great, but faith itself is often an action. To do the will of God means we will abide forever and keep our lives for life eternal.
Hebrews 10:36 (ESV) For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
As Hebrews 10:36 says, we have great need of endurance. To do the will of God means to endure the journey of faith in Christ, one day at a time. It's not always easy. But with God, all things are possible.
What do we say about a man or woman who is an inspiration to us in their dedicated faith? For me, I would say that person is one who is led by the Spirit of God.
Similarly Romans 8:24 (NIV) says "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."