God’s will for your life

This series of blogs will examine God’s will for your life.  How can we know what God wants us to do?  Clearly,  God has a general will for all people.  All of us are to carry out the “Cultural Commission” of Genesis 1:28.  God told Adam and Eve, “‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”  In other words, we should get married, have children, build communities, and create culture.   While this seems plainly obvious, it explains why we have these basic needs of having a  family and accomplishing goals.

Christians also have a general command from God regarding what they should do with their lives: the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28:19-20.  It says, “‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’”  Christians are to make followers of Jesus Christ by going to people, baptizing them, and teaching them the Word of God in all areas of life.  But beyond these general commands for all people, does God want us specifically to do certain things? 

The answer is yes.  And God’s guidance comes to us in four ways: sovereign, special, moral, and non-moral.  To begin a discussion on God’ s specific will, understand that God guides us in a sovereign way.  That means that God is in total control, or is sovereign, and that unless something is His will, it will not occur.  The Bible speaks about this in numerous verses, but here are just two.  Ephesians 1:11 says, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”  Think about that: God works out everything in conformity with what He wants.  No mortal can explain that–we accept it by faith.  Likewise, Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” 

It is God’s will that you are reading this.  If you couldn’t access it, and were trying, there must be a reason that you couldn’t.  But since you are reading it, God has allowed that.  Everything–where you live, where you work or attend school, what you do–is an allowance by God as well as an exercise of your free will.  But if you chose to do something, and couldn’t, God has sovereignly declared “No.”

A few months ago I was to speak in another state at a youth event,  Terrible storms prevented my plane from leaving my home city, and there was no way to get there in time.  Try as I did, there was no arriving on schedule for the conference.  What was God’s will?  He sovereignly said “No” through the circumstances.  Thankfully, we rescheduled the event and will do it next month, but this illustrates the will of God since He’s in total control.

I like this way of thinking about God’s guidance in the area of sovereignty: if you want to know God’s will for today, wait until tomorrow.  Tomorrow you can look back on today and see that it must have been God’s will that you lived, accomplished certain tasks, and saw the next day.  If God has decided something, there is no way you will stop Him.  He is sovereign, and that is one way that He guides us.

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