God’s Will is not a Hidden Mystery

Our connect group meets every other Wednesday night and we had a very powerful lesson one of the last times we met.  Some simple questions were asked like “Do you feel like you know what God put you here on this earth to do?” or “Do you feel like God has much more and better things to do in your life yet ahead of you that you haven’t accomplished yet?”  Many of them sat back and realized that they weren’t very fulfilled people and they felt they struggled with discovering God’s will for their life.  We realized that a good percentage of our group felt complacent or stuck in their circumstances, but realized that it didn’t have to be that way.  They realized that lots of people had asked them similar questions about their own lives that they couldn’t help them answer, but eagerly wished that they could’ve help them answer.

Have you ever heard someone ask you “Why do you have me here, God?” or have people ask you “What you think God’s will for their life is?”  We listened to an awesome message from David Platt studying Acts 16 and how the Apostle Paul discovered what to do in tough situations and really how he discovered God’s will in his life in all situations he encountered.  We realized that our lives are full of questions every day.  Decisions at work and decisions with family and friends that occur every single day.  What to wear? What to eat? What to do first at work or school? And so on.  But, more complex questions always pop up and confront us and can make us very uncomfortable and even worry and consume our lives if we’re not careful.  Questions as you get older like where should I go to college and what should I major in?  Does God want me to take this job offered to me?  Does God want me to marry this person?  Christians and non-Christians alike all face major and sometimes life altering decisions and are faced with tough questions that lead to a very common question that I tend to hear a lot in and out of the church pertaining to “What is God’s will for my life?”  “What does God want me to do in this situation?”

Sometimes the answer is easy like when someone does something wrong you are to “forgive them as the Lord as forgiven you” as noted in Colossians 3:13.  But sometimes answers to questions just aren’t right in front of you in scripture and it takes some spiritual endurance and patience before your breakthrough happens.  I’ve heard all kinds of ways that people want to hear God’s will for their lives or in a particular season.  In the teaching our connect group heard it was funny, but I heard that Pastor saying some people have even come to him and wanted to see an astonishing miracle like a burning bush that Moses had or a blinding light that Paul had.  The only problem is that isn’t very common.  How many of you have talked to a bush??  Or at least one that talked back to you while it was on fire??  This is not God’s most common method.  Or some people want a striking coincidence method where they see certain things like a road sign, messages found in fortune cookies that align with what you’re thinking or a person to give them such a clear clue that it leads them right to the path they were looking for.  All of these would be nice if they just appeared out of the blue but what our group found more encouraging and what made clear sense and spoke to them was how the Apostle Paul in particular knew what to do in his life while accomplishing God’s will here on earth.

Paul, Timothy and Silas in Acts 16 for example didn’t just sit back and say…”Where do you want us to go God?”  “What do you want us to do?”  They knew what God wanted them to do.  God wanted them to preach the gospel as in Mark 16:15.  God wanted them to strengthen the church as mentioned in Romans 14:19.  There’s people without Christ, there’s cities without Christ, there’s churches that need strengthening, there’s disciples to be made, there’s a gospel to be spread as in Matthew 28, and so Paul was doing it.  He’s obeying the commands of Christ.  Even on the simple things like on the Sabbath day He knows it is God’s will that he goes and worships.  Even in the middle of the night in prison after he and Silas were beat and put into stocks he knows it’s God’s will for him to praise God in all things as in Psalm 34. Paul and Silas praised the Lord despite being unjustly thrown in jail and flogged before the miracle of the earthquake happening that caused the jailor and his entire household to come to Christ and their persecutors setting them free the next day.   And it’s in this context: (and don’t miss this)  “It’s in the context of active obedience to God’s commands that God is directing Paul steps.”  Paul, Silas and Timothy are not sitting back passively and wondering what is God’s will?  They know God’s will and they are walking with God in it and they are trusting God to direct their steps as they do.  And the same exact thing is true about our own lives as followers of Christ.  As we walk with God, He directs the details of our lives.  Think about it….sure there’s all kinds of decisions that I make every day all throughout our lives that we do not have a specific word in the bible on what to do.  Where to go to college, what job to take, whether or not to marry, who to marry, where to live, this decision or that decision.  There are so many things that we don’t know.  At the same time there are so many things that we do know.  We have God’s will in God’s Word.  Here’s a dependable method for finding the will of God we studied in our lesson.  The pastor in our lesson called it the “read your bible method.”  It is God’s will for you to be with Him in prayer.  Guaranteed the will of God.  It is God’s will for you to abide in His Word.  Read it and memorize it, study it, hide it in your heart as in Psalm 119.  Talk about it all the time that is God’s will.  It is God’s will for you to pursue righteousness and holiness and for you to flee immorality and idolatry as in 1 Timothy 6:11.  Its God will for you to love him with all of your heart and soul, mind and strength.  And in the same scripture it is God’s will for you to love your neighbor like you love yourself in Mark 12:30-31.  It is God’s will for you and me to care for the needy and to defend the weak to help the powerless in Proverbs 31:8-9.  It is God’s will for you to make disciples of all the nations in Matthew 28:19-20.  No Christian needs to be sitting back and waiting for God’s will for your life.

Oswald Chambers says that the Christian should never ask the question of what is God’s will for my life?  Here’s the illustration:  Of walking through the woods.  Oswald said:  “What is the only time when you’re walking through the woods where you have to ask where the path is??”  Well…the only time you have to ask where the path is when you’re “off the path.”  So just stay on the path every day.  Walk with God with obedience to His Word and He will lead you.  Adrian Rogers said:  “The way to find God’s will for the rest of your life is to do God’s will for the next 15 minutes.”  And as you walk with Him He will guide you.  As you keep His commands He will order your steps.  Isn’t this Proverbs 3:5-6—“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him…and what will He do?  He will make your paths straight!   Did you hear that promise?  Acknowledge Him, Trust Him, Walk with Him and God is promising in His word to lead you and me to guide us, to direct us, to make our paths straight.  Which makes sense.  Think about it.  God wants His will to be accomplished in our lives more than we do.  Do you know how much God wants His will to be accomplished in your life?  God wants His will to be accomplished in your life so much that He has put His very spirit inside of you!  It’s an awesome thought.  The Holy Spirit dwells in you.  That should knock us out of our seats if we think about it.  The Spirit of God is in you to lead and guide your thoughts, transform your desires, affect your decisions.  Think about Romans 12:2—“Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind and then you be able to test and approve what God’s will is that is His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  So what if the will of God in our lives isn’t supposed to be found?  What if the will of God in our lives is to be lived out and discovered because as we walk in obedience to His commands and read His word saturating our minds and so then He will reveal what to do as we have proved ourselves worthy to be trusted to steward greater things in the kingdom and by spending time with God in prayer, reading his Word and obeying His commands we will also know His voice.  There’s only one person in my life who calls me “Hey Sweetie!”  It’s Kate Fulton, my wife of 18 years.  She is the only person who calls me “Sweetie”, so when I hear someone on the phone say “Hey Sweetie” I know it is my wife.  I’ve spent enough time with her to know her voice, and her ways.  We can know God’s voice in our lives directing our steps in all things.  John 10:27-28 tell us that “My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” As we spend time with Him in His word, in prayer and carrying out His commands in our lives and then we will walk out His will daily, weekly, monthly our entire lives because we are familiar with the His ways, His voice and His instructions.  God’s will in our lives isn’t hidden and we are not on some cosmic Easter egg hunt.  Try it today and see what happens in your life when you “obey the active commands of Christ in your daily life…..your steps will be ordered by God moving forward.

Alex Fulton
Discipleship Pastor
New Covenant Worship Center

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