Have you ever asked: “What is God’s will for my life?”
Scripture tells us that the will of God is a mystery to be lived, as Paul writes:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Our Life’s Blueprint was Drawn Before We Were Born
Paul goes on to say in Ephesians 1:11, that God predestined our lives, as his chosen, in accordance with his plan, and works out everything by the counsel [guidance] of his will.
One thing is clear: it is not the will of God that anyone should perish, but instead be brought to repentance, in accordance with His plan of salvation. For everyone who receives him and believes in his name, he gives the right to become children of God – born not of human conception, plan, or will, but God himself.
A Reconciliation of God’s Justice and God’s Mercy
Maybe one of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible, is John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world [you and me] that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life.” (emphasis added)
To spare us from the harshness of the law codified in the Old (will) Testament, and provide a way to redemption, God drafted a new will – the New Testament. In conformance with this new will, Jesus Christ, Immanuel (meaning God with us), became the sacrificial lamb to be sacrificed on a Roman cross for the sin of the world, as foretold by John the Baptist, who, when seeing Jesus coming toward him, exclaimed:
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”
In a 1956 sermon entitled, “The Mystery of God’s Will“, the late Billy Graham said, “If you want the perfect plan [will] for your life, you will have to go by the way of Calvary [the cross] to get it.“
Therefore, the choice is ours. If we believe in Christ, the Lamb of God, who by his sacrifice, took away the sin of the world, and come before him with a humble and contrite heart, we take the first step toward knowing the will of God – the mystery of which, is made known to us through the Holy Spirit, as we search the scriptures.
The Word is Sacrosanct to Knowing the Will of God
If we don’t earnestly read his Word, we can’t possibly know the mystery of God’s will for our lives. We become as those who are unable to see the forest for the trees.
Yet you must go on steadily in all those things that you have learned and which you know are true. Remember from what sort of people your knowledge has come, and how from early childhood your mind has been familiar with the holy scriptures, which can open the mind to the salvation which comes through believing in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God and fit him fully for all branches of his work. – 2 Timothy 3:15 (PHILLIPS – emphasis added)
The divine direction of our lives can be guided by circumstances, but how often do we pray for God to change the circumstances to suit our will, instead of conforming to His?
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus showed his humanness by praying for God to remove what was about to happen to him (to change the circumstances), but nevertheless submitted to the will of God, by finishing his prayer with “not my will, but yours, be done.”
In the midst of his grief and physical suffering, Job said, “He [alone] has [true] counsel and understanding.” God understands the purpose of our afflictions, even when we don’t.
In the midst of our circumstances (whatever they may be), there’s a divine lesson to be learned, a purpose to be accomplished, and a discovery to be made. We have a tendency to ask God, “why me”, instead of looking for the lesson, purpose, or discovery, that may be incarnate within the circumstance.
The psalmist tells us that the Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path, and that God orders the steps of the godly, delighting in every detail of their lives.
As we proceed through life, our path will always be directed by whose will we conform to, so in every circumstance we face, let’s pray as Jesus did at Gethsemane:
“not my will, but yours, be done.”