Spiritual Growth
Knowing God's Will For Your Life

2 Peter 3:11 & 12Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.

Colossians 4:12 - stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

God's Will For My LifeHere it is... God's will for you is that you be:

  • Saved
  • Spirit Filled (be in the word)
  • Sanctified (separated from sin)
  • Submissive (humble)
  • Suffering (persecuted)
  • Thankful

How do you know these are God's will? Isn't there more? How do you know what job to take? Where to live? Who to marry? The answer is here.

You can know God's will by searching the scripture. It specifically identifies these six as God's will for you.

God's Will Is That You Be Saved

2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 - For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Does this mean God will save everyone? No. It means that He desires that everyone be saved, but He still gives each of us free will. We have the option of repenting and trusting Jesus, or we can put our trust elsewhere.

It's our choice. If we are to be in God's will we must chose to repent and trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

God's Will Is That You Be Spirit Filled

Ephesians 5:17-18 - So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Don't get drunk, but be filled by the spirit.

It is God's will that we be filled by the Spirit. What does this mean?

When we are drunk, we are out of control. What this verse is saying is that we are not to be out of control, but we are to be controlled by the Spirit. For example, when you are "blind with anger," are you in control? No. You are so filled with anger that your anger controls you. If you are filled with sorrow, are you in control? No. You are so filled with sorrow that you can't help but weep. The sorrow is overwhelming.

It is the same with being filled with the Spirit. To be filled with the Spirit does not mean getting knocked to the floor or having some sort of ecstatic experience. It means to be so filled with God's word that it controls everything you think and do.

Let's think about this. Where did God's word come from? From the Spirit, through human writers inspired by the Spirit. How do we understand God's word, through the illumination provide by the Spirit. To be filled with God's word, saturated with God's word, is to be filled with the Spirit.

God's Will Is That You Be Sanctified

Flee from sin.1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter.

God's will is that you be separated from sin... becoming more and more like Jesus Christ.

In writing to the Thessalonians Paul gives the example of the most difficult sin to be separated from, sexual sin. To be in God's will we are not have have lustful passions, like nonbelievers do. We are to be in control of our bodies and our thoughts. We are to be growing in Christ-likeness. We are not to be defrauding others to take advantage of them sexually, but we are to be sanctified and separated from sin.

God's Will Is That You Be Submissive (Humble)

James 4:7 - Submit therefore to God.

Submit to God and the devil will flee from you.

Submitting is the overall theme of Ephesians chapter 5 -- submit to each other and have unity in the spirit. To submit means to be humble. It is God's will that we be humble and submit to Him, and one another.

God's Will Is That You Suffer (Be Persecuted)

1 Peter 3:17 - For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.

1 Peter 4:19 - Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Paul and Silas In PrisonIf you are obeying God... pleasing God... you will be persecuted. The world hates Jesus Christ, but they can't get at Him. You are Christ's ambassador on earth, and that makes you a target. God is pleased when you suffer for doing what is right. You are following Christ's example.

BTW, suffering for doing what is wrong is discipline. However, suffering for doing what is right will refine you.

1 Peter 5:10After you've suffered awhile, the Lord will make you mature, strong and perfect.

What is interesting is that there are times when Christians are persecuted, placed in miserable, painful situations, it counts as suffering, but they are not suffering. I'm thinking of the time when Paul and Silas are thrown in prison... in the deepest part of the prison. And their legs are locked in stocks. It's probably a cold, miserable place to be. And stocks can be painful. Yet, what are they doing? Praying and signing hymns of praise. Based on worldly standards they should have been suffering, but instead they were praising God.

God's Will Is That You Be Thankful

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In everything, give thanks, for this is God's will for you.

As Paul and Silas did, be thankful always. Rejoice always, even when it seems like God has abandoned you (He hasn't.). Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks... that is God's will.

 

How do I know who to marry? What job to take? What school to go to? This doesn't answer these questions.

Yes, it does answer all of those questions... plus all others concerning God's will.

If you are saved, spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering, and thankful, then whatever you desire to do will be in God's will.

How does that work? Let's have some scripture for this!!

Psalm 37:4Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

If you are in God's will in these six areas, you will be delighting in the Lord and God will plant His desires in you. Your desires will be God's desires because He will give His desires to you. He will plant them in your heart.

So whatever you do, you will be in God's will.

Except, there is one problem. You are fallen. You are broken. That means you will still have some sinful desires... some selfish desires. You will not be perfect in having God's desires.

Paul was the "super" apostle. He corrected Peter. But, Paul also went out of God's will. In Acts 20 and 21 Paul is going to Jerusalem -- against God's will. As he is traveling he is continually warned not to go to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:4 - After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.

"Through the Spirit" means that this was from God. But, Paul wasn't listening. He was determined to go to Jerusalem. Whenever we have a major decision to make, we should spend time in prayer. We should also get counsel from mature Christians, such as the elders of our church, as well as other solid, mature Christians. Paul ignored the advice he was given as he traveled to Jerusalem. When we are making a major decision, we should get good counsel and pay attention to it.


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