Knowing God’s Will

Knowing God's Will

“I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart” (Psalm 40:8 NLT).

As a pastor and trainer of pastors, I meet very many people who desire to know what the will of God is regarding a number of issues like relationships, finances, parenting, ministry, and many others. I face similar struggles too. Although one may not spend two hours praying over which shirt to wear for the next appointment, one may spend hours, days or even months praying, consulting, struggling,  to know God’s will over the next step in a career journey.  But before we delve into how we can know God’s will for us, we need to first lay the foundation.

I believe that the best place to begin from is Romans 12:1-2.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship.  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will (NIV).

There are at least two principles we can derive from this passage regarding God’s will.

  1. Be ready and willing to obey God in your daily life (v. 1) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. To “offer your bodies as living sacrifices” means to surrender our lives: our passions, desires, plans, priorities, to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It is a waste of time for one to say that “I want to know the will of God,” if that person is not willing to obey what God says. The Psalmist reveals the kind of attitude that all of us ought to have: “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart” (Psalm 40:8 NLT).
  2. Refuse to live according to the world’s value-system (v. 2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. This shift begins with changing the way we think. Our attitudes, beliefs and actions are shaped by the cultures around us. Many of the narratives that shape our worldviews are contrary to God’s standards. It is very important for anyone who is seeking to do the will of God to be aware of the worldviews they are operating from. One must, therefore, be ready to go against some of the cherished cultural values that are against God’s standards. This is not always easy but inevitable for anyone who wants to do the will of God.
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