How can you really know God’s will for your life? Have you ever been perplexed or frustrated at trying to figure out exactly what it is that God wants you to do? If so, you are not alone. Trust me. This happens to all of us at some point or another.
I don’t know about you, but I am quite impatient. I want patience, but I want it right NOW! And guess what? When I begin to be discontent with the state I am in, I begin to force God’s will in my life, and try to do God’s job in my own strength. (As if He needs my help).
The fact of the matter is that we cannot work hard enough to obtain let alone sustain God’s will for our lives. We must let go of our selfish pride, and let God do His work in and through us. Christ says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:30) and I think sometimes we like to make things harder than they actually are.
God’s will for the believer is SIMPLE, but often times our SELFISHNESS gets in the way. Ephesians 5 helps us understand what the will of the Lord is for every man.
First and for most, it is God’s will that every man comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We must put our faith and trust in His death, burial, and resurrection. In II Peter 3:9, the Bible says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
It is the sovereign will of God that all of mankind comes to a place where he realizes he is lost, and in need of a Savior. You must acknowledge your sin and the penalty thereof, which is death in Hell, and put faith your in Christ as the only means of redemption. Being saved is the first step on your journey being secured in the midst of His will.
Secondly, after you come to the saving knowledge of Christ, God commands His children to be totally surrendered unto Him. Verse 1 says, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” The moment you receive Christ, the Holy Spirit now lives inside of you, and begins a great work of molding you into the image of The Son. There is a small price to pay however.
Christ said to His disciples, “Take up thy cross and follow me.” This was no menial task. This would involve, uncertainty of a place to sleep, persecutions by non-believers, and even death to some that had given their life to preach the Gospel of Christ. Paul even tells us how to be followers; “as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Some of you may have heard the expression having “child-like faith.” I believe that is what Paul is trying to get across here. We, as believers, must trust God’s way, will and word with all that we are. When we trust Him as a child trusts their mother or father, surrendering to the next step will become natural.
I heard of an example of a youth pastor whose daughter, when she was two or three, would jump off the kitchen counter, totally trusting her daddy to catch her. But there came at time when she was a little older, when her dad would say,
“Ok, jump to daddy.” And her reply, “No!”
“No? Well don’t you trust daddy?”
“Do you think daddy can catch you?”
“Well jump to daddy!”
Isn’t that like many Christians today? We profess that we trust in God, we even somewhat believe He can accomplish the task, but yet we will not jump into the Fathers arms. To fulfill and understand His will, you must surrender totally to Him, banking on the fact that He will catch you.
Not only is it God’s will for all to be saved and surrendered, but He desires us to be separate from the rest of the world. Paul goes on in the chapter to list several sins that “should not be once named” in the life of a believer. He then charges the saints at Ephesus in verse seven and eight saying, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light”
There is much to say in other portions of Scripture about a believer being separate from the world, but what does that mean? II Corinthians 2:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” When one is saved by the blood of Christ, they are a new creature. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). So often, we will return back to the vanity (emptiness) of the world, as the children of Israel did with Egypt, instead of “walking as children of light.” We let the “bushel” of sin cover our light, and quench the working of the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life.
God desires us to be separate, so that He will be seen!
This brings us to the fourth and final point. If we are going to live in the center of the Father’s will, we must be Saved, Surrendered, Separate and we must be Spirit-filled. We have all of the Holy Spirit’s power and influence but you see, the Holy Spirit doesn’t have all of us He wants to have. We still have the flesh. The old nature inside of us that wants to disobey God’s word, and reject the Spirit’s moving. That’s why Paul said in Galatians 5:17, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye will no fulfill the lust of the flesh” for “the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth”(v.9). Even verse eighteen says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.” The will of God for all believers is to allow the Spirit to utterly control them, and if we do that then we will “give thanks always” (v.20), and “submit to one another” (v.21). We must say YES to God and NO to the flesh!
What do you think God’s will is for your life? Well, regardless of our thoughts, His word is plain and simple. Etch these basics truths of God’s will into your heart, and be a man that’s abides in the center of His plan for you.