God’s Will For You
- May 12, 2017
- Jared Odenbeck
What is God’s will in your life?
I hear people say all of the time that they want to know God’s will. Typically, that means that they seek a clearly-drawn map for their life. I believe that Jesus does this. He told Peter of his lot – to die a gruesome death and to go where he does not want to go – at the end of John 21 when he appeared to a few of the disciples. However, I think it would be an injustice to limit God’s will to such specificity in our definition.
The dilemma of this question is two-fold. One, perhaps this question is not a question we are prepared to receive an answer too. Peter saw Jesus face-to-face for years and still he was grieved at such a revelation. I wonder how many of us are ready, especially in knowing that we must share in his suffering to know the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3), to hear of the hard way that leads to life (Matthew 7). Two, there are multiple wills of God. There is the general will of God (which I will define in this article), and the specific will of God (that you went to the grocery store today and ran into someone and ended up sharing the Gospel with them or that on your 40th birthday you are fired from your job).
I want to speak to the general will of God at this time, perhaps to return to the specific at a later date. The reason behind this is that I find that the Lord is not as concerned with what we do as he is with who we are. If that was not the case, he would not have picked tax collectors as his disciples and the founders of the early church. By and large, I desire for the church to shift our gaze from what we do to who we are; from our outer appearance and reputation to the hidden, inner places of our being.
To do so, I would like to call your attention to Colossians 1:9-10, which reads, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Paul prays and asks without ceasing that the church would be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Look carefully. The knowledge of his will stems from receiving a filling of all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul asks with such diligence because he knows that “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). A Christian cannot receive all spiritual wisdom and understanding apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit which comes from the Lord. So we must ask of him. We must plead with him with earnest hearts.
But, why do we need this spiritual wisdom and understanding? Paul continues, “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” So then, knowledge of his will, which comes about through receiving all spiritual wisdom and understanding, aims, prompts, and equates to walking in a manner worthy of him. That’s his will – to know it, and then to walk in a manner worthy of him. If you know something fully, and see that it is entirely true, then you would do it and believe it without hesitation. To walk in a manner worthy of him is not burdensome.