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Vol.  9  No. 12 December 2007  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Marilyn LaStrape

How Can We Know the Will of God?

By Marilyn LaStrape

    How can we know the will of God for our lives? How can we know we are doing God’s will? How can we know that through God’s will all things work together for good?

  Our God being the all knowing, all powerful, all seeing and ever-present Jehovah has answered that question for us! The first step to knowing God’s will is to have an understanding of who He is. The prophet declares to us in Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches, but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord exercising loving kindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the Lord.’”

    In the Bible, every time we see the phrases “according to the will of God,” “by the will of God,” “for this is the will of God,” “the will of the Lord” and “if the Lord wills,” we need to stop and take note of the passages in which those phrases appear. Mark it down, God’s will is revealed there! God’s expectation is for us to make His will our will all the days of our lives.

    We need to understand God hears and answers our prayers according to His will. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). According to these verses, we know we can ask God for anything we think we need providing it is not outside of His will!

    We need to understand our lives are to be given in sacrifice and service to God and others. Paul expresses this so clearly in Romans 12:1-2; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” This is again expressed in 2 Corinthians 8:5; “And this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”

    We need to understand our lives are to be lived in thanksgiving to God. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We need to understand our lives are to be lived doing good. “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15). “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17). “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).

    We need to understand God created us with purpose and according to His divine will. Paul told Timothy according to God’s power, He “has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (2 Timothy 1:9).

   When we start looking at life’s situations through the eyes of fear, doubt, anger and unbelief, those sins must be replaced with faith, trust, hope and confidence in God Almighty! Some of Paul’s companions were afraid for his life if he went to Jerusalem; they tried their best to persuade him not to go. “Then Paul answered, ‘What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done’” (Acts 21:13-14).

  Jesus Christ, our perfect example in every aspect of life, showed us how knowing and submitting to the will of God is to be done! Virtually hours before Christ was to die on the cross, He was praying for that cup to pass! Think of what Christ was asking God to do! “He went a little farther and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” (Matthew 26:39). Did we get that?

    Our minds cannot grasp the mental suffering Christ endured before His death on the cross! Luke makes us aware of that suffering. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). The writer of the Book of Hebrews deepens our awareness of the suffering of Christ. “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8). Since Christ learned God’s will through suffering, so will we!

    The great majority of the human race does not give much thought to the brevity of life, and the fact that a life-altering incident can happen to any of us in a matter of microseconds! We are warned about this casual and careless way of thinking and living in James 4:13-15; “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”

   Our daily challenge is to make God’s mind our mind. When we embrace the way God thinks, we understand what His will is for our lives. We are always seeking to know, to understand, and to please God because the Word of Christ is dwelling in us richly. Paul understood this when he said in Romans 1:9-10, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.”

    Finding a way in the will of God means we spend time daily reading, studying, praying and meditating upon the Word. All things are done according to God’s will, by God’s will and for God’s will to be accomplished. Isaiah tells us that God’s Word would not return to Him void, but it would accomplish what God pleased, and it would prosper in the thing for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11). There is no reason for Christians not to know what God’s will is, because it has been revealed to us. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29a).

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